Thursday, August 30, 2007

WE Feature - Tessanne Chin

by Karen L. Richardson

When Tessanne Chin pelts out her deep and soulful lyrics, every listener is moved by her beautiful voice. She is an emerging solo phenomenon out of Jamaica doing her music, her way.

Tessanne was born to Richard and Christine Chin in October 1984. She says, the decision to pursue music was inevitable. “They have been nothing but supportive and I love them and cherish them for that,” said Chin. Her parents, both musicians were members of a band called The Carnations, where her mother defied convention as one of the first female trumpeters on the island. Her parents support for the musical careers of their children extended to building a studio in the family house for their daughters to record.

The entire family is musical. She is the younger sister and best friend of fellow vocalist Tami Chynn. “It has been an amazing experience for both of us. We're each other’s biggest fans and we love the fact that we are in this together. It's a huge blessing to be able to talk to someone who knows first hand about the ups and downs of the business, but to have that someone be your sis? What more could you ask for?” said Tessanne. The sisters are climbing the ladder of success simultaneously with different styles. Tami’s playful pop-dancehall career has connected her for collaborations with stars like Sean Paul, Lady Saw and Beenie Man. Tessanne’s more mature sound occupies a niche that might be classified as a return to roots rock reggae.
She developed a love for rock music while her family was living in the UK for four years. That led to a two year stint as the lead vocalist for Jamaican rock band Mile High. Next, Tessanne would tour internationally singing backup for Sir Jimmy Cliff.

Three years later, and her own impact is becoming global. The single Hideaway is still climbing charts internationally, while it occupies the number one position in Toronto on both the Reggaemania and reggae charts.

Chin, however, is not married to the reggae genre. As a solo artist, her sound has evolved. “In many ways. I think I got the freedom to express my love not just for rock and reggae but also for classical and soul, all the things that have influenced me in my journey thus far. I got to create, along with my awesome producers Rudy Valentino and Paul Kastick, a new genre unto itself with good music being our goal,” said Chin.

Being different is in Tessanne’s bloodline, but she says she doesn’t pay any special attention to her multiethnic background. “I'm mixed with a bunch of things but my Chinese heritage shows up more,” said Chin laughing, “ I'm proud to be all that I am and as far as it affecting the way the world sees me I hope it wouldn't or doesn't. It's about the Music and music has no face, no colour, no age, no discrimination. So, I'd like to think of it as a place where all can be equal.”
While the road to stardom has just begun, Tessanne is pleased with how far she’s come. “Waking up in the morning and doing what I love, that alone is success for me. The whole journey I'm on is a success,” said Chin.

For the less philosophical, her success can be measured objectively as well. Tessanne just completed her first solo appearance at Jamaica’s premier music festival, Reggae Sumfest. After that, she says, she will be shooting a video for her new single Black Books, setting more shows in Jamaica and abroad and getting creative in the studio.

For more information on Tessanne Chin visit

1 comment:

(Nurse) Karen said...

I really can't wait to get my hands on Tessanne's album. After writing this album I became a big fan of her Rock offerings. I love to see Caribbean artistes who aren't afraid to venture out into the unknown. There's soul in her voice, wisdom in her lyrics, and weighty passionate rebellion in her music...such a winning combination.