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What's The Play? with Anthony 'Play' Douglas

INTERNATIONAL: Mr. Play

WHAT A joyful weekend we had! I want to give a massive congratulations to ‘man like Prince Harry’ on his marriage to Megan Markle. A historical milestone wedding in British Royal history, that celebrated a blend of colour and nationalities. Love it!

I’m looking forward to seeing their future work and the role models they will become for us and future generations. I didn’t realise how much I’d enjoy watching a Royal wedding. From the great homily Preacher Michael Curry, to The Kingdom Choir’s rendition of the famous classic Stand by me - it was all absolutely awesome!

I myself was in Rotterdam over the weekend for the New Skool Rules International Music Conference. This is a platform where creators and experts within the music industry from around the world connect and exchange their experience, guidance and advice with a wide audience that are looking to further develop their music career and journeys.


Mr. Play at the New Skool Rules International Music Conference

The event offers the chance to network and connect with icons in the industry. I participated on the Social Network Panel, and I also brought my Mr Play DJ vibes at the after party with my boys DJ Phat Phillie and DJ Kingpin!

I had to drop the Mr Play ‘Swag Surf’ dub plate special, which made the crowd ‘Swag Surfin’ like crazy, what a vibe, I tell ya! It was fantastic to collaborate across the continents of Europe, North America, and Africa! I recommend you guys check it out next year - visit: Newskoolrules.com for more info.

I also had the pleasure to catch up and interview with Jemal Andrade (aka Big J), author of Squad Gigantic. He wrote this epic tale whilst receiving dialysis treatment three times a week!

This new superhero novel series is set in the cultural hub that is London with black and diverse characters leading the way. I’ve personally had a read of this book and loved it! He’s sure to engage superhero fans new, and old with this series of Squad Gigantic novels - it’s steeped in superhero antics with a twist, as it takes place in London with a real street vibe.


Jemal Andrade

Here’s more on our interview:

Q: So Squad Gigantic - What were your motivations to write this book?

A: I’ve had the idea for at least four years. The name, the characters, the storyline... everything! It’s a dream I’ve had since I was a teen. I’ve always wanted to see some superheroes that are from the same world as me and I mean really from the same world as me. Not just black characters, but actually black and diverse characters from London, 100% from the culture myself and so many more grew up in.

So I had the idea lingering in my mind but didn’t think I had what it takes to be an official author. I literally just about managed to complete school, and was never that academic either.

As I got older, I changed my mindset. I was running my Big J food business and doing other every day stuff like being a father. But then I got ill with kidney failure and I started dialysing three times a week. Sitting at a dialysis machine for at least 12 hours a week gave me the time to write it. Everything happens for reason right?

Q: What are you hoping to achieve and inspire to your readers?

A: Social media and technology - that’s a big reason why I started this. As much as I see the good it does in the world especially business wise, I also see the negative and how it messes up people’s minds bro, especially children!


Squad Gigantic

So I want to be a part of helping children naturally create a healthy balance in life between the real world and social media and technology. I aim to get children reading again, using their imaginations, going back to basics really. I felt too much time is spend on phones and tablets when minds could be getting elevated.

Q: How would you like to impact youth culture within London ?

A: First and foremost, I want to inspire the youth and show them they can do anything! From a personal level I want to show that you can be a black yout’ from the hood who grew up broke, doing nothing but madness and still turn it all around and write a novel and own a publishing company or anything else you want to do and own! In the book there’s a lot around morals and unity, the importance of working together and also showing children how important self-worth and self-value are.

The Squad Gigantic characters are able to act as role models to children and even teens - there’s a few good life lessons snuck into the book. Another important element of Squad Gigantic is that it shows the positive elements of youth culture and street culture on the whole!

Q: Tell us more about Squad Gigantic

A: The Squad Gigantic characters live in a successful two parent household with parents that came from the hood and managed to make big successes of themselves. The teens are full of morals and manners with dreams and aspirations, but they’re still relatable teens who enjoy the same things as teens in London go through.

Q: What are your future aspirations for squad gigantic brand?

A: I got some big ones! Book wise, I want to seal a good distribution deal and get the book sold worldwide! I want to see Squad Gigantic on the big screen - I can vision it as a Netflix show already.

Q: If you can give any advice to the youth what would it be?

A: Life’s too short to just do one thing! Anything I enjoy and have love for I get involved with it.

Q: Where can we find you and your novels?

A: The first of this novel series will be released on June 1, 2018. Find out more:www.SQUADGIGANTIC.com | www.WATERSTONES.com

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