PARIS “HUMBLE KIDD” COUTAIN wants to be more than the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. While he hopes to do or be a part of a reboot of the famous 90s hit, his biggest dream is to provide a home for his mother, Sherry Ann Devenish and his two brothers. Coutain, 16, hopes to one day be internationally and locally known as a rapper, singer and all-round entertainer. He recognised that he had a love for singing and performing from as early as six-years-old.
This, Devenish said in the face-to-face interview at Newsday, was around the late singer and entertainer, Michael Jackson, died. He would often mimic and perform the late entertainer's songs.
“I first noticed he was into the acting and the dancing around the time Michael Jackson died. He started dancing and shortly after that he started doing videos,” Devenish said.
A visit to Facebook, YouTube or Instagram will show the young entertainer doing short skits called sneaking out of the house, or what single people do on Valentine’s Day. These are often done based on his real life interactions.
While Coutain writes his own comedic material, does his own shooting and video editing, he is mentored by Learie Joseph. He described the comedian as being one of his biggest inspirations.
He first met him at around five or six of age at an event at Holy Cross College, Arima. “And as I saw him I ran up to him one time and I asked him for a picture.”
Coutain said Joseph asked the crowd about singing and he then ran up on the stage and sang. He then asked for Joseph’s number but lost it.
He saw him years later but reconnected with Joseph this year. Coutain told Joseph that he had a competition to get ready for and Joseph came to his Oropune Gardens home and assisted him.
Coutain said, “I went to a show of his and for somebody to walk on a stage and just start to laugh and have the whole crowd dying already...most people think comedy is something easy like that but that is very hard to do. Not everybody could do that and I admire that a whole lot.”
Coutain said he would watch the DVDs of Joseph’s shows and act it out. Joseph, he said, now mentors him and has become like an uncle to him.
Besides Joseph, he draws his comedic inspiration from international comedians like Eddie Murphy, Kevin Hart, Jim Carrey, the late Robin Williams, Jerry Trainor and Liza Koshy but especially Will Smith.
One of his video re-enacts scenes from Smith’s The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. His comedic action easily brings the actor back to mind. He tagged Smith but did not get a response but hopes to meet the star and work with him some day.
For Coutain, the stage is his second home and the studio, his third. He shares an equal love for the arts of acting and music. As a current student of both theatre arts and music at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level, the St Joseph College student hopes to one day attend Juilliard School.
Juilliard is a performing arts conservatory located in the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts, Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York. The conservatory trains undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music.
He got the chance to visit school when he went to New York for the funeral of his grandfather, the late Robert Devenish in March last year. Hearing that the late Robin Williams also attended Juilliard made his desire to attend even stronger.
Coutain did his first video at the age of 12 or 13 uploading it to short-form video hosting service, Vine.
He is also soon to do his first studio produced song and it will be a groovy soca. The young entertainer has begun preparing his path by entering the National School’s Soca Monarch competition as well as a scholarship competition of talented teenagers at Central Bank auditorium this July in which he placed fourth. He was also part of a duo from the Oropune Youth Club who wrote and performed the jingle for the Commissioner’s Cup Football Tournament.
And while all of these things are great dreams for Coutain, his biggest dream is to “make sure my mother is comfortable in her big house and thing,” he said.
He has been promoting his work on the social media platforms, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.