Photographers: Hunter & Gatti
Models: Monica Sawicka, Maryna Linchuk
ARCHIVE from April 2011:
Carlton Jordan , Your friendly neighborhood blogger said it best when he wrote on www.carltonjordan.com , “We’ve talked about him before and we just can’t get enough of Amin Joseph [I swear I'm not getting paid to say this!].” Essence Magazine couldn’t even resist Amin when you flipped through the pages and saw this BEAUTIFUL, CHISEL FACED, CHOCOLATE DELIGHT OF A MAN on their Sex and Love department holding the title Single Man of The Month last November. I believed the distinguished KRAVE magazine soon followed with an amazing look of a Gentleman spread and Cover of him and all awhile Amin and I had been discussing him being on the cover of Tight Rope. As a matter of fact after our first conversation we had deemed ourselves friends and a week after I had called him up to discuss him being TR’s first dark skin brotha he was shooting for Essence. I had long wanted to put a man of Amin’s look and caliber on Tight Rope’s Sexy Male Issue, but I was on the search for the right man. Then, the right and exact man that I had dreamed up was put right into my clutches by his manager Shaun Cairo of Shakir Entertainment.
Shawn had insisted that I reach out to Amin and I was so busy that I hesitated, but Shawn was persistent and finally I gave Amin a ring and the voice of this NY native, well educated male spoke to me as if we were friends on the block immediately. This man had me from hello and he swiftly pointed out that I had not represented a dark skin male on my cover other than comedian/actor Joe Torry. He called me out, and I told him, “ Wow! You are right, but I LOVE ME some dark skin men!” How could this be that TR did not reflect what I had loved and held to be beautiful? Amin stepped into my life and now we have started the Chocolate Reign!
It all begins with the birth of Amin (pronounced A-MEN) Joseph who was born in Far Rockaway, Queens and raised in Harlem, New York. His wonderful makeup is of West Indies and of a Southern flavor which comes by way of his father who is from Antigua, West Indies and his mom who is from York, South Carolina.
TR: Have you been back to the West Indies?
Amin: Yes, of course…My father made it a point to make sure I was exposed to West Indian culture and like so, I’ve been to Antigua. I plan to actually visit the island much more you know, so I can, perhaps set up film festivals and do projects and productions there.
TR: Right, that sounds awesome! You have to keep us abreast of that, so we can fly to the West Indies as well.
Amin: Exactly…You know, Antigua has 365 Beaches, one for every day of the year…
TR: Wow! Oh my goodness!!! (Laughter) Well, I’m going to have to get my body in shape…
Amin: Just by going to the beaches you’ll get in shape…You know what I mean?
TR: Right! Exactly…Tell us about York, South Carolina?
Amin: Well, that’s where my mom is from and it’s a small little town in South Carolina. It’s funny, cause I just wrapped a film called “Turning Home” and the film was shot in Cornelius, North Carolina, which is about an hour away from York, South Carolina. So, I was actually able to visit my mom and my family, my mom’s side of the family there in York, SC. I guess MY BLACK covers the whole Diaspora in a sense, because…you know I consider myself kind of like, jerk chicken and like, collard greens…You know what I mean…
TR: (Laughter) Oh…Yes I do!
Amin: I have the West Indian side and I have the Southern “Soul” side, you know…And then, me being from New York is like, you know…a Northern or East Coast…It gives me a lot of different views on our BLACK conscientiousness…You know what I mean…
TR: Exactly…I agree! From the jerk chicken to the greens…and even in New York, the hot dogs…It’s all good! (Laughing) It’s all good!
Amin: Exactly, exactly…A slice of pizza.
TR: Right! Tell me about the Apollo Theater in Harlem…
Amin: The Apollo Theater…The Apollo Theater is actually where I had my first job. I worked summer youth there. If anybody that knows growing up in the 90’s, the Apollo had this program that‘s called “Summer Youth,” that’s basically by the State, where they employ young kids to keep them off the streets during the summer and they can make a little bit of shillings…You know what I mean…So, it’s a real way, basically to get kids off the streets and give them some sort of foundation of working. I was blessed, me and my best friend were able to work at the Apollo Theater, which is walking distance from where we grew up. We were little kids who always were playing around 125th Street and then we got this job at Apollo Theater. We learned everything at the Apollo from being an intern to running lights and bar tendering and anything…I was the jack of all trades…maintenance. I’ve done everything that you could possibly think of…I know the theater inside out. It’s one of my goals to one day own the theater, whether it be in partnership or even whether I’m on the Board of Directors for it…But, right now it’s owned by the State. It’s been through several different changes through the years, from being owned by the State, from being owned by notorious Business men and lawyers, like Percy Sutton. It was first owned by the first black man, Cab Calloway. It was just a strong and amazing “Beacon of Legacy” in my home town…You know what I saying…
Amin: So, I would love to see it, once again become an Epicenter of entertainment, Internationally. So you know, that one of my goals is to make sure that it happens in my life time.
TR: Yes, that’s a great goal and that’s something we all know about…The Apollo Theater and watching…whether we see the old film and/or during our time the artist that has gone through there…So, I mean…It’s a great piece of history and it’s a part of our heritage as well. So, hey…I’m with you and agreeing with you that you will have a major part in owning it or being on the Board or whatever, you know…That’s great! It’s a great goal to go after and actually make it happen.
TR: Who is Amin Joseph?
Amin: Well umm… As far as who I am as an individual, I’m a son. I feel like I come from my people…You know, I’ve been blessed to have a great education and mentors that have helped raised me to become a well rounded, educated and conscious black man. You know, in all my endeavors I look to live up to my family and my community. You know, I have that ring of truth kind of etched in my conscience. You know…that’s who I AM…I’m learning, I’m big on faith and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…I feel like I have a tremendous amount of belief and faith in myself, my community and mankind period as a whole…I look for the better in people and I promote it with a positivity in the faith. To be able to do that, you have to have a lot of faith and at the end of the day, its my prayer that I find my fortitude in…you know…
TR: Exactly…Amin, you’ve done a lot of work in the acting field. Currently and what I know of, you are “Tarriq,” a rapper on HBO’s “Zane Sex Chronicles”. Tell me about “Tarriq”…
Amin: Tarriq is basically an up and coming rapper that’s on the scene…from the first season to the second season, the story line will develop much more, but he’s in love with the character, which is one of the main characters on Zane, which is “Anna Marie” played by Laila Odom. Tarriq is basically and kind of the homeboy with the heart of gold. He is this rapper, but you’re able to see some of his softer side when it comes to his relationship…Now umm, unfortunately it comes at the expense of him having a girlfriend that’s not faithful to him. His love for the character brings him back to her and they break up and get back together. I don’t know if you ever been in a trying relationship or what not, but it’s kind of that love that hurts, but the character loves so hard…My main goal for the character was just to love a woman more than she‘s ever been loved, more than we‘ve ever seen that woman loved on a screen…and for me, to love a BLACK WOMAN with the amount of LOVE that we’ve never seen. To me, I was always infatuated with the way that Bill Cosby loved Phylicia Rashad’s character, “Claire” on the Cosby Show. But often times, we don’t see that same type of LOVE or PASSION, you know…in a not so cookie-cutted relationship. So, what I wanted to do with this character is show that yet and even though they are going through hard times and infidelity, cheating on both sides and lack of commitment, that sometimes that does reflect on what we deal with in everyday life or even in fantasy, but there still can be a commitment to loving another person despite their flaws and despite your own flaws…
Amin: So, that was my goal. I always go in with each character that I portray…I always go in with a goal for something that’s bigger than myself, that’s bigger than the character to see if I can convey that feeling to my audience.
TR: I read on your site and I just took a little bit…You said, “This art has transformational powers” as well as you said, “You must develop and maintain a sane and active passion…” Do you want to elaborate on that?
Amin: It’s kind of like what I was mentioning earlier, how this art has influenced my life through different stages as I get older, as I connect more to my spirituality to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…as I connect with my mate, the women in my life, as I developing a different type of relationship with my parents and family…The way I present myself to the world. This art, if you sow the proper seeds and take care of this art, it will take care of you. You will see the transformation in your life…I’m looking for the transformation to a higher level of understanding and compassion for mankind and my Creator. So, that’s what I mean by investing…There’s a famous route…Fame because of fame, attention because of attention and I’m not saying that I don’t have aspirations, just like I told you when I was young…It was great to perform for attention, but to me that’s just a stage, it’s not the overall. And If I only stayed at that level, if I didn’t learn more, if I didn’t achieve to be more everyday…I would cease to live. I would cease to really exist…you know what I mean… So, that’s my comment on the transformational power of this art and sowing a seed into it. You know, if you take care of this craft, it will take care of you…
TR: Sowing and Reaping…
Amin: Yes, exactly…
Amin Joseph who is a classically trained actor with a wide range of personal life experience which has shaped his imagine and has helped his response to manipulate a character. Amin began acting as a young boy doing school play and much more. He was the kid that enjoyed getting a little attention.
Acting has been a great tool and continues to be a great tool and therapy in his evolution as he matures as a man and his art evolves with it. Amin chose acting and states, that he will always act, but he does feel that there is a higher calling for him, but will continue to hear from God. Amin Joseph, a man of faith, love, hope and sharing believes in taking action and spreading the message of LOVE…He acknowledges that God has blessed him with an instrument to act, which allows him to learn more about life, to connect to other people as well as helped him with his intellectual prowess.
Amin has played many roles. He has been featured on television on “The Shield, The Shark and The Women’s Murder Club”. He has also, been privileged to play raw characters, such as the “Pirate Leader” in “The Expendables” with seasoned actors Sylvestor Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Jason Statham where he was able to take notes with a pad and pen (literally and he still has the notes) from dedicated seasoned actors. He currently has a recurring role on HBO’s Zane’s Sex Chronicles portraying Tarriq, an up and coming rapper. Amin has learned to gene split or you may say manipulate DNA as he prepares and become the characters that he portrays. His entire process projected is passion, intent and focus. He has absorbed techniques by the Watch Method, his formula…Amin is the “Real Deal”, the “He’s Got Next”.
Sexy Male Questions:
TR: I can agree with that, just from being up close (laughter)…I agree with the magnetism of your eyes…I most definitely do. How do you stay sexy and what drives it?
Amin: That’s interesting, because I don’t know about the whole SEXY thing…Umm, that’s not my thing. I don’t think that I’m sexy, I think that I have SEX and anything that has sex is SEXY, right? So…
TR: What type of lady do you like?
Amin: I like a woman that is VERY PASSIONATE…I love INTELLIGENCE. I love when a woman is…I guess I can almost say, I love when a woman is smarter than me…even though I may not always want to admit it…(smile)…but I probably, you know, might…secretly. I love a woman that is GOD FEARING and that definitely takes care of herself…Umm, yeah…I love a woman that has FIRE…I love SPONTANEITY…I love a woman that has ethics and knows who she is morally…and has values instilled in her that she doesn’t compromise even if I test them…
TR: Okay…Does age matter?
Amin: No, not really…I’m open. I’m open to women of different backgrounds…I know that I will marry a black woman. I like all women I don’t get it mistaken that women from all different diasporant and race, creed, colors are beautiful…But, I have a special connection to black women that I know that is who I would choose, not that I’m not attracted to whatever, but that I would choose to wed…When I think of being married and when I think of family building and kingdom building, I envision a black woman next to me.
TR: Do you prefer to shower or take a bath or both? Also, Do you drip dry or towel dry?
Amin: (Laughter) I shower first of all…and I would drip dry…I walk around nude a lot. That’s what I am notorious for…Put it like this, an inside day with me would be…I walk around the house nude.
TR: Is that alone? When you walk around nude?
Amin: If I’m in my house, I’m more than likely nude. If I’m with someone else, than more than likely I’m nude too. You know, I mean I’m just…clothes are for outdoors…I’m just more comfortable…
TR: What is your favorite piece of clothing on a woman? Do you prefer to see her in a dress or pants?
Amin: I would definitely prefer dresses on a woman. I think that your legs make up more than half of your body and nice legs, beautiful legs…There’s just something about showing your legs…I’m not talking about it (dress) riding all the way up your thigh to the cup of your butt, but I’m just saying, just show some thigh and some beautiful calves on a woman with beautiful skin, beautiful complexion, even skin…I don’t see how men and both women don’t adore…As we love ourselves more…There’s so much to love about each other, so when someone is open to showing what accentuates them is a beautiful thing you know…
TR: Right…Exactly…Your fitness plan…How often do you work out? And what do you feel is your best attribute or your body part?
Amin: My brain (chuckle)
TR: (Giggle) Okay…That has to be fit too.
Amin: I play a lot of basketball. That’s my cardio and I do a lot of calisthenics. I don’t believe in working out per say…I believe in living and having a good time, you know do what you love to do. You know, if I had to run around the track I would really hate it. So, for me, mainly it’s about playing some hoops, talking some trash and being fun…living life, you know…I do some calisthenics to stay toned. For me, it’s about living a healthy lifestyle altogether. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. To me, I really just come from a body that is the temple and it is preserved.
TR: So, What is your best body part?
Amin: I think that it is an overall presentation and I think overall I look to be an overall package. Having a body that you can maintain, stay healthy…not too bulky, not too thin. Just being in shape and preserving yourself. For me, that’s what it is about.
TR: Can you cook?
Amin: Of course…Of course I can cook, my mother made a well rounded man.
TR: What is your favorite dish?
Amin: My favorite dish is probably…Escoveitched Fish…A Western Indian way to cook fish.
TR: What is it cooked in?
Amin: It’s cook in peppers, tomatoes…It‘s basically browned and hot, which would be the spice…The way it is seasoned is what makes it Escoveitched, which I can give out because that’s passed down from my father.
TR: When wining and dining a lady, do you prefer to cook at your place or when you decide to take her out…What is the restaurant of your choosing?
Amin: I’m really open. I don’t think like, I want to go to a particular place or something…I prefer to go out with women that know what they like and a big variety of what they like, you know…I may have 4 or 5 spots that are my favorites and I like to know what someone else 4 or 5 spots are, then we pick one or find something new together. Something that you know is something that you know, but something new always has the added experience for you to get acclimated to that new experience…you know.
TR: What do you prefer candles or a Fireplace? Or both?
Amin: Ooooh! I haven’t had a fireplace since New York…Both are nice. I would say at the end of the day, that even though you can have scented candles, a fireplace has a unique smell and a crackle that’s romantic…
TR: At home, if you had a fireplace, although people dine at the table, would you consider dining on the floor?
Amin: Oh Definitely!
TR: What can a woman do to keep the fire lit in your relationship?
Amin: I feel that we all want to be appreciated by our significant other and I think that besides the huge gift we give each other during the holidays or special occasions. It’s the appreciation. I feel that men should aspire to be a man everyday and to be a king, but you also want someone that is appreciative of the small things that you do. I grew up in a household with my father…I think there is a value women may forget about a man and that a man that truly loves his woman, his family that will do things…even if it’s fixing a door knob, even if it’s a man that buys a home under value and puts his own sweat and labor into making that home a home…But, that goes back to that who we are as men, even primitively of trying to provide and build, make a shelter and provide security. In a day and age where, you know, you can just go out and buy a bigger, more expensive door and handle or you can just buy a new house that’s already put together by some contractors…There’s an appreciation that’s lost for the little things, the little small chivalrous things that some men still do…That’s the appreciation that men want…I feel like often times women would say, ‘These are new men these days that don’t want to do anything, there’s no chivalrous bone in the body’.
Amin: So, when you do have a man that’s like that make sure you preserve that, so that his son and his daughters recognize and are able to appreciate that quality in our men…
TR: Yes, I do. Small things are important…You know, when those greater things come you will always remember those small things that were done.
Amin: Yeah, those small things are what gets you through…Greater things are these events…It’s almost like a man, if he is treating his woman disingenuously, but on occasion showers her with the gifts…to me a woman doesn’t need to be in that type of relationship…Because it’s the small things that is the through line that gets the connection…It’s how you’re treated everyday, not just on a good day…
TR: Do you like Chocolate?
Amin: All Chocolate…
Last but, not least…
Amin says, I’m doing a film in May…I was just attached to the film called “Freelancers” and it’s with Robert Dinero, Forrest Whitaker and 50cent…That’s one of the things I will be doing…Also, I’m in talks to be a part of a film starring Meagan Good and Directed by actress Tasha Smith, called, “Soul Ties”.
Amin also has a feature film that he has produced called “Hova” which is dear to him and it is based on a true story about a close friend of his. It deals with the issue of Mental Illness (D.I.D. = Dissociative Identity Disorder). When he first moved to L.A. met a friend who was homeless…They went to parochial school together…He took him in and he had an amazing life experience trying to help his friend and to put him back on his feet… His friend actually thought he was Jay Z, which inspired the name Hova. Joseph…This Labor of Love is being submitted for Film festivals…2011 it will be screened as they are looking for a distributor…
Amin Joseph is our “Chocolate Reign”…A man of depth, honesty and love…A man who believes in showing his gift…He has engaged me with no holds barred and answered all questions. We will bring to you the audio of the entire interview…Stay Tuned to hear Chocolate Reign!!!!!
Interviewed by Yolanda Ketchum
***Photo: Stella Simona & Caleb Wilson Styled by: Neiman Tate Groomer: Kioni Ben MUA: Nowsheba Rahman
COVER PHOTO: Knitted paper boy hat: Converse, Tangerine Blaze: Zara, Light Maroon Button Up: Zanerobe, Burgundy Jeans: Zanerobe, Belt: Brave (all pics), Shoes: John Varvatios (all pics)
Upper Photo: Jacket by: Levi, Fireman Bottoms: Madison Park;
Bottom Photo: Shirt by: Zara, Cargo Bottoms: Madison Park, Necklace: Energy Muse, Bracelet: King Baby