Ink Series – Chano Mitchell

When I think of Chano – I think Last Card Torture, Kris Kross, Headlines & Raw Fish lol

Last Card Torture, Kriss Kross & Headlines are all childhood memories I share with my cuzzy having grown up together in Rarotonga with my siblings and his younger brother Yavana.

Ask my sister Talia who came off best playing Last Card Torture with Chano hahaha lets just say we stopped playing because it got a bit violent lol and everyone remembers Kris Kross right?  I’ll never forget my brother, Chano & Vana all rocking their clothes back to front like Kris Kross for a while – yes boys, you guys looked really cool wearing your clothes backwards!!! honest! 🙂  and yeah, it’s become a bit of a family joke about the time I thought I’d practise my hairdressing skills on both boys giving them headlines just like Bobby Brown – hey! we all thought they looked JUST LIKE Bobby Brown in the ‘Every Little Step’ video …… Aunty Salome (Chano’s Mum) not so much……  Chano took the beat down for that little stunt lol

Taking a trip down memory lane here – Chano’s to the left in the pink shorts.  Think he was trying to show his Queensland support even back then ….. pink/maroon – same/same lol

And now that we’ve all grown up – Chano makes THE best raw fish & I was gutted when he told me he was moving with his family to Brizzy – hello!  Where am I going to get my raw fish now?? lol!!   We all left Raro in 1993 but Chano and his family moved to Samoa whereas we moved back to New Zealand so it was really cool when we all ran into each other again after more than 5 years.  Turns out we also had mutual friends and that both boys were part of the Horsemen Family lol!  His younger brother Yavana has put out a few tracks with them under his artist name Rezoloot.  Chano makes awesome mixes – I have a couple of his 90s mixes and one of his reggae mixes that get continuous play even now 🙂   If you ask him nicely he might put some more of his mixes up on Soundcloud for download.  Follow him on Twitter @Riddim_Soundboi

Speaking of growing up – Chano has had quite a bit of ink done over the years:

LALOMANU – Final piece by Vico Sio

The original piece was done in prison in 2001 – he wanted it bigger, so eventually got it redone in July last year to what you see now.  Lalomanu in Samoa is the village he grew up in throughout his teenage years and where he got to learn the fa’a Samoa and how to speak Samoan (which is awesome btw – as an afakasi myself I’ve always wanted to be able to speak the language fluently)


This piece was also done in prison.  Chano got the idea from the “Dungeon Family” which consists of artists such as Outkast, Goodie Mob, Sleepy Brown, Cool Breeze…etc  He was fascinated with the forearm tattoo’s that the members had, so came up with the idea to get Dirty South done on his own forearms to represent South Auckland & his love for Outkast & Southern Hip Hop.  (Hip hop originating in the Southern States of the USA which is also known as the ‘Dirty South’)

SLEEVE – Robbie Teiho & Antz

The Sleeve was designed by Chano himself.  He wanted to create a sleeve the way he wanted it to look incorporating his own ethnic/cultural background with Samoan, Cook Island & Tahitian designs within it.

NECK – Vico Sio

Originally he wanted a Samoan Flag & a Cook Island Flag, with the Right & Left side of his neck bearing either one of the Flags. He gave ideas to his tattooist Vico Sio and he came up with a more traditional visual as you can see – same concept, with a more traditional look.

GLOVE – Vico Sio

Chano’s father (RIP) is Cook Island and his mother is Samoan so his glove represents this heritage.  Kuki (Cook Island) & Hamo (Samoan).  The piece on his hand was just something he wanted to try out as he hadn’t really seen a lot of people doing patterns on their hands so wanted to try something different.  In his words “most people are too scared to get their hands/fingers done, this just shows I am willing to tattoo anywhere on my body”

LION OF JUDAH – Leite Mauga

The Lion on the inside of his forearm represents Chano’s passion for Reggae Music – the Lion of Judah.  Christianinty symbolizes the Lion of Judah as Jesus.  There are other beliefs such as Rastafarinism that believe the Lion represents King Haile Selassie but his reason for getting the tatt is firmly based on the Christian principle & his love for REGGAE.

And lastly, Chano’s partner – the lovely Ms Tanya Brown has also shared her ink ….

TANYA – Vico Sio & Antz

Chano & Tanyas childrens names in ink on Tanyas back – Calais, Caprice & Monaro.   The vines symbolize unity between them. The kids are named after Holden Car Models in memory of Chano’s Dad.  When I asked him if his Dad was a Holden car enthusiast he replied “Yep the old man, was into Holdens, but the main reason is because the best memories I have of the old man was when we had this Green V8 VB Holden Commodore”

Nice cuz – thank you so much for sharing your ink stories with me 🙂

5 responses to “Ink Series – Chano Mitchell

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