Jamaican vlogger, dancer, singer, comedic actress, television host and writer Toni Blair is a queen of many trades, she says, “You are not less of, you are gold. You may have to work twice as hard but make sure you achieve your goals.” – Bella Blair.
More affectionately known as Bella Blair, she has taken the world by storm with her very inimitable characters, that have their own personalities, to bring across various issues or happenings in her skits. She has named some of her characters – Poonchie, Britney, Emily, Cindy, Georgette – to name a few and with the help of her extraordinary creativity, brings each to life for viewer’s entertainment.
“I think Jamaican comedy is different because of our culture. Our culture is very dynamic and unapologetic and it is always good to see how it translates in comedy.” – Bella Blair.
The internet sensation said her inspiration came from her father, who is a visual artist, her supportive mother, and her teachers who got her involved in the performing arts. She never knew that she would go into video blogging or even become famous; however, being immersed in the processes of video and television production, she edited and posted her first vlog Things Ghetto Girls Say and the rest was history.
She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication and has won various medals and trophies for participating in the Jamaica Development Cultural Commission (JCDC) festivals for more than fifteen years. She stated that acting and performing in preparatory school at the age of four and won her first dub-poetry competition ushered her into performing.
Having started video blogging in university she realized that she had a dedicated audience with over nine million views for her videos on Youtube and over seventy-thousand subscribers.
“Vlog culture was something I stumbled into. I was curious to see how good my editing skills were. I had just started advanced editing in my second year at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and had just gotten a brand-new laptop. On a whim I scripted, acted out on camera, edited, and then uploaded the video to YouTube, and also posted the link on Facebook. I got positive feedback right away.” – Bella Blair in a recent interview.
The Jamaica Observer calls her pieces, “Parodic sketches which generate insightful commentaries on pop culture and social issues throughout the assumption of various colloquial archetypes.”
“The best thing about being a YouTuber is that you have a lot of freedom to do whatever you want and present your content however you wish.” – Bella Blair.
In 2015 she was named the Future of Jamaican Comedy along with four other comedians, thus appearing on the cover of the Teen Vibe Magazine in commemoration of her many successes.
“I first realized that I was famous or getting famous when I was having dinner at East Japanese [restaurant] and about four or five people came up to me and said ‘Hey! You’re Bella!’ and asked me for my autograph… [At that point] I thought this is serious, this is for real…” – Bella Blair.
She is no stranger to unleashing her singer side of Bella Blair. The former Rising Stars contestant debuted her musical talent at the Magnum Dream Live event in Negril in July 2016. In that same year she launched her single ‘Jamaica’ and also did other originals and covers of songs by renowned singers like Adele.
“I am excited and just raring to get on stage and deliver. Most people know me as Bella the comedienne or vlogger. This is the perfect time following the release of my single and music video to show a whole other side of Bella Blair!” – Bella Blair.
She continues to be a trendsetter and aspire to achieve her goals as she entertains the public with her amazing talent and creativity through her vlog on Youtube. She is a genuine soul and is grateful for the opportunities and blessings she is afforded daily.
By Alexandra Daley