After experiencing Ibiza many years ago as a 19 year old over excited bunny with my girl friends, getting smashed on tequila for my first alcoholic experience ever and observing crazy crass antics by sex mad, drunk desperados, I swore never to go down that road again. So how did I find myself in Ayia Napa last week!?
Well, for the past 3years an artist/producer called Sniper had been inviting me to experience life in his native home of Cyprus. Always laughing at him I swore I would never attend the annual summerfest urban craze fest that is Ayia Napa. Relentlessly every year Sniper would reach out and offer to show me ‘’the real Cyprus’’ and I would decline. Not just cos I had heard about its crazy 3 month wild fest of debauchery, but also because whilst working at MTV it would not be morally correct to be seen hanging with music acts and accepting ‘’payola’’. MTV were very strict-quite correctly about us walking the straight line and if there were even a sniff of ‘’corruption’’ you could be fired.
So-when Sniper heard I had left MTV towers for terrestrial TV last year he insisted that now that I couldn’t be ‘’musically corrupted’’. So with a new, open mind I arranged for a Cypriot friend to show me around the city and jumped on a British Airways jet to Larcana and kept it real quiet cos on the low I was a little embarrassed that I was finally making the dreaded journey. I guess it’s how men feel when they visit a lap dance joint lol! Before we even left UK shores there was a sign that things had begun as they were going to continue. My mate made a joke about having a huge knife in his case to the check in clerk, then got excited about a discontinued aftershave line in duty free which he bought. Then forgot on the cash desk. On the plane he insisted he was going to go back and retrieve it and then told air staff that it was his wallet and they practically put out an APB to go get the aftershave and get it back to him!
So we arrive in Cyprus on day 1 where Sniper has a car meet us at the airport. As soon as we got in it was playing Snipers music (www.snipermusic.com) . As we drove past bus stops they were advertising Snipers music. As we zoomed past the gigantic Waterworld Themed Waterpark there were massive Sniper posters. As we cruised through town we saw lots of young hip hop fans wearing Sniper t-shirts!. We couldn’t help think we were in a hip-hop version of the Warburton’s bread advert where there is product placement everywhere you look. The car dropped us off at the 5 star Grecian Park Hotel which was plush, marbled with a huge pool and set just outside of the main town as I had insisted sniper arrange somewhere where the grime music scene boys wouldn’t bump into me in my bikini-how unprofessional would that be!
The next few days turned out to be my version of heaven and hell equally interspersed.
On our first night it was heaven, Sniper and his lovely lady took myself and my guy to a traditional Cypriot village-The Good Village- where we tasted a meze of local dishes which ended with my guy being encouraged to try the delicacy of a goats head that had been sliced perfectly in half and opened up on a silver platter. Not wanting to offend I tried a penny size piece of goat brain that was very pate like. My uber competitive, trying to impress fella did goat brain, goat cheek, goat tongue and the piece-de-résistance- goats eyes!. 10 minutes later the horror of what he’d done caught up with him and he was gulping down red wine and smoking a cigarette to calm his nerves. He doesn’t smoke. You know there was no kissing till Colgate!
On our 3rd day the concierge called our suite and informed me there was a gift awaiting me at reception. I walk down to find the coolest buggy that had been sent to me for the week. All black, a solid cage and slick as hell-I was amped zooming it around the ocean paths. The day was made even better as we attended the huge infamous Waterworld Themed Waterpark which 50 Cent had mentioned I must visit. Jay Z had also informed me that on his Cyprus trip Memphis Bleek and Sugababe Mutya had closed the park down after hours to experience the rides. Sniper offered to open out of hours so I could have the park to myself but I reassured him it was totally fine to mingle with the great unwashed public-how weird would it be having a park full of operational staff attending to just me and my guy? Too weird. Instead sniper had a security man escort us around the park, leading us to the front of all the queues-which I found totally embarrassing but was grateful for.
The rides were really exciting! Like Thorpe Park but full of water. It all looked clean, fun and pretty sexy with everyone in beachwear. I went on every ride except the hell high red vertical slide drop cos sometimes even I’m a scared-cat. My favourite was a really high-entwined slide that dropped you into a giant spinning wheel-esque, bowl shaped bottom before plunging you deep into a plunge pool called the AEOLOS WHIRLPOOL. POSEIDON’S WAVEPOOL was pretty hardcore too! It was nice that the crowd was both British, Scandinavian, and Russian so I didn’t have to just hear cockney, northern and scouse accents all day long. A heavenly day!.
Day 4- we were taken to the various beaches to experience water sports that included jet skiing, donuts, banana boats, and a new ride that I loved called fly fishing. My big achievement though was water skiing. Hanging onto the bars on the side of a speedboat I braced myself sturdily as it ripped me through the warm Cyprus waters. Too much fun!. My guy tried to yell instructions at me from the boat. Finally peeved by his criticism I suggested he show me how to do it. Cockily he jumped into the ocean only to find he couldn’t even balance on the skis and insisted the skipper take him back to shore!. Shake My Head. But heaven was followed by hell…
I tried not to take in too many out of shape topless chics with bright red burning breasts and foreheads that were peeling. In this day and age its unfathomable that people are still so old fashioned with the thought that if they don’t have a dark, burnt look on their return to the UK, that they will be seen not to have had a great vacation. Pathetic. Honestly-I observed people that had flown over the seas to experience not another culture or have active fun in the sun, but idiots that refused to wear sun lotion for protection and instead were frying their skin with cocoa butter!?. Forget the fact that this is the one thing that will damage and age your skin to resemble crocodile skin, but what about the health issues? Cancer is not just something that happens to other people!.
I calmed myself down with a delicious fish supper where we all dismantled a huge local fresh fish called Stone Bass
Sniper also took us to see cultural buildings and churches as well as the caves of Cape Greko where people used to pray in hiding during the crusades, as RICHARD THELIONHEART was once ruler of this land, those days people were persecuted for their religion, faith and beliefs. It is also said by US scientists that the edge of Cape Greko is where the lost City of Atlantis broke off to sink in the ocean and searches will start in the near future!.
Twitter is a great thing and I saw that my boys Rampage (RADIO1XTRA) were playing one evening at club Black & White (seemingly the only R&B/hip-hop club to go to out there). When Rampage play I know I will rave until sunrise and we did. In the house were many UK urban faces as well as local hip hop lovers, international big ballers from Russia, Scandinavia, THE USA, and most ballers that playn in the country or nearby countries like Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt and some players from our premier league
Before we went into the club though we stood in the infamous centre square strip road watching the madness unfold. It was pure hell. Young girls and guys all staggering around drunk looking as if they’re about to throw up. Ladies with literally no clothes on wearing classless lycra scraps of fabric giggling incoherently as guys grope them as they wander past. Hen night groups plus stag night groups, plus teens that are all on heat and of the mind set that ‘’what happens in Cyprus stays in Cyprus’’ OR GOES ON FACEBOOK! all mixing to devastatingly dangerous results. Photographer to the hip hop world Paul H and promoter Mr Play stood alongside me as we watched the horror unfolding before our eyes. We also popped into Club Ice where DJ EZ was killing the crowd doing what he does on the decks. After raving with Rampages Mike Anthony until 6am we stopped by the jerk chicken stall where we had an early breakfast before hitting our 5 star beds before the next days fun and frolics.
To rebalance my chav over dose the next night Sniper took us to uber fancy Japanese restaurant Nozomi which was outdoor, elevated and overlooked the sea. With an all white very classy bar and décor we sipped the finest cocktails, popped a gold bottle of ace of spades and nibbled on my favourite black cod and fancy food as Snipers business partner and old skool A&R GURU to the stars JACK Steven (Annie Lennox, sade etc) told us stories from the music world of yesteryear! Jack encouraged my guy to match him drink for drink. Clearly my guy obliged by knocking back cognac brandies and espressos in abundance and was so wired he was on a food hunt at 5am and then couldn’t sleep until 2 days later! The drinking continued at the Nissaki Lounge Bar by the beach where i got high on secondary smoke from everyone elses shi-sha!
The following night I was forced to watch a very boring world cup football final. SNORE. The end. Thankfully this was also ‘’ JET –SKI SUNDAY’’ where we all roared around the Cypriot coastline on high powered jet skis!.
On our last 2 DAYS Sniper had us pack an over night bag and took us to experience the nearby town of Limassol where we stayed at the Londa Hotels amazingly cute suites. That night all 6 of us piled into a huge, white Porsche cayenne stretch limo which took us to a fancy restaurant at the Columbia Plaza which houses the Columbia Steak House for a steak dinner. The venue had a live music area upstairs called the ‘7 SEAS’ where we all jumped onto the drums and piano as I did my best Mariah impression. No one was impressed lol.
The next morning Sniper took us to a diamond manufacturer where I had my not very expensive jewellery valued and we watched as precious stones were turned into all kinds of expensive merchandise. I sat in the huge vault for a minute. It was the closest I was ever going to get to being surrounded by diamonds and I was going to make the most of it!.
On our last night we heard Ms Dynamite was performing at Club Ice so we decided to brave the madness again and go down and surprise her. The club was heaving once again packed with young, naked holidayers on heat. Sniper hijacked the mic and performed some of the tracks from his newly formed 3fifty7 Group of Companies brand, including the Ayia Napa anthem with Drew Astro and Pump It Up that features his new artists Oxide and Neutrino-remember them?). The crowd loved his set and I was pretty impressed. Dj Masterstepz and promoter Mr play kept us amused with their funny comments and I was left speechless as I saw folks wearing t shirts that read ‘’dat gal will get dash down’’. Oh dear.
I was also horrified by an old white guy called Johnny. Apparently he’s infamous in Ayia Napa as ‘’Johnny loves black girls’’. He had on a disgusting slogan t shirt and a group of young black girls were even flanking him wearing his t shirts!. I could only feel pity for them as I thought ‘’lord forgive them for they know not what they do’’. Ms Dynamite took to the stage and did her thing like the true professional she is as the crowd sang alongside her word for word and South London’s finest started showing off their uk garage day moves! We finished the night taking a very hammered DJ Mastersteps to the jerk chicken joint where in his best patois accent he proceeded to coarse out the cooks!
The next morning we had a final champagne spray fight in the pool- yes- I was caught up by now in the foolishness- before being dragged off to the airport as certain peeps with me who didn’t want to leave had to practically have their fingers prized off the hotel door.
The conclusion? Cyrpus is a lovely island that can be either party central or more relaxed and classy depending on how you choose to spend your time. Both heaven and hell its a young, mad place that can be classy-but only if you know where to look! VIVA CYPRUS- IT WAS SPECIAL!.