Educator and promoter Declan Harris will be bringing The Voice of Holland Mitchell Brunings to Bermuda next month as part of Legend, the Bob Marley Tribute show.  *Photo by Sarah Lagan
Educator and promoter Declan Harris will be bringing The Voice of Holland Mitchell Brunings to Bermuda next month as part of Legend, the Bob Marley Tribute show. *Photo by Sarah Lagan

Declan Harris

is a Bermuda-born educator and concert promoter.

After attending Mount Saint Agnes Academy he embarked on further education in New York that would result in a Bachellor of Arts in Communication, and two Master of Science Degrees in Education specializing in Special Education and School Administration.

During his time abroad he was immersed in the arts when he wasn’t working in public relations, teaching and administration. He has worked for the Ministry of Education since returning to Bermuda in 2001 in numerous capacities.

Over the years he has assisted promoters including Rise and Shine, ENVY and others. He has also independently produced numerous reggae and soca events under the Veterans In Action banner alongside Rowan Ramotar. This past summer a partnership with 441 Productions gave us Cup Match Summer Splash featuring Beres Hammond.

On February 8, the latest instalment of Veterans In Action will feature the Voice of Holland finalist, Mitchell Brunings. He will perform at Legend, the annual Bob Marley Tribute. Interview by

Sarah Lagan.

When did you last laugh out loud?

A few minutes ago. My friend Cedar Roots sang me his new song. He says it is going to go up the charts on the IRIE countdown. I told him that he can’t sing, again. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t have at least a few good laughs. It helps relieve any unknown stress and increases immunity. I am not suggesting joining a laughter yoga club, but take it light.

Your earliest memory?

Catching the bus with my mother near the Arboretum. 

What were you like in school?

Academically capaple but an underachiever. A bit of a joker and a jerk wrapped up all in one. 

If you were given a million dollars tomorrow what would you do with it?

Turn it into another million! I know, I am supposed to name five different charities that desperately need it, but I figure if I can get one and make two and then four my philanthropic means will be exponentially greater.

Who is your hero/heroine?

My father and mother. Dad was reserved, but had a great sense of humour and didn’t allow too much to bother him. Mom wasn’t forgotten easily by anyone who met her. She used to say “I can take almost anything, but I can’t take a boring person.”

Human trait you value most in others?

Honesty and integrity. One of the individuals that I partner with, Rowan Ramotar, has these qualities and it is what makes the Veterans brand successful. We feed off of each other when it comes to ideas and ingenuity. 

Which cartoon character would you be?

A superhero — Green Lantern. Not much that he couldn’t do or be.

Your greatest fear? 

The ocean. Sounds crazy for someone born on an island, but I have so much respect for its power. Yet, I love to go swimming! 

Your ultimate ambition?

To have people remember the good times that they experienced by either attending an event I produced or by being in my presence. Hopefully they had a good laugh. For the students I have had contact with, an understanding soundboard and advocate. To be a responsible father and husband.

Your most unappealing habit?

Indecisiveness. As a promoter you are a risk taker. However, it is calculated risk. Venue, artist, ticket price, advertising strategy. Sometimes not making a firm decision will come back to bite you. 

Describe yourself in three words...

Trustworthy, creative and adventuresome.

Which human trait do you dislike the most?

Dishonesty. Even if someone makes a mistake they can still be forthright.

Best party you’ve ever been to?

A toga party in Poughkeepsie, NY. A band I was managing, The Toasted Almonds, performed better than Dicky Barrett and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones that night. Needless to say, Dicky and his band went on to Converse (sneakers) and Jimmy Kimmel fame while we got some free beer and the memory of that one performance. Another time was singing with the now deceased dancehall legends Nicodemus and Trevor Sparks in a basement in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Anyone you’d like to say ‘sorry’ to?

Any individual that has hatred and is looking for love. Not that I did anything to them, but I am sorry that they didn’t look inside and smile because they are special. 

Worst job you’ve ever done?

Stuffing envelopes for a pharmaceutical company. That and running daily numbers on a lotto machine. $5 and $6 an hour respectively. 

Biggest regret?

Agreeing to this interview! Picking the number 50 instead of 49 on NY Lotto. Jackpot was $6million. I had 5 out of 6 numbers. True story. 

Closest you’ve ever come to death?

I choked on a piece of chicken and had to be given the heimlich manoeuver.

I remember where and when like it was yesterday.

Your desert island song?

I am supposed to say Three Little Birds, but if I am stuck on an island then everything isn’t going to be alright! I would need to build a boat, so a high energy song like Cypress Hill’s Insane in the Brain would be fitting. It would be insane to think I could build an oar, let alone a boat...

What animal would you be and why?

A horse because they are immensely strong and are able to function well alone or as part of a team. Just call me Mr Ed!

What do you do if you can’t sleep?

I tell people that sleep is overrated. One day I will get plenty! There are literally not enough hours in the day. When it is time to get some rest, I zonk.

If you had a time machine, where would you go?

Would like to come back to Bermuda when the first settlers came. What was it like? What would I see? That would be amazing.

Your most memorable dream?

Scoring the game winner for Liverpool FC against Manchester Utd in the Champions League final. Some would say, “dream on” while I say it would just add another piece of silverware to a great club. 

Best advice you have ever taken?

Don’t do something for a living that you hate. Do what inspires you.

If you weren’t an organizer/promoter, what would you be?

I am a teacher and educator first. I have worked with many special young people over the years. Promoting came out of a love for music. Choy Aming was a great inspiration. He had amazing vision. 

Nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?

A number of people have said things that I hold dear. A great compliment was given recently by a recording artist who said, “you are more than a fan — you are a true promoter.” — Beres Hammond. These words resound when I bump into individuals and they ask “What’s next?” 

What’s your best joke?

I am painfully sarcastic, which is definitely an aquired taste, so I will spare your readers.

I leave the joke telling to the professionals like Gina Love, Eddie G and my friend Earlwin.

Most treasured possession?

I am not a very materialistic person. A signed vinyl record by Luciano is special. 

A dream location for a home?

Southern Ireland.

Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate in any shape or form, especially dark chocolate.

Favourite film?

Shawshank Redemption and Nobody’s Fool.

Your proudest achievement?

Fatherhood. Everything else pales in comparison.

Most important lesson life has taught you?

Forgiveness is powerful.