Article originally published in Grazia Maroc on March 5th, 2021

MARRAKESH, MOROCCO – Despite the still raging health crisis and more or less closed borders, resilience is more relevant than ever. We learned in particular that Morocco was recently the scene of a new American film shoot. But not just any: it is the very first foreign science fiction film made in the country, more particularly in Marrakech and Ouarzazate.

Gino McKoy's LUMINA in Grazia magazine

Signed Gino Justin Hudson McKoy, the film “Lumina” unveils a nice cast, including renowned actors like Eric Roberts, the brother of Julia Roberts herself, Ken Lawson or Eleanor Williams. Crisscrossing the districts of the ocher city for weeks on end, the entire film crew benefited from the local hospitality and in particular from the Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa where she stayed. Scheduled for next summer, this “made in Morocco” film is the new gem of the talented Canadian director & screenwriter. Note that the sparkling and dynamic Gino McKoy is a complete artist. Because, he is not only a filmmaker, he is also a singer and musical producer of talent. A true enthusiast who says he is very excited to present his first feature film to the world.

At just 40 years old, it was as a family that he decided to put down his suitcases in Morocco to embark on this exciting adventure. Brilliantly mixing drama, science fiction and action, McKoy was largely inspired by the sumptuous landscapes of the Kingdom, especially in the desert for the frame of his film. To give you a taste: the story features a young college graduate whose girlfriend disappears in blinding lightning. Set off on his quest, he rushes into a dangerous network of distortions from another world… Note that most of the scenes alternate between the Atlas mountains and the Agafay desert. As a bonus, the director has surrounded himself with an essentially Moroccan team for the realization of his project. Apart from the cultural heritage, he was also very touched by the Moroccan hospitality, even forging beautiful friendships with some locals. Following his big heart for Marrakech, which he discovered for the very first time, he even plans to return there for his next shoots. In the meantime, we can’t wait to discover our red city in science fiction mode with the first images of this famous “Lumina”…

Italy’s premier music destination, MTV, now features Gino McKoy’s internationally acclaimed hit singles Sensy Girl, Everything to Me and Runaway. Stream today and check out the Sensy Girl music video. The songs will appear in Gino McKoy’s directorial feature film debut LUMINA, now in production and coming to a screen near you in 2021. 

Keep up to date on all the latest news, trailers, and release dates for the upcoming feature film LUMINA, written and directed by Gino McKoy, at the movie’s official website:




This article originally appeared on
Written by Michael Rand

“Pop aficionados have a lot to be excited about with Gino McKoy’s Lumina EP and its first single, the superb “Sensy Girl”…deliciously amped-up slow jam…this is the track that I would recommend above all others.”


LOS ANGELES: The sun peeks out from behind a dark planet, and in its rays we’re transported to a surreal, dreamlike environment that will serve as the visual backdrop in the music video for Gino McKoy’s new single “Sensy Girl.” Beautiful women, thick clouds of smoke, postmodern imagery that occasionally veers towards the disturbing; they’re all essential ingredients in this melting pot of hip-hop beats, R&B textures and sophisticated pop grooves. “Sensy Girl” isn’t an experimental endeavor per-say, but it is definitely one of the edgier hybrid singles that I’ve heard lately. McKoy’s debut EP Lumina (a companion disc for his upcoming sci-fi film) is chock-full of this caliber of content, but if you want to get a good idea of who he is as an artist, this is the track that I would recommend above all others.

The sun peeks out from behind a dark planet, and in its rays we’re transported to a surreal, dreamlike environment that will serve as the visual backdrop in the music video for Gino McKoy’s new single “Sensy Girl.” Beautiful women, thick clouds of smoke, postmodern imagery that occasionally veers towards the disturbing; they’re all essential ingredients in this melting pot of hip-hop beats, R&B textures and sophisticated pop grooves. “Sensy Girl” isn’t an experimental endeavor per-say, but it is definitely one of the edgier hybrid singles that I’ve heard lately. McKoy’s debut EP Lumina (a companion disc for his upcoming sci-fi film) is chock-full of this caliber of content, but if you want to get a good idea of who he is as an artist, this is the track that I would recommend above all others.

This music video is very stylish, and I think that it lives up to the erudite production quality of the music wonderfully. That said, as intriguing as the on-screen visual sequence is, its intricate construction still pales in comparison to that of the master mix. There’s so much detail to behold within each of the instrumental elements in this song, from the percussion to the synths and beyond, that it could be considered a little overwhelming to some (and legitimately marvelous to the rest of us). A lot of work went into making the levels just right in this single, and it’s no doubt the reason for its magnificent chill-factor, which has thus far gone unrivaled in the summer of 2019.

McKoy’s lead vocal is so sensuous from the jump, and it introduces an external R&B flavor to the somewhat rough n’ tumble hip-hop rhythm. This helps “Sensy Girl” to sound really balanced, which has been an issue for some of the more surreal output that I’ve been seeing out of the American underground this month. Diamond lays out some ambitious verses of his own in this track, but there’s never any question as to whose show this really is. I hope this isn’t the last time that they work together, because between the two of them, they bring a wealth of talent into the studio that could be further exploited in even more experimental ways than it is in this deliciously amped-up slow jam.

Pop aficionados have a lot to be excited about with Gino McKoy’s Lumina EP and its first single, the superb “Sensy Girl,” and while the mainstream has been producing mixed results across the board this summer, indie artists like McKoy and Diamond have been turning out the gems like no one else can. The late 2010’s have been a very eclectic and transitional period for pop music, and though the era hasn’t been devoid of hit-makers (quite the opposite, really), I have a feeling that we’re about to see something wholeheartedly evolved as the 2020’s come into focus just a matter of months from now. Gino McKoy is demonstrating a knack for busting out sensational beats on command in his virgin studio recordings, and that’s going to go a long way towards establishing his brand as among the more elite in R&B heading into the next decade.

This article originally appeared on NeuFutur
Written by: James McQuiston

MAGNOLIA, AR: Sensy Girl is an effort that refreshes the R&B effort of performers like Sean Kingston and Jason Derulo. The blending of reggae and synth-pop ensures that fans will be lured out to the dance floor. A strong production ensures that the song will interest on a variety of levels. A robust tempo is precisely what will keep interest in Sensy Girl high throughout the single. We’d love to hear more from McKoy in the future, as there has been a decided lack in the sunny, Island-infused pop singles over the course of the last few years.

This article originally appeared in Indie Source Magazine
Written by Anne Hollister

“Gino McKoy embraces excess in this brand-new bolt of lyrical lightning…the preeminent R&B dance track of the summer…a boldly stimulating video…the product of disciplined songcraft…artistic originality…impressive…I can’t wait to hear more…a haunting vocal harmony.”​


Vague strands of a synthesized melody are waiting to greet us at the start of Gino McKoy’s “Sensy Girl,” but they won’t stay subtle in this song for very long. Suddenly, a churning vortex of rhythm opens up at the center of the track and pulls everything within its reach asunder. An enormous bassline thrashes us from the left while the explosive synths form a wall of harmonies on the right. We’re in the eye of the storm, listening as this monolithic composition takes shape before our very ears, and though it has been a big year for minimalism in almost every corner of the pop music world, Gino McKoy embraces excess in this brand new bolt of lyrical lightning, and comes up with what might be the preeminent indie R&B dance track of the summer. He’s joined by rapper Diamond in one of the song’s more memorable refrains, and while I wasn’t familiar with either of these artists prior to seeing the boldly stimulating video for “Sensy Girl” just this past week, to say that I’ve become a fan would be an understatement of epic proportions.


The video’s images are steeped in an almost noir-like darkness that alludes to the menacing nature of the track’s bassline, which is ironically one of its most sterling attributes. There’s a lot of implied danger in its swaggering strut, not to mention a constant sense of urgency; we get the feeling that time is of the essence in the conflicted grind of “Sensy Girl,” and yet the verses – Diamond’s included – are distributed with total patience. This single, and especially the music video, don’t look or sound like the work of amateurs nor rookie recording artists trying to make a name for themselves in a cutthroat industry; if anything, they appear to be the product of disciplined songcraft, and moreover, artistic originality that has been cultivated over decades rather than months. It’s an impressive early outing for Gino McKoy, and based on the strength of the songs that “Sensy Girl” sits beside in the tracklist of his EP Lumina, soundtrack to the film of the same name, my gut tells me that this is going to be but the first of many acclaimed independent hits in his career.

I can’t wait to hear more from this artist as he develops his sound a little more. This track leaves behind a haunting vocal harmony that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since my initial listening session, but even with that being the case, I’m not convinced that McKoy is giving us everything he’s got here. There’s still a lot of untapped potential in this young star, and if “Sensy Girl” is in fact only a limited sampling of what he could do in the right kind of studio setting, then the sky is the limit in regards to what he could do next. I see a full-length album coming from this man by 2020, but even if it takes him a little longer than most to put together a complete LP, I’ll be awaiting its arrival in record stores just the same.


This article originally appeared in IndiePulse Music Magazine
Written by Mindy McCall

SANTA MARIA CA: Like a rising tide on a sun-stained beach, the synth melodies that open up Gino McKoy’s “Sensy Girl” are intimidatingly large once they find their footing in this incredible new single from the Lumina soundtrack. The video for the song plays out more like an art house film than it does your standard pop video, and though the highbrow stylization is entrancing, and more often than not, sexually-charged, it doesn’t devolve into complete avant-gardism for even a second. “Sensy Girl” is a soulful R&B ballad that has been injected with a shot of clubby adrenaline, but no matter what context it’s consumed in, its eruptive beats will have anyone within earshot moving to the grooves in a way that only the finest pop music can.

McKoy circles us like a shark preparing to feed on some fresh meat, but his eager attack isn’t assaultive nor so aggressive that the melodicism of the instruments ends up drowned out by all of his swagger. Diamond stops by for a ripping rap solo in the refrain from the second chorus, and while he contributes a layer of tension to follow-up on the cathartic climax, his verses don’t change the consistent flow of the track at all. The fluidity of this composition is amazing, and arguably just as memorable a quality as any of the actual musical textures are. Too many of McKoy’s peers are staying away from ambitious, multidimensional mixes like that of “Sensy Girl,” and personally I think that they could stand to learn something from this pair’s experimental take on a classic formula.

The hook in the chorus has a hard swing, and like the intro to the song, comes out of nowhere with a muscularity that is a breath of fresh air in this summer of muted bass and drum discord. I haven’t seen Lumina, McKoy’s official screen debut, yet, but if it’s as mind-bending aesthetically as the music video for “Sensy Girl” is, it’s going to make for a really engrossing treat this year. The saturated colors that we see in the shots comprising its three minute-running time are evocative in their own right, and when you add in the eroticized harmonies that McKoy and Diamond pile on in the music, we’re presented with something that looks beyond the limitations of genre into the progressive future of both songwriting and cinema alike.

“Sensy Girl” concludes with a chilling whisper from its lead singer, but the sway of its synthesized grooves remain in the atmosphere until the track is played once again. If there is a statement that Gino McKoy is trying to make in this single, it’s that he is ready to take over the primetime stage, and in that spirit, he’s willing to do whatever he has to in order to make his dreams come true. I sense a lot of determination in this young man, a lot of inventiveness and, most of all, a strain of talent that can’t be practiced into existence. His music is worthy of all the hype that it’s been garnering this summer, and for a relative unknown, that’s a big deal in itself.

This article originally appeared on IMMAI
Written by Clay Burton

“Sheer sonic magic…Sensy Girl is darkly decadent – a white-hot slice of R&B.”

Gino McKoy blends elements of melodic hip-hop with a funky club beat

RENO, NV: In “Sensy Girl,” the cornerstone track of the all-new extended play Lumina, Gino McKoy blends elements of melodic hip-hop with a funky club beat and a fluid rap from guest star Diamond to produce sheer sonic magic in a summer that has been leaving a lot to be desired among fans of urban pop. McKoy comes out of the gate hard in this single and its accompanying music video, but his vocal delivery is anything but rushed or unfocused; on the contrary, he exudes a relaxed, confident demeanor that adds to the mood of his harmonies tremendously.

The dual-attack of soft serenades and fierce, spitfire rapping that McKoy and Diamond offer up in “Sensy Girl” creates a lot of exciting tension that is slowly released over the course of the song. Although this track is built on the foundation of the melodic verses that our star is dishing out so effortlessly, his performance never overshadows that of his collaborator here; their chemistry is genuine, unforced and exactly what this single needed to be more than just another sweet groove with a scooped mix. The physicality element is there on the instrumental side, but without these two masters of the mic up front, “Sensy Girl” wouldn’t be nearly as engaging as it ultimately is.

I found the percussive backbone in this track to be just as expressive a component as the lyrical content is. There’s a lot of texture to these beats, more than I’ve heard out of the mainstream this season for sure, and they echo the emotionality that we’re getting in the verses beautifully. There’s no unutilized space in this mix, and from a compositional perspective, “Sensy Girl” is definitely among the smarter crossover R&B/hip-hop singles that I’ve had the pleasure of taking a look at this July.

There’s an argument to be made that this song was built for the club crowd just as much as it was the casual pop fan, and personally I think that it satisfies both parties quite sufficiently. A remix with a slightly beefier bass might make for better dancefloor fodder, but in general, McKoy’s sizzling vocal vibes combined with the throttling drum pattern in the background should be enough to seduce most listeners into swinging their hips (particularly in the chorus) in cadence with the beat. The darkly decadent music video for “Sensy Girl” is a bit artsier by contrast with its slickly-produced source material, but I actually found it to be a more concisely-designed interpretation of its song’s lyrics than similarly-stylized videos have been in recent years.

Gino McKoy delivers the goods in the white-hot slice of R&B that is “Sensy Girl,” and I have a feeling that it’s only a taste of what’s to come next in his burgeoning young career.Lumina, much like the independent film that it soundtracks, is a daring EP that pushes a lot of aesthetical boundaries that other artists in McKoy’s peer group have shied away from experimenting with, and if he can continue to expand upon the blueprint that he’s set forth in his debut and this stunning single/video combo, he’s going to be in for a long and successful career to say the least.

July 15, 2019
This article originally appeared on Indie Music Reviews
Written by Jamie Morse

Gino McKoy is a newcomer to the entertainment business, but he’s sounding like a seasoned pro in “Sensy Girl,” one of the featured songs from his forthcoming film debut Lumina and star single of its soundtrack. “Sensy Girl” is a smooth cocktail of hip-hop and urban pop, and although it employs similar themes to what one might find when browsing mainstream R&B tracks this summer, it by no means blends into the crowd. Both the music video and the song itself are elegantly produced and undeniably evocative on multiple fronts, which isn’t usually the case for a first timer in this medium.

The bassline in this track is larger than life, but it’s curbed by a well-defined EQ that prevents the low-end tonality from spilling into overindulgent territory. McKoy was wise to take a conservative approach to this mix – his vocal is such a strong entity in its own right that, were there any more of an instrumental presence in the chorus, we might not have been able to appreciate the depth of his range as a singer. His execution is relaxed but always on-point, and there’s scarcely a moment where he sounds unrehearsed or out of sync with the beat.

This mix is quite refined, but there are a couple of elements (namely the synth parts) that have a slightly abrasive texture that I suspect was deliberately left as-is. If there’s one thing that I hate more than anything else in a rookie single, it’s creative overcompensation, but McKoy never tries to varnish over his rough edges in this song; contrarily, he celebrates them. This alone makes “Sensy Girl” sound and feel honest, organic and a lot more tangible than the artificial nonsense that some of his closest rivals in the underground would try to sell audiences.

Whether we’re watching the cerebral music video or just listening to the song in its standard form on the Lumina EP, the main attention-grabber is always the mammoth pop hook that holds everything together in “Sensy Girl” like superglue. The video dabbles in mild psychedelia and drops some understated references to the motion picture that inspired it, but as spellbinding as its shots are, the music is what keeps us on the edge of our seats more than anything else. This is a potently melodic means of introducing himself to the world, but judging from the way that Gino McKoy carries himself here, it’s just a glimpse at what he has in store for fans in the future.

Hip-hop and R&B are at critical junctures in their individual (but equally storied) histories, and I don’t think there’s any debate about whether or not both genres are going to be defined by underground artists like McKoy and Diamond as the 2010s come to a close. “Sensy Girl” is a provocative piece that amalgamates some of the most treasured elements of the two styles into a singular sonic force to be reckoned with, which is something that many songwriters have tried to do in the last couple of decades, but few – if any at all – have been able to actually pull off.

This article originally appeared on
Written by Randy Radic

HOLLYWOOD: Gino McKoy is a rarity, a multi-talented visionary with the innate gifts to make an impact on not only music but also on Hollywood. He’s a singer-songwriter, screenwriter, film director, and producer.

McKoy’s latest music video, “Sensy Girl,” featuring Diamond, was produced by David Kershenbaum and McKoy, and mixed by 15-time Grammy-winner Mick Guzauski. According to McKoy, the song is a “celebration of women and music everyone can listen and dance to.”

His forthcoming sci-fi horror film Lumina, distributed by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures/Freestyle Releasing, will be appearing on 2,500 theaters across North America, followed by Little Mizz Innocent, both films written, directed, and produced by McKoy.

If that’s not enough, McKoy is funneling 20% of the merchandising revenue from “Sensy Girl” into his crisis charity for women and children, Kinder Krisis, a reflection of McKoy’s motto: “God put you here, not only to help yourself but to help others.”

CelebMix sat down with Gino McKoy to find out how someone from Trinidad and Tobago forges a path to success in music and feature films.

How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?

Been surrounded by it for my entire life. My first musical memory was the world steel band competition aka Panorama in Trinidad and Tobago at the age of three. My father is a musician/composer and a big music and steelband enthusiast and my mom was a singer and sang in school and church, she also has a great ear for music. But back to what I was saying, we parked up at night outside of Queens Park Savannah in Port of Spain during the Trinidad and Tobago carnival season and listened to the competition. The notes echoed with that slight island breeze. One of my earliest memories of music.

Of course listening to my South American Jewish grandfather (dad’s dad) play classical or listening to Michael Jackson at the age of four, turned me onto music. Not to mention my mom was a singer and also came from a musical family, my father also had a band in Halifax, Nova Scotia when we first moved to Canada from the age of four and up. So I constantly heard music. Started mimicking opera singers around 7, while still listening to classical (favorite was Bach, on harpsichord) Michael, Madonna, GNR, U2, Rakim and local artists from the Caribbean.

But my real start came when I was in my late teens when I sang covers and hooks for local artists looking for R&B artists to sing on their hip-hop tracks or dancehall tracks. In between those years I couldn’t really find a vocal coach I liked or trusted, so it was just my raw talent tbh. Until around 12th grade I enrolled in music class at high school and the teacher said I was talented and should pursue singing professionally. After that I went on to sing at work events, weddings, talent shows at University of Toronto where I graduated from, etc. Eventually I found a vocal trainer, Marat Maxutov, a very talented Russian vocal coach out of Mississauga school of music. He trained me for the next 7-8 years and I refined my raw talent. That really prepared me for the next step into mainstream music.

When I met Nick Blagona at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga (some of the biggest artists in music history have recorded out of there), I was mastering an album with covers to present to labels. He heard my voice and said he wanted to work with me as he was also a mastering engineer out of that studio. He was excited when he heard we had original material my father had composed going back to the 80s. So the strong melodies were there in the original compositions, but it needed a Producer to arrange and really bring out the best of it. We recorded the album at Ocean Studios in Burbank but Nick fell ill shortly after. He said I needed to be in LA and once I was in LA, I knew God led me there – that was my path. David Kershenbaum eventually took over the music and re-produced it after I wasn’t satisfied with the mixes done by Grammy-award winning Mixing Engineer Dexter Simmons. I met David through his friend Rick Stone, a well-known radio promoter in LA, because his former assistant who I met crashing a red carpet event in Beverly Hills’s heard my songs and referred me to Rick. After Rick heard the songs, he put me on to David. David eventually incorporated legendary talents like Greg Phillinganes (Michael Jackson’s former Arranger and musical director, whose mother happens to be from Tobago, surprisingly), Bernie Grundman, Mick Guzauski and Bob Clearmountain involved along the way. That took the music to the next level and set me up for this EP release. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have a great attorney that also believes in my talent be there as well, in Lee Phillips, who some may know as the attorney who repped Michael Jackson, the Eagles and Irving Azoff to name a few. Lee heard my talent and saw my ideas to amalgamate film and music and chose to represent me going forward. Lee helped us secure worldwide publishing with BMG from the Global Head of BMG in Berlin. We hope to have a great partnership going forward in the future. However, there’s a story between all of this which you will see below.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

If I tell you, I will have to kill you, LOL. Just kidding. But let’s just say this, had I not had strong parents who were there for me and my grandmother (mom’s mom, I released my EP with the “Sensy Girl” music video on her bday, June 14th) who was like a mother to me was also there for me, I probably would not be where I am right now; thank God I am and I’m happy I chose the right path.

What are the three things you can’t live without?

God. My parents. Music and film.

What’s your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?

Tough one, “Human Nature” – Michael Jackson and “Mysterious Ways” – U2.

What musicians/vocalists influenced you the most?

Michael Jackson, I had the doll, lol. Whitney and Madonna – the songwriters, melodies everything really, just like Michael. U2- one of my first music DVDs was “Rattle and Hum.” U218 is always on repeat for me. GNR – Appetite For Destruction, Use Your Illusion, both volumes, Slash on guitar, Axl’s unique vocals. Phil Collins and Elton John – between the two of them, it’s hard not to love ballads. Rakim – changed the rap game, his style was so unique and his message. Billy Ocean – Suddenly to “Caribbean Queen.” Super Blue – Trinidadian artist (calypso and soca) the rhythm and vibe. Super Cat – dancehall. Pearl Jam – Ten and Vs. “Alive” spoke to me. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

How did you go from singer-songwriter to screenwriter/film producer?

Before we met David, we met a number of people in the music and film industry, when we moved to LA. Sadly most were not honest and didn’t appreciate my vision of doing live music. Some label executives said it was too alternative, some said you need to sing R&B or Euro-pop and go all synth music. I personally loved the old school strong melodies my father and I wrote and as Michael Jackson has said, “Melody is king …” I wasn’t going to drop our great songs. It was a real struggle after that as many tried to push me into a corner despite seeing my talent. I didn’t give up, we as a family didn’t give up. We gave up everything in Canada to move to LA to pursue my dream and our dream to do music. We put all of our money into it and lost a lot of it, at a time we hit rock bottom, with a lot of our family turning their backs saying we should leave the entertainment industry. Despite the fact we supported them unconditionally in what they pursued. Our backs were against the wall, so I came up with an idea. And we built ourselves back up in the process to get to this point.

Growing up, I always wrote poetry and short stories, despite never really loving English class. Yeah it’s quite the contradiction. But I came up with an idea: I will write my own movie and put my songs in the movie soundtrack, so I won’t have to be subjected to others trying to get me to sing something else and I’m in control of my music career and the music I choose to put out. Plus I won’t have to worry about labels not signing me because they didn’t believe in the music, despite some notable producers saying it takes time and money to release that quality of music that we made.

So I wrote, Little Mizz Innocent, based on our song by the same name that will be released at a future date. Wrote it in 2 weeks, I never wrote a script before but I read a lot of James Cameron, Michael Mann and George Lucas’s scripts before I wrote LMI. Sadly, a lot of what I wrote was stolen and used by other films in the industry because the movie went into development hell, as they refer to it in the film industry. A few examples of that were when I was the first writer in Hollywood to write about the deep web and bit coin. That circulated throughout Hollywood for many years, so contrary to popular belief, I was the first to write about it in a feature film script, which of course I have proof of because it was registered with the Writers Guild of America. But you live and learn and get stronger and avoid trying to get blacklisted, despite the discrimination and the other fun stuff that comes with it. And once your film doesn’t release right away, ideas get taken. However, that did not stop me, delayed but not discouraged, it was a baptism of fire I had to pass through and learn about to get to this point. The sacrifices artists make to get their music heard and appreciated. It turned out that I was the only music artist to do this and play so many roles. You see artists like Donald Glover now, but I was ahead of the curve by many years, as I’ve been told. Because I created the film as a vehicle for my music and wanted that autonomy. The idea was born out of wanting the music to have a fair chance to be heard by the world.

What was the inspiration for your forthcoming Sci-fi horror movie Lumina?

I grew up a Star Wars fan, huge Stars Wars fan, still am a Star Wars fan and George Lucas fan, so much so, my grandfather (moms dad) called me The Jedi. Simply because I watched all the episodes every day since I can remember myself. I was also reading the Star Wars books at around the age of 3 and a half, my mom made sure to record me on cassette. She still has that cassette.

I wanted to experiment with alien abductions, and chase sequences.

Well after the delays on LMI, I was in Florida visiting my uncle who is a vet out in Bradenton, I decided to write Lumina and see if I could keep the storyline really contained, the polar opposite of LMI. I managed to do that. I’ve always had inspiration for sci-fi, it’s my niche genre which I love, I wrote a trilogy many years prior to Lumina, I hope to produce in the near future. It’s a topic that sci-fi movies haven’t explored yet and I hope to explore it and get it on the big screen. Lumina will also be my first feature film that I will be directing, so I will be making my directorial debut. As I did on both “Sensy Girl” and “The Everything To Me” music video which will be released later this year. No to mention we have secured a wide release in North America with Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures/Freestyle. Releasing with Byron Allen’s company to 2500 plus screens to all major theaters in 2020. Something that was termed a watershed moment in their history and maybe less than 1% of producers secure this type of theatrical distribution. So our hard work and struggles did pay off after all.

Your new music video – “Sensy Girl” – is hella-cool. How did you hook up with Diamond?

Thank you, that means a lot. Diamond and I have been friends since my first year of university, we actually did another collab together which is equally as great but needs to be re-produced, it got traction in Toronto and the Caribbean but never broke through. I think we want to change that after “Sensy Girl,” God willing it blows up internationally. Diamond is originally from Tobago, so we have an understanding and have been friends for quite some time.

What’s the story behind the title, “Sensy Girl?”

Diamond and I were hanging out or as we say in Trinidad (limin) one day in Toronto and we talked about that no songs had women and ganja, Diamond said why not “Ganja Girl.” I said that’s too on the nose, not catchy enough, “Sensy Girl” sounds better and is catchier, he loved it. We wanted to highlight the ladies because too many songs were focused on men. Sensimilla as you know is the female strain of the ganja plant, but has no seeds and is the feminine strain. So it worked perfectly and Sensy is a slang word used in Trinidad and Tobago to identify marijuana.

What is your songwriting process? Does the music come first and then the lyrics?

Depends, my dad and I like to joke that we are a Bernie Taupin and Elton John combo because Elton is one of his all-time favs. We compose together and I do a lot of the lyrics, unless dad already has lyrics, I make changes and also work with him and the producer and musicians. We don’t have a set way as such but a lot of the songs originate from the piano. “With Sensy Girl,” I was playing with guitar riffs with my uncle who’s a drummer and that gave me the melody for the hook. I produced a rough track in Toronto and then went to David Kershenbaum and we produced it together in two studios in LA. Dad also had input and worked on that track but it was mainly myself. We like experimenting in the studio and with different mixes and also prefer the minimalist approach but sometimes you need those layers for that full sound. I also never use auto-tune on my voice. We prefer going live and some mixtures or synth, but with “Sensy” it’s a different vibe.

I write poetry, so at times once I hear the harmonies and melodies words come to my mind, or vice versa. I hope to be recognized for my versatility because we write everything, as you can see the singles on the EP are three distinct genres.

You founded Kinder Krisis, a crisis charity for women and children. What is the charity’s primary objective?

Getting kids and women out of dangerous and impoverished situations. Lynda, who’s my mom and President of Goldove, volunteered a lot throughout her life, orphanages etc. I got a good example from her growing up. My motto is “God put you here, not only to help yourself but to help others.” So we started KK, and we are hoping to do an official launch with money raised by the end of this year to start helping kids, women and give back. For us it’s not about image or anything else superficial, we just want to know we can make a positive difference and we know the money is going to the people we need to help. The legendary Christopher Plummer also said he supports our charity, which was great as well.

What’s next for you? More music? Another movie?

Where do I begin. Securing radio play for “Sensy,” and “ETM” and “Runaway.” Releasing those music videos, “ETM” is shot and looks amazing as well. “Runaway” I’m still planning. Securing TV performances and also heading into shooting Lumina in Greece. Once that’s complete we will be finishing the album for release, with all music videos to follow. Tour etc., and then comes my slate of films. After Lumina is Spidersweb, a sci-fi film I wrote with Michael Sloan, who is the EP, producer and creator of Equalizer and Equalizer 2 with Denzel Washington. I will be directing his next feature and doing title tracks and the score, etc. for that. Then LMI and a number of other secret projects I can’t reveal as yet. Some will definitely catch the eye of the top media sources. All in all, I am excited to tour eventually and we have 40 more songs ready to be produced and released, plus I have a lot of writers pitching to me. So we want to unleash the music catalogue because streaming as everyone knows has changed the way music fans consume music.

Sensy Girl Music Video


July 3, 2019
This article originally appeared on Pop Spotlight

LONDON: Any artist looking to change the game knows you’ve got to have an eye for the big picture and maintain a constant lay of the land. Gino McKoy has made big moves within the music and movie industries, beginning with his first-ever original composition getting played at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He’s turned Goldove, his music, film & fashion conglomerate, into an international force to be reckoned with. He’s not only a singer/songwriter but also a talented film and music video director, screenwriter and film producer.

Rarely does a combination like this come along in the entertainment industry – Gino McKoy is the exception to this rule. His upcoming independent sci-fi horror film LUMINA will be released Nationwide to 2,500-plus screens in North America. The feature film is being distributed in US by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures/Freestyle Releasing and Worldwide theatrically with Filmnation. This will be followed by a release on all streaming video on demand platforms like Netflix.

Gino McKoy’s latest video is for “Sensy Girl,” one of three original tracks on the Lumina soundtrack. It’s the perfect embodiment of how this son of Trinidad and Tobago and Toronto thinks huge while keeping a lock on the tiniest of details. Not to mention it was Produced by the legendary music producer, David Kershenbaum with Gino McKoy and mixed by the legendary Mick Guzauski, a 15 time Grammy award winner, who has mixed over 25 #1 Billboard hits in his musical career. Also to note, Gino McKoys father and mother are seasoned performers, whose combined pedigree includes everything from Caribbean music to Classical.

Last we checked, there were roughly one million songs about guys getting lifted. Gino isn’t one to walk well-beaten paths, so he and collaborator Diamond thought, Why isn’t there a positive, soulful anthem about women and weed? It started with a guitar riff and ended with a classic yet modern R&B track that showcases Gino McKoy’s natural songwriting talent, classical voice training, and Diamond’s lyrical flow. It only made sense to write a song about these goddesses in the context of Sensimilla – the female strain of the weed plant, and specifically, its Caribbean nickname. Gino McKoy makes “Sensy Girl” his own, in this sexy, uplifting jam that’s heavy on the bounce, with a killer synth line and intricate, hooky beat. In his own words, it’s a “celebration of women and music everyone can listen and dance to.”

A man who has always put his money where his mouth is, Gino is putting 20% of the merchandising revenue for “Sensy Girl” into his new women and children’s charity, Kinder Crisis. The track is also something of a theme song for one of the strong female leads in LUMINA, who definitely matches that positive description of a Sensy Girl.

The song’s unique angle, with its focus upon women, required a careful, cinematic approach to shoot. He and his team used vintage lenses, for a grainy, classic look. The raw, industrial, urban space is bare, so all eyes stay on the women and the generous clouds of silky smoke that envelop them as they exhale.

It’s Nouveau Chic, but with old-school visual effects, akin to the approach he took with Lumina. To make the visuals even more striking, Gino McKoy not only Directed and wrote the treatment for the music video but he also recruited Chris Jensen, the mind behind the color grading for the live-action Aladdin, M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, and Ready Player One. Check out the stunning video for “Sensy Girl,” and see if you catch a little otherworldly nod to LUMINA in there.