Life up Close: Impala Music Note
Life up Close: Impala Music Note (Photo credit: 5150photo)

The Jamaica Observer recently wrote  a story noting that although Jamaicans all over the world are now going crazy over Tessanne Chin, who has reached the top ten on the US talent competition The Voice, her debut album three years ago was ignored. Based on comments already coming in, let me point out that I am not just talking about album sales, since I agree that we don’t buy a lot of albums. If you are honest, you’ll acknowledge that Tessanne was not regarded as one of our top artistes, ie in terms of headlining shows etc.  

So how come a singer whose music was being overlooked here at home is suddenly the toast of Jamaica and the diaspora? Here are five suggestions: 

  1. We’re spoiled. There are talented singers on every street corner in Jamaica. Talent isn’t enough for us to sit up and take notice.
  2. Tessanne’s music is different from that of our top female artistes, such as Queen Ifrica, Etana, Tanya Stephens – unfortunately, the market doesn’t always immediately get “different.”
  3. The context now is different. She’s representing Jamaica abroad – it’s not really about Tessanne, any Jamaican on that stage would get the same reaction. 
  4. We frighten fi foreign ie we tend not to notice many of our people until they are first recognized by foreigners. We need the outside validation to acknowledge how good they are.
  5. We’re waggonists! Tessanne is the latest.  most popular wagon around, so we all jumped on.

What do you think? And if you hadn’t seen my post on ten reasons we are rooting for Tessanne, read it here and weigh in as well.