A French DJ, who will be playing an open-air set from Fort Regent tomorrow, has opened up about the parts of Jersey that are music to his ears, and how moving to the island helped him to "fully become myself".
Better known as DJ Stefunk, Stefan Rousseau is responsible for sending beats through town on Funky Fridays at Charing Cross, as well as performing sets at local pubs, clubs and events, as well as hosting movie nights.
He first visited the Rock 21 years ago, and says his passion for local life has grown ever since. Then, in May 2005, he made the big move from Provence, and hasn't looked back.
Unfortunately, the virus crisis has led to some difficulty for the cultural cool-cat, but he's still looking on the bright side.
Pictured: Stefan spinning at an event. (Kazen Creative)
"With the current situation, obviously my sole-trading business is suffering, as my job is to gather people, which is impossible at the moment. But this is not going to stop me!"
He has instead started streaming online on Music.je and on Facebook, while tomorrow, he'll be performing a physically distant DJ set from the top of Fort Regent to celebrate Liberation 75.
Ahead of sharing five things he loves about living in Jersey, he commented: "I am grateful to be able to publicly express my love for Jersey after it gave me so much and allowed me to fully become myself, which would have been impossible in France…"
Jersey residents, more often than not, finally realise their luck to live in such an amazingly stunning place, after travelling.
And this is a Frenchman from Provence (still the biggest touristic region in the world and another drop dead gorgeous place) that says so.
Pictured: St. Ouen gives Stefan a special appreciation for the natural environment.
Jersey has given me this link with nature that overcrowded Provence kind of took away, and St. Ouen - its beauty, its waves, its fauna, its incredible sunset - is still my favourite place even after 15 years of weekly visits (and daily in the summer).
2. The amazing cosmopolitan community
The people and their diversity is also what makes Jersey such a vibrant and pleasant place to live on (or in... not sure!).
I have met people from all over the world from all cultures that I had never been exposed to before.
Pictured: Stefan appreciates the mix of cultures in Jersey, describing it as "vibrant".
Avignon is also a very cosmopolitan place, but mostly through tourism, not its residents - and this makes all the difference.
The fact of living on a small island creates strong bonds and connections between people, as we all share the same limited but fantastic resources. This is why I am very proud to call Jersey my home, without a second thought.
3. It is a land of opportunity for entrepreneurs
Even though obviously limited in some aspects, the fact that Jersey is essentially a small-sized town run like a country opens many possibilities that are not possible in a normal sized country.
Pictured: Stefan appreciates the open attitude to entrepreneurs and new business ideas.
The Anglo-Saxon attitude to entrepreneurs is much more understanding and opens avenues for motivated people to do their own thing, where most other countries would not even try to do so.
This enabled me to realise myself in a sector that is overloaded in my home country and my life has been deeply changed for the better by this chance for which I am so appreciative.
4. It is a hotbed of creativity in all domains
Similarly - and despite a now misplaced reputation for deep conservatism - Jersey is obviously a place where artists and creative in all domains feel at ease to do what they feel the need to do.
Pictured: Creativity thrives on the island, according to Stefan.
There is an unbelievable array of real talent in the arts, music, entertainment, food, original and quirky niche sectors for such a small island and I find that very stimulating and exciting, as you never know what new idea will next be popping up on the island.
This is the other reason why I put together my Dj Stefunk and Cinestef dream projects, which I carried with me since my adolescence but never really thought I would be able to turn into a reality.
I remember sending the 'Jersey from the Air' DVD to my grandmother, who struggled to understand not only where but also what was Jersey, as she had never really left her paradise place in Avignon (another place with a lot of history and quirkiness, as the Popes were living there before going to the Vatican).
Her reaction was priceless: 'Is it English? Why is it so close to France and not French? Was Napoleon there? Why so many castles to protect it from French invasions? What is this place where you live?'
Pictured: Stefan's grandmother's curiosity about the island inspired him to learn more about its unique history.
Since then, I discovered much more about this unbelievable small rock with so much history attached to it - from the Ice Age exhibition to Dolmens, Witchcraft and other folklores, to the New Jersey, the Jersey cows and Royals, to Victor Hugo, to the Occupation and Liberation that is gathering us this weekend, to The Monty Python... and, finally, we have one of the fastest internet network on the planet.
There is so much more to be done and marks in the history of the world to leave.
Pictured top: Stefan captured by Britta Marie Photography.
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