Renaissance Hotels – We experienced the unexpected on the Seventh Annual Global Day of Discovery

One of our best loved island musicians, Johnathan Thiel, a musical titan, song writer, poet, rapper and producer delivered an amazing concert Tuesday night to an audience of over 250 lucky guests at the Renaissance Marina Tower, mixed in with local residents.

We were invited for a Live Life to Discover party, on the pool deck, prepared to experience a modest gathering over cocktails at sunset and were totally blown away by the scope of the production as more than 100 Renaissance Hotels around the globe inspired guests to discover local culture.

Jonathan Thiel, 27, now known as Jeon Arvani, became big here as Biggie Boy – he later dropped the boy, when at the age of 14 he broke into the local music scene with his first hit. He was immediately noticed by Janiro Eisden from Basic One, who already heard him as early as 2004 on TV. Janiro started opening doors for the budding star, talking about future plans, and collaborating on local music projects.

I saw some early clips of a slightly pudgy young man, singing with a gaita band, the Sensacionales, very cute and innocent, he already oozed irresistible charm back then.

The way he tells it, he was born in Santa Cruz Aruba to a musical family. His father Robert Thiel is a pianist and music producer, his grandfather was a musician. Music became his calling, his world, there was no room for school or a formal education.

In an early interview with TeleCuracao Jeon speaks about his dual personality, the soft romantic Biggie who writes and produces love ballads for the girls, and the bad boy Jeon who shakes, pops, and shifts his booty, promoting a mix of Reggaetón, Rap and Latin Pop, we call Ritmo Combina.   

He broke into international stardom in early 2018 when in January he released Machika, a Reggaetón sensation, one of the most viewed music videos ever, in an artistic collaboration with the king of Reggaetón, from Colombia J Balvin who extended his fan reach by also including Anitta, from Brazil, a Latin pop diva in the creative.

Their incredible, costly, Mad Max inspired music video conquered the world, catapulting Jeon onto the international stage. They toured many cities, playing to full stadiums, yet Jeon still came back for Carnival in his home island, entertaining the grateful crowd from a super charged music trailer in the parade.

Tuesday evening, he played all his hits on the gorgeous Renaissance stage, accompanied by his wing man Ritmo Real, a local rapper. I stood in the front row. Wow, this guy can work a crowd.

A most touching unexpected moment was when he introduced his mom, then brought dad on stage for an improvised performance of a much-loved local ditty, Muchannan di Bario, recorded earlier in collaboration with Upgrade Music, an Urban Band in the genre of Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, Zouk & more under the management of Krish Mahtani. Father and son sang and shimmied unforgettably.

The audience sang too, then slinked left and right; there must be more than 250 live versions of that concert on line because the cellphones were busily recording every move.

Renaissance – You set the bar high, can’t wait for next’ year’s Global Day of Discovery   

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June 07, 2018
Rona Coster