Monday, December 9, 2013

Why I'm #TeamTessanne

When I first heard that vocal powerhouse Tessanne Chin would be competing on season 5 of the Emmy-winning American singing competition, The Voice, I was ecstatic. I thought to myself, 'Tessanne buss now! This is her moment.' I have been a fan of her work since I first heard her voice, when she performed on the small stage at the 2006 Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. I wasn't in attendance, but she was all I heard about on the radio and television (in addition to the show's headliners, of course.) Naturally, I love 'Hideaway' and her other original songs, but my favourite Tessanne jam remains 'Taken,' which she said is one of the first songs she wrote on the guitar. Yes, I pay attention (aka, I'm slightly obsessed.)

The other day, following her stunning blind audition for The Voice, I revisited the song on Youtube, only to be greeted with a comment I had made four years ago - "This is my favourite song of hers. Gosh, I hope she releases it commercially. And when is she gonna release an album? This level of talent needs NEEDS to buss all over di world man!" This was prior to the release of In Between Words, of course.

I meant it then, and I mean it even more now. Her voice so enthralled me back in 2006 and I have been a willing captive since then. That is why I have become one of her ambassadors on Facebook and Twitter, where I routinely annoy everyone by posting her videos, begging them to vote, talking about her performances on The Voice, etc etc etc. And I will continue to do so for as long as she is in the competition, because I believe this is her time and she truly deserves it. 

Not only is Tessanne super talented, she comes across as a genuinely nice person, a wonderful embodiment of the true Jamaican spirit that I see around me each day, even amidst the 'crawses' we bear. I love the way she represents herself and our country, the way she 'mannersable,' speaks in the true Jamaican accent, the way she has pulled everybody, from Adam and the other coaches, to the hosts of popular US morning shows, with her charm, just by being herself. Does she not deserve to own this moment in the spotlight?

I, like her mother, hope Tessanne will win, becoming the latest Jamaican to take the world by storm. I hope she wins for herself too, and gets to live her dreams. I admire the fact that she took this chance, even amidst concerns by some of us Jamaicans that she didn't need the competition. Tessanne demonstrated the importance of going outside your comfort zone in order to achieve something you want with all your heart. So many of us sit on our dreams, afraid to reach for them because of what people might say or fear that we simply aren't enough. We lose nothing by taking a chance, and even if we do not gain the main prize, or our risk backfires, we would have gained so much courage and learned such valuable lessons that we are still victors. 

I have a feeling that whatever the outcome, Tessanne has already won. I tell my Facebook friends, only half-jokingly, that she will be touring with Maroon 5 shortly, that she will be featured on their next album, that she will be a force to be reckoned with as she steps off this launch pad. However, we do want her to win the main prize, so let us continue to offer our support. Let us encourage our friends in the US to vote and buy her performance singles on iTunes; purchase the songs for ourselves; spread the word in any way we can. 

Most importantly, after The Voice is over, let us continue to support Tessanne by purchasing her music and going out to shows when she performs here. Let us also do the same for our other talented local artistes, especially those who toil without commercial success, despite incredible talent. And for ourselves, let us take down and dust off those dreams we have packed away out of fear or discouragement and pursue them wholeheartedly.

Here's how to vote for Tessanne on The Voice:


If you're in the US or Puerto Rico, you can call her assigned toll-free number up to 10 times per phone.


Sprint customers can vote by texting her assigned short code up to 10 times per phone. The short code and key word numbers for the current vote are announced in the show each week.


You can vote up to 10 times per email address during each vote period for free online at, or via the NBC Live app, the NBC app, or via Facebook.


This is the ONLY guaranteed way those of us in Jamaica or outside of the US can vote: buy and download her current song during the voting period - 10:01pm Monday til 11:00am on Tuesday morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment