After her amazing performance at the 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, I had the privilege of interviewing Tessanne Chin. The Jamaican recording artist, who won the 5th season of The Voice, performed for the third time on St. Maarten at Saturday night’s show. The 29 year old singer who is known for hits such as Hideaway, Messenger, and Control from her earlier days, skyrocketed to the top of the iTunes chart with her rendition of “Bridge over Troubled Water” during her stint on the voice.
I walk into her trailer and she asks if I would like a picture. Of course, I say. I can already sense that she is a humble, friendly woman. Since I’m such a big fan, I feel that I might freak out when she asks me to take a seat so that we can chat. She has an amazing spirit.
How does it feel to be back on St. Maarten?
It feels absolutely wonderful. I have nothing but really great memories of St. Maarten, so it’s wonderful for me to come back and be a part of the Heineken Regatta and to just feel those warm feelings all over again.
You came with Jimmy Cliff before and now, you are actually headlining for Saturday night. How does that make you feel?
I came with Jimmy Cliff first and last time I was here with my sister. To come back as a headliner is a very big honour for me. I am very thrilled that they believed in me enough to bring me back. I had a blast.
I’m a big fan, and so what would you want to tell all of your fans from St. Maarten, who followed you from Hideaway?
Thank you, Thank you! I could not do this without your continued support. Every day when I go on my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, there is just such love and support and I, literally, could not do this without that. I give them mad love, because even on days when I’m feeling liking absolute rubbish (big laugh) or having one of those not so nice days, just to go online and read something, or hear encouragement is a big deal, so I thank them. I do this for them as much as I do this for me.
You were part of The Voice, what was that experience like?
The Voice for me was like…BOOT CAMP, in every sense of the word. You become so focused. You’re sequestered so everything that you do, everything that you live and breathe is about The Voice and the competition. They taught me how to be a lot stronger, better, and how to hone my skills. For that, I will forever be grateful. They pushed me to my limits, but in the nicest way. Because, you know when you go on these shows, you never know how it’s going to be, if they are going to treat you right. They treated us with the best care and took care of us.
If I’m talking too much, just tell me to stop 🙂
Given that you are from the Caribbean, what kind of advice would you have for someone else, who is from the Caribbean, who dreams to be on The Voice or dreams to go further?
Don’t stop. Don’t stop dreaming. My whole life has been a series of just getting up that one more time. Shaggy was actually the person that suggested that I go on The Voice. I was at a point in my career, where, yes, I had a career but it was not what I dreamed of. I knew that I wanted to go further. I wanted to know how to push past this. In every time in your life, there’s a spot where you wonder how to get past this spot. I was so afraid to do it and I didn’t want to but I did it and I thank God for that every day. Just keep believing in yourself. Don’t be afraid to take risks and follow your heart. I know it sounds really corny but it’s true.
Who are your inspirations?
My biggest inspirations are the people that I have around me. They are the ones that see me when the makeup comes off, when I’m having a bad day. They continue to inspire me by how they conduct themselves. I’m grateful for the friendships that I have, and for my family and my husband.
Talking about your husband, how do you maintain that relationship, given that you are on the road so much?
It’s hard, very hard. It’s a huge sacrifice. With everything that you do, there is a price to pay. You just have to weigh out what is worth it and what is not and at the same time, you have to be with someone who gets that. I’ve been working for this since I was 5 so it’s important that they understand that. I believe that this is what I have been sent here to do.
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive) who would they be and why?
The 3 would be Bob Marley, Princess Diana, and Michael Jackson. I would choose Bob Marley because he has the most simple but profound way of putting things. I would be very curious to see what he has say, not just about music, but about the way the world is going. I would choose Princess Diana because I just have a fascination with the Royal Family. I’m a Royal Family junkie but also because she managed to do something that no one did before her, which was to break down barriers between royalty and what is human. She was able to touch people’s hearts and I think when you have that ability it’s a rare trait. I would choose Michael Jackson because I think that he is an amazing artist.