Odessa Chambers was born and raised in South London, and is the daughter of legendary singer & actor Jimmy Cliff.
After moving to Jamaica 25 years ago she has gone on to build a name for herself after launching her own media platform O-Access Jamaica, and her podcast series ‘Reasonings with Odessa’.
We spoke to Chambers about how she juggles being a super media mogul …
Please tell us who you are and what you do, and where you’re from …
My name is Odessa Chambers I am an entertainment executive, TV & Film producer & culture curator.
Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence …
Doing what I love.
You’re a podcaster, a journalist and a producer – but what are you working on right now?
With my partners of 7 LongLane ENT. We have launched what we think is the next global superstar out of the UK called Vincent Darby. I am also producing Jamaica’s top rated talk show daytime LIVE!
With so many strings to your bow how do you juggle delivering your ideas to their best whilst fulfilling all your creative desires?
Because everything I do is what I love its easy to juggle. I have always worked on several projects most of my life.
Being from the UK and living in Jamaica how do you blend cultures when it comes to the work you do – or do you not?
Blending cultures is not what I do, it’s just who I am. Jamaica is far more cosmopolitan than what most people think it is or what is only portrayed.
Your father being the legend Jimmy Cliff – what was that like for you growing up within his shine?
It was really normal for me. I lived a normal life in the UK, in Jamaica it is a bit overwhelming sometimes when people chat to you because of who your father is but I have grown to just take it as all love.
Good and bad what did you learn from having a famous parent in the entertainment industry?
I have learned to be true to yourself, have real knowledge of the culture. Many people are more researchers or hearsay industry people today. Everything I know and learned, I have lived it. I have learned not to take everything personal during production. I have learned to be more patient in a world of needing it now. I have learned that not everyone in the entertainment industry is your friend, it’s just business.
There’s an ongoing conversation about how we as black people don’t preserve our history or honour those who came before us very well – do you agree, when you think about the recognition of your father’s contribution to the arts – and if so how could we do better?
I was taught that I was a likkle Jamaican pickney even though I was born in the UK. I was also taught that I was an African. I think that today’s youth are not taught to honour those before us. They are programmed that way, it’s not their fault either, it is us before them. My generation was taught this, we need to do better to guide and
teach them. With my podcast, my television talk show I produce I make it my duty to do so.
Highs, lows, solutions …
Aside from the norm of people stealing my ideas and the usual ops trying to stop my shine. I take everything as a learning lesson or God telling me it’s not my time.
What’s your current plan B?
Plan C, D or E, you got to learn how to move in a room full of no’s.
What’s made you Sad, Mad, Glad this week?
Sad, not being able to have the time to mourn lost ones as more keep passing. Mad, the government of Jamaica increasing their pay by 200% while teachers, police, solders and nurses still haven’t gotten one. Glad, that my podcast Reasonings With Odessa is now a part of the Revolt TV family by joining their Revolt Podcast Network. This means that I will have more ears and eyes on it.
What are you watching right now?
Mi seh, mi a watch nuff things. If you follow my Tweets you would see. I am watching PowerBook 2, Succession, Young Famous & African, Downton Abbey (I see the side eye but it’s dope) and waiting on Yellowstone to start back.
What are you reading right now?
My Sister The Serial Killer by Oykinan Braithwaite.
What are you listening to right now?
Vincent Darby (finishing off the EP). Jorja Smith’s banger The Little Things, Burna Boy, Rema, Little Sims – love her.
The last thing you saw on stage?
The Harder They Come off Broadway. Big up Natey Jones who played my father’s role of Ivan.
What’s on your bucket list?
Tour of West Africa, I go where I am celebrated.
Celebrate someone else …
I rate anyone who can see more than what is placed in front of them. IYKYK
Celebrate yourself …
Bwoy. I am just proud of being me. Nah switch, nah change. Just simple Odessa from South London.
Whose footsteps are you following in?
I march to my own drum and try to make my own mark.
Whatever is God’s will.
Where can we find you?
IG @oblessa @reasoningswithodessa @oaccessjamaica Web: www.oaccessjamaica.com