Jamaican Music Music Interviews

11 Questions for 2011 With Tessanne Chin

Tessanne Chin is a Kingston-born singer and songwriter who has been performing since the age of six. Her sultry style combines reggae, soul and rock, placing her in a unique category all her own. After moving to England at 12, Tessanne began writing her own songs. Upon returning to Jamaica, she joined several rock bands before finally deciding on a solo career using just her first name, Tessanne. She is a natural talent, having performed at numerous large and small stage shows throughout Jamaica, and she is a seasoned media darling. All her hard work has led to the recent release of her acclaimed debut CD,In Between Words. 

Double congratulations are in order asTessanne married former television presenter, Michael Anthony Cuffe Jr., on March 19 in Jamaica. 

When and where did you actually get started in the music business?  1st show/recording?
I have been in the performing arts since I was six years old, but started singing professionally when I was 18 as back up singer for Sir Jimmy Cliff, with whom I toured with for three years.

Who were your early influences?
My Mum, Christine Chin, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Tina Turner, and of course my Jamaican artists Bob Marley, Diana King and Marcia Griffiths.

What is your current project or what do you have planned?
Promoting my debut album In Between Words, and working on the second album.

Where is your largest fan base located and why?
Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean. They have embraced my music and style, and I am very appreciative of that. Hopefully I will be able to touch the rest of the world one day soon.

What has been your most memorable career moment and why?
Visiting French Guyana and Suriname and hearing them sing my songs back to me, even though English was not their language. I also visited China to sing for my Jamaican athletes, which also enabled me to experience a part of my Chinese culture first hand.

What has been your biggest challenge professionally?
That has to be staying true to my music and myself.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
I would love to do a song with Celine Dion. Not only is she an amazing singer and performer but she also has a lovely personality. She is an example of one who successfully manages to balance her career and family life.

If you only had time to perform one last song, what would it be and why?
That’s a hard question. It would be a tie between “Hideaway” and “Impossible Dream,” as “Hideaway” introduced me to the world and “Impossible Dream” is what I am now living.

If you could change one thing in the reggae music business, what would it be and why?
Definitely I would like to see more original tracks being created, as there is something refreshing and authentic in the process of making music with live instruments and producing your signature sound.

Here is your chance to thank someone who has been instrumental in your career, who would that be and why?
My Mum and Dad. They have been there from day one, encouraging and supportive through the good and bad days, and I know without a doubt they will always be there for me.

Tell us one thing about yourself that your fans do not know?
I want to own a farm one day and I love to create artwork. 

Tessanne’s MySpace http://www.myspace.com/tessannechin

About the Author:
M. Peggy Quattro, Reggae Report founder and publisher, celebrates 30 years in the Reggae business in 2011.  As head of RRI Media Corp., she manages  ReggaeReport.com Reggae Report on Facebook, performs freelance writing, editing and PR, public speaker from a personal reggae perspective on Reggae history, and is a Certified Social Media Strategist and consultant.  -  Reggae Report/Facebook    ReggaeReport.com  Blog- www.mpeggyq.com ReggaeReport Twitter    [email protected]

About the author

M Peggy Quattro