Sunday, 22 February 2015

The name is James, Phoenix James

 That moment, when you see your long time Facebook friend doing well and you think WOW! Priceless! Well,  Mr. James did just that. Having been in the front seat following his career to rise up, seen the posts about the music and acting, I always knew that the ambition was there and it has been a pleasure to see this star shining. He is not in just acting or in music, he also writes, models and creates. Going by the name of Phoenix James he also is known as Phenzwaan.

The list of his achievements is huge and full of house hold names; Virgin, Natwest, Kodak and Coca Cola are just a few on his modelling merit list. He has been seen in the leading British soap on TV and he has had his foot print on some world wide block buster movies too. Poetry is near by his heart and he has accredited him self with some ranking in competitions.

Despite all of these huge names he has been working with, there is the down to earth man just doing what he loves doing the best; creating day in and day out.

Tell me about your childhood and where you grew up? What pushed you into the entertainment industry?

I moved around quite a bit during my childhood. I lived and went to school in St. Michael in Barbados and also in Andover in Hampshire before returning to school in London. As a child, I always very creative, I enjoyed singing, dancing, drawing, writing and making things and have always gravitated towards different forms of creative expression. This led me into the entertainment industry as a performer after leaving school and from there I just focused on the things that I was good at and that I wanted to do.

I would like to know more about your other side, Phenzwaan, who is he and how did he come along into your life?

Phenzwaan is a moniker I created for myself in the late 90’s. It means to give light, to give birth and to create... shining star. Phenzwaan became my stage name and the name I’ve become known by as an award winning international performance poet and spoken word recording artist.

You have been seen on the wide screen as well as on television, which one do you prefer and how do they differ in your experience?

I don’t know if I’d say I really have a preference. Movies for the wide screen are generally considered to be more far reaching in terms of audience and scale when it comes to cinema etc which is great and television tends to have a quicker turn around time from pre-production to release date which is also great. I don’t mind which as long as I’m working as a part of and amidst the magical creative process of either one.

I know right now every guy is going to be jealous when you say you have been in an actual James Bond movie, what was that experience like and what did you take from it with you? Would you like to be James Bond one day?

It was a surreal and amazing experience. When growing up as a kid, appearing in movies like James Bond, Star Wars etc these are the things you fantasise and dream about but not necessarily with the thought that you might actually one day down the line really appear alongside those people up there on the big screen as an actual real part of it all. I’d love to play James Bond one day.

You are also in the new Star Wars and have been in Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: The Dark World movies. Which genre do you prefer to work in, or do you have any preferences?

I haven’t worked on enough varied projects yet to have developed a particular preference but mostly what appeals to me is any film about overcoming some obstacle or trial in life, reaching a moment of triumph after a persevering and testing journey. Films that highlight the strength of the human spirit. I quite like films with intense courtroom drama. I’m inspired by the detail, creativity, language, art and input required to produce any movie really. Generally overall, with that in mind, I think I am easily entertained. I worked on Thor as a Stand-in, I’m not actually in that one.

You were a manager in the hair salon before fully entering into a entertainment industry. That tells me that you have a strong sense of what hard work is and how to achieve. You obviously have put this work ethic into your career in entertainment too. How hard is it as an actor to get past the competition now and how did you do it?
I actually don’t know how hard it is because I don’t focus on the difficulty as much as the solution. I just know if you put enough work in with the right amount of perseverance, determination, self-belief and willpower, that all things are possible and you can go anywhere in this life you want to go and achieve absolutely anything you want to achieve. If I see anyone or anything as my competition then I am already defeated before I begin. Everyone and everything exists to make us better than we are. With that in mind, we have no other option but to consistently excel to greater heights.

If you were able to give advice to your younger self now, what would that be and why?

I would say to be bold, fearless, patient, act wisely, believe in yourself, keep going no matter what, and never give up. Why I would say all that is because I believe we can never hear it enough.

Where would you like to see your self in 10 years time and what are you working on now?

In ten years I see myself not owning a smartphone. I’m planning to be smarter. I’m currently working on that.

Tell me more about your poetry. What inspires you? We wouldn't mind a poet here :)

My poetry is an expression of my ideas, thoughts and experiences, as well as the experiences from the point of view of others and things I’ve read, heard or seen at some point in my life. I’m inspired by everything. Life is poetic. Let me know when, I’ll come and poeticize.

At this point, what is keeping you the most occupied? Acting, music, modelling or poetry?

Presently at this point, it’s a nice equal balance. I’m getting to enjoy being immersed and creative in all of those areas, which makes me happy.

 Tell me more about " Love Freely but Pay for Sex" . What is it all about? Where can people see this? 

Love Freely but Pay for Sex is a feature length mock documentary film I wrote, produced and directed in 2013. The story follows a rogue British independent film & TV production group, with no prior film making or television production experience, armed with a handful of very mouthy and persuasive male and female amateur journalists & presenters who spread themselves out across London pursuing the general public, media personalities and various members of authority to lay themselves bare and open up on their views about a new impending Government led Pay for Sex Policy that will soon affect the whole of Great Britain and the EU. It can currently be seen on the film’s official website at Scheduled for television across the United States & Canada and DVD release including special deleted scenes.

Tell me about your television work, when shall we see you on home screens again?

I’ve had somewhat consistent but reasonably small television appearances over the past few years, nothing to write home about...though I still do. Looking forward to exploring more lengthy and involved acting roles on television in the very near future. Stay tuned and watch this space...

What in the entertainment industry excites you? You love the work you do, what keeps you motivated?

Absolutely everything in the entertainment industry excites me. I say that because as a creative person and artistic individual, there is always something to be inspired by, to learn from, to share, to give yourself to, and always something to feed of off. Innovativity, originality and ingenuity seems to flow from some constant source available to everyone and for all to tap into. The entertainment industry is a highly creative environment and for me that is always very exciting. It’s this that keeps me energized and motivated.

You have been in entertainment for a long time, what changes have you seen during that time? Are they better or worse in your opinion?

I’ve seen a lot of changes. It’s the only thing that has been constant and consistent. The entertainment industry and the way things are done is evolving all the time, which makes opportunity and all of the possibilities greater. Change is necessary, it’s all about progression. Change forces us to strive, to grow, to adapt, to overcome and to move forward. That can’t be bad. 

You can follow Phoenix at his own website , where you can also find the links for your favourite social media.


  1. I am a follower of Mr. James - there is so much to him that you would have to interview him on each different media to get a glimpse of how talented this man is!

  2. Keep shining Phenzwaan. You're an Inspiration to all. Talented, determined and mad smart. Keep birthing that beacon of Light.
    I remember you from the Brixtongue Days and still have your CDs from back in the day. You ate testament that with hard work and tenacity their is much that can be achieved.