Tessanne Chin Biography
Her major label debut album, Count On My Love, is due out on July 1, 2014 under Republic Records.
Chin was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Her father, Richard Chin, is of Chinese and Cherokee descent and her mother, Christine Chin, is of English and African descent. Her parents were in a band called The Carnations and her older sister Tami Chynn is also a singer. Her cousin Jay Hall is a vocalist and guitarist with UK rockers Grassroutes (and previously The Royal Players), and Jay's brother Leon is a vocalist with ska-fusion act Electrik Custard.
Tessanne was introduced to music at a very early age by her parents. Her mother was the trumpeter and singer in The Carnations and her father was the band's drummer. The family has a recording studio in their home in Jamaica.
Tessanne started performing when she was six years old with Cathy Levy's Little People and Teen Players Club, one of Jamaica's top performing arts schools. Most of her vocal coaching came from her mother, as well as noted vocal coach Lecie Wright. Tessanne learned firsthand about cultural diversity when she moved to England at age 12. She coped with the move by devoting a lot of time to writing songs.
2006–2012: Early career
Upon her return to Jamaica, Chin joined the Jamaican rock band Mile High and performed for crowds at many local venues including Jazzfest, Rockfest, and RETV Unplugged. Their style, "rock reggae," was unique and distinct. After going on tour for three years with Jimmy Cliff as a back-up singer, she decided to launch her solo career.
After Tessanne left Mile High, she began writing songs for her first album. Guitarist Rudy Valentino and drummer Paul "GrooveGalore" KasticK were her producers for her 2011 independent debut album "In Between Words". Her 2006 debut single, "Hideaway" received heavy rotation on Caribbean radio and select stations in New York. Both the single and its music video were very popular. The song was also featured on VP Records' Reggae Gold 2007. After "Hideaway," she has released two more singles, "Messenger" and "Black Books," both available online on "In Between Words".
She has performed at several live shows, including The Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2006, Reggae Sumfest 2007 & 2012, the Deck Cafe, The Port Royal Music Festival, ABC Slim Traxx, and her very own show "Arabian Night."
Tessanne has collaborated with fellow Jamaican artists Shaggy ("Never Let Go") and Protoje ("Someone Like You"), the Trinidad and Tobago soca band Kes ("Loving You") and was featured in a track by the legendary Jamaican band Third World, titled "By My Side." She appeared as a special guest of Third World at the Highline Ballroom in New York City in April 2011. "By My Side" was featured in the soundtrack of Robert Townsend's series "Diary of a Single Mom" starring Monica Calhoun, Leon, and Billy Dee Williams.
Other noted tracks by Tessanne are remakes of songs by other famous artists and bands such as Foreigner's "I Wanna Know What Love Is," The Who's "Love, Reign o'er Me," Katy Perry's "Firework," and Phish's "Free." A remake of Bob Marley's "Could You Be Loved," which Tessanne performed with her band Mile High, also circulated through the internet early in 2006. Other works include a live performance of "You and Me" written and performed with her older sister Tami Chynn.
On December 6, 2010, Tessanne released her independent debut album available for digital download entitled In Between Words.
2013: The Voice
In September 2013, it was announced that she would be competing in Season 5 of NBC's singing competition, The Voice, after reggae/dancehall star Shaggy presented her the competition as an opportunity to finally have her big break as an international star. On the second episode of the Blind Auditions broadcast on September 24, 2013, she performed Pink's song "Try." All four coaches, namely Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton turned their chairs for her but she opted for Adam Levine.
On December 10, 2013, her performance of Simon & Garfunkel's classic "Bridge over Troubled Water" for the Semifinal Round became #1 on the iTunes chart, with her becoming the first (and ultimately only) contestant to achieve the top chart position at the end of an applicable voting window that season. This performance also served as her first U.S. chart appearance, charting at #64 on the Hot 100 chart, #14 on the Digital Songs chart, and #5 on Heatseekers Songs chart. On the Canadian Hot 100, the song made its debut at #39. On December 17, 2013, her performance of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" became #1 on the iTunes chart, with her also becoming the first contestant that season to achieve the top chart position twice. The following week the cover made its debut on the Hot 100 at #51, #12 on the Digital Songs chart and #15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Her duet with coach Adam Levine, a cover of The Beatles' "Let It Be" charted at #76 on the Hot 100 and #24 on Digital Songs. The songs also charted at #1 and #7 respectively on the Heatseekers Songs chart. In Canada, her cover of "I Have Nothing" charted at #32 while "Let it Be" charted at #35. A compilation album with studio versions of her The Voice performances was released on iTunes and charted at #4 on the Heatseekers Albums chart.
During the Finale Results show, she was revealed to be the winner of Season 5 with Jacquie Lee as runner-up and Will Champlin in third place. After her victory was announced, she debuted her first U.S. single "Tumbling Down," written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.
2014–present: After The Voice and major label debut
On December 30, 2013, Tessanne was named Caribbean Journal's 2013 Artist of the Year.
Joined by runner-ups Jacquie Lee and Will Champlin, she performed at the annual Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 2014 atop the first ever The Voice float. She performed her single "Tumbling Down."
On January 12, 2014, she headlined her first show in celebration of her victory on The Voice, dubbed "Tessanne's Homecoming." The event was held in downtown Kingston and admission was free. Also performing were Shaggy, Wayne Marshall, Assassin/Agent Sasco, and fellow reggae songstress Alaine. That night, she was presented a Gold Medal of the City of Kingston and a citation by Mayor Angela Brown Burke.
On February 15, 2014, she performed at the 21st annual 9 Mile Music Festival in Miami, Florida alongside Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Julian Marley, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Mavado, and many others.
On February 25, 2014, she performed in Trinidad along with Kes The Band at the "Tuesdays On The Rock" concert.
She performed at the White House on March 6, 2014 for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's "In Performance at the White House" series, with other acts including Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe, and Jill Scott with Greg Phillinganes as the music director, for a concert celebrating women of soul, dubbed "Women of Soul: In Performance at The White House." There, she sang Donna Summer's "Last Dance" then later joined Jill Scott, Melissa Etheridge, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe, and Ariana Grande for a tribute to Tina Turner, performing her classic rendition of "Proud Mary." The event was broadcast on PBS on April 7, 2014.
Chin was honored at the University of the West Indies Fifth Annual Toronto Benefit Gala at the Ritz Carlton hotel on March 29, 2014 where she was given a Luminary Award alongside her long-time mentor, reggae legend Jimmy Cliff. That night, Toronto philanthropists Michael Lee-Chin and Raymond Chang engaged in an impromptu bidding war to persuade Chin to sing her first song on Canadian soil. In the end, Mr. Lee-Chin topped the bidding with $40,000 and requested Chin perform three songs. Proceeds of the bidding went to scholarships for the Caribbean-based university system.
She performed at the Digicel Barbados Reggae Festival on April 27, 2014 in Barbados.
She performed at the McDonald's Global owners concert held in Orlando, Florida on May 1, 2014. There, she performed the Whitney Houston rendition of "I Will Always Love You," and "I Have Nothing" accompanied by David Foster on the piano. She also joined Ne-Yo in performing his song "Incredible." Other acts of the concert included her former coach of The Voice Adam Levine and Sting.
She performed at the Nautical Music Festival in Antigua at the closing of Antigua Sailing Week on May 3, 2014 alongside Christopher Martin as well as legendary reggae artist Barrington Levy, amongst many others.
She performed for Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett at the 2014 Entertainment Industry Dinner in honor for their vision, leadership, accomplishments and contributions to the entertainment community on May 8, 2014, alongside gospel/pop group RAISE and vocal super group The Tenors at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
On May 17, 2014, she performed at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada. There, she performed a medley of songs from "In Between Words," songs she performed on The Voice, and her two singles "Tumbling Down and "Everything Reminds Me of You" from her upcoming album "Count On My Love." Guest performers at the concert were vocal super group The Tenors, with whom she did a cover of "Hallelujah" with
On May 23, 2014, she will be performing at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.
On May 31, 2014 she performed at the Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari in Grenada.
She performed at the first Oracabessa Festival, "A Celebration Of Caribbean Culture" on Monday, May 26, 2014, alongside Beenie Man, Konshens, and Assassin/Agent Sasco. The event will be held at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York.
During the premiere of Season 6 of The Voice on February 24, 2014, it was revealed that Chin will be headlining "The Voice Summer Tour 2014" which will begin on June 21 in San Antonio, Texas and conclude in Redmond, Washington on August 2, 2014. She will be joined by Season 5 runner-up Jacquie Lee and third place finalist Will Champlin, along with Season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton as well as the winner, runner-up, and third place finalist of Season 6. "The Voice Summer Tour 2014" is sponsored by shampoo brand Clear Scalp & Hair. Two promotional ads featuring Chin have been released for the campaign, as well as an instructional video.
She sang at the 2014 St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival on Sunday, May 11, 2014, performing alongside reggae legend Barrington Levy, as well as Alison Hinds, Commodores, Elvis Crespo, KEM, Maxwell, Monty Alexander, Omar Sosa, P Square, Teddyson John, Alternative Quartet, Blue Mangó and Grammy and Tony Award-winning Dee Dee Bridgewater.
She is expected to perform at the 18th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival, taking place from Thursday, June 26, to Saturday, June 28, 2014.
She will be performing at Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica on July, 19 2014 alongside Wiz Khalifa, Jason Derulo, Future, Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Jah Cure, Chronixx, and Freddie McGregor, among others. This marks Chin's third performance at the festival.
Tessanne is expected to release her major label debut album, "Count On My Love", under Republic Records on July 1, 2014. She has expressed a desire to do some of the album's recording in Jamaica at Portland's GeeJam recording studio. Confirmed features thus far are Damian Marley and longtime mentor Shaggy. The possibility of a collaboration with Ne-Yo was also mentioned. Confirmed producers for the album are Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis, Stargate, Shama "Sak Pase" Joseph, Mark "Exit" Goodchild, Shaun Pizzonia aka Sting International, Mitchum "Khan" Chin, and Supa Dups. Confirmed songwriters are Autumn Rowe, Claude Kelly, AC Burrell, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, Lil Eddie, and legendary songwriter Diane Warren. Toby Gad, Rock City aka Planet VI, Chuck Harmony, and Johnny Black are confirmed for the album, however it is currently unknown whether they contributed as writers or producers. A possible collaboration with fellow The Voice Season 5 finalist Will Champlin was hinted, although it is currently unknown whose project it will land on or if it will be on a project at all. Her second single, titled "Everything Reminds Me of You" written by Rock City aka Planet VI, was debuted during the Season 6 semifinal round of The Voice with a live performance.