DirectLyrics Interviews Tessanne Chin: On Debut LP Control, Audition Alternate Song & Jamaica!
Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin went to become a household name in the U.S thanks to her participation in “The Voice” in 2013. From her blind audition covering Pink's "Try" to the moment she couldn't help but to cry of happiness while performing her 'coronation' song "Tumbling Down" after Carlson Daly announced she was the winner of Season 5, Tessanne's journey on "The Voice" will be remembered forever.
After “The Voice”, Ms Chin signed a deal with Republic Records and since that very December of 2013 she began work on her debut album. “Count on My Love" is the title of that much-anticipated album and it arrived in stores not too long ago this year, just seventeen days ago! on July 1st. On the album, Tessanne worked with the best, from Chuck Harmony, Claude Kelly, to Toby Gad or (Queen!) Dianne Warren. A highlight of the album is that she helped co-write six tracks on it. That’s because she bonded and earned the respect of the producers and song-writers. For you to have this kind of control over your first album - and especially you being an artist 'made' on a TV talent show - it's very impressive. And certainly kudos are in order for Ms Tessanne!
The first single from the album is the power ballad “Everything Reminds of You", which the Jamaican singer performed on the last season of “The Voice” some months ago. Currently, she’s on the road with “The Voice” tour which will end in early August.
DirectLyrics recently had the opportunity to do an exclusive interview Tessanne Chin and we discussed EVERYTHING! From what other song she would have picked for her blind audition, owning “Tumbling Down”, her well-earned control over her debut album, working with top producers, what her favourite songs of the moment are, and Tessanne also gave us a few reasons why we should summer in Jamaica!
DL: Your debut album with Republic Records ‘Count on my Love’ came out on July 1st. What does this release mean to you?
Tessanne: It means that all the hard work and sleepless nights were for a reason, there is nothing better than knowing that I get to share this finished product with my amazing fans who have stood by me through this whole process and be able to give them my heart and love and thanks through music, Music that I am proud to call mine.
The opening track on the album is your coronation song from ‘The Voice’, the Ryan Tedder-written ‘Tumbling Down’. I've seen many live performances of you singing this song and let me just tell you: you completely own it! How much do you love ‘Tumbling Down’? And how disappointed would you have been if Will or Jacquie had stolen it from you?
Thank you first of all that is so kind of you to say. "Tumbling Down" was an interesting scenario because you basically have to go in a put your heart and soul into a song that you don't know for sure is gonna be yours or not , but from the moment I heard it I liked the edge, I liked the lyrics and I loved that it was a true song not the typical "coronation" song if you get my drift (laughs).
As far as being disappointed if Jacquie or Will got to sing it, absolutely not! They are like my family. They are amazing and I think they both would've done it justice .
You’ve had so many amazing producers and songwriters helping you with your album. Chuck Harmony, Claude Kelly, Toby Gad or Dianne Warren, to name a few. Tell us a few great memories from working with these geniuses.
I remember so clearly working with Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony and just having laugh after laugh with the entire team, but the memory that sticks out is when one day Claude comes in and he says to my sis Tami and I "carrot cake or birthday cake?" And we were like " what?" (laughs). Well , by the end of the session there were two huge cakes outside for us with "happy birthday Tess and happy birthday Tami" written on each! No it was not our birthday but that's Claude he made us feel so special and we celebrated.
Best memory ever!
Your name appears on the writing credits of six songs! What did it mean for you that Republic gave you so much freedom and control on this album?
It meant the absolute world to me! I am a writer just as much as I am a singer and I have to give credit to Rock City, Claude Kelly and Toby Gad for taking that into account too. They are all accomplished award winning writers and could've easily just given me a song and been like "here sing this" but they were so supportive and encouraging and I will always treasure that.
The first single from your album is ‘Everything Reminds Me of You’… which I just LOVE! Your performance on ‘The Voice’ was simply spectacular. Tell us a bit about the inspiration for this song, and why did you decide to release this particular song as your first single?
Thank you! Rock City has an amazing way with melodies and words and Supa Dups has a gift for delivering amazing beats and sounds, and it was so natural and organic how Theron (of Rock City) just started flowing this amazing melody with lyrics over just piano at the time and them Dups started building on the beat and made it so wicked.
I love the concept because at every point of a relationship we have that moment , everyone can relate to that.
The reason we chose this song was that it just stuck in your head from the very first time you hear it and everyone I played it for started bopping their heads immediately and that is always to me a good sign.
How many songs did you record during your album sessions? Just the 10 that are on the track list? If there were more, do you hope to release the unused tracks somehow in the future?
There was definitely more! About 20 or there about, I am a firm believer in doing as much as possible so we have a library to choose from and supposed to just using what you have. The process of choosing was hard because I really loved each and every song we recorded and I will definitely love to revisit and revamp a few for album number 2.
You’re currently on the road with 'The Voice' tour. How are you finding the journey?
It's been going great and I'm having a ball! It's so amazing to be onstage with such talented people and to be inspired every night by all the performances.
Will it be hard for you saying goodbye to your ‘The Voice’ companions once the tour is over? Who are your closest friends?
Definitely bittersweet because while I do miss my husband and family and my bed (laughs). We have made bonds here that are just priceless! It's good to see my season 5 family Jacquie and Will but also lovely to meet season 6 and Dia from Season 1. The person I would say I've bonded the most with is probably Kristen Merlin season 6 and Valeria Angelino, who does our hair and makeup every night, we are always together. Don't get me wrong I have bonded with everyone but those two I'm with quite a bit.
After the tour, what will be next for Tessanne Chin? Vacations? Keep promoting the album? Have any upcoming booked gigs?
All of the above! Fingers crossed on the vacation part but yes, time to rest and time to play but also throwing myself into promoting and working hard and doing various bookings.
What did you do the night you auditioned for ‘The Voice’ and knew you were IN? Party hard?
I was with my Dad , my Husband, Sandra My lawyer and a friend and we all went and ate fried chicken and drank beer (laughs). The good life! It was just such a relief and we were on such a natural high from the adrenaline and I remember just being in shock and being , so happy and grateful , but yeah, that's how my family celebrate , with food!
You performed Pink’s ‘Try’ for your Blind Audition. If someone from the show had told you, “No, you can’t do that song”, what other song would you have picked?
Hmm great question! That's hard to say cause "Try" was so reminiscent of everything that was going on for me and everything that moment was for me "getting up and trying again". Maybe an alternative song would've been "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson or "Titanium " by David Guetta and Sia.
What are Tessanne’s Top 5 songs of the moment?
"Am I wrong " By Nicco and Vinz
"Chandelier" By Sia
"Mine " By Beyonce (ft Drake)
"Heaven" By Emelie Sande
"One Step Closer " By me Tessanne Chin, "Count on my Love"
Where are you answering this Q&A from and how’s your day been like?
I started answering these questions at my amazing hotel in Toronto and I am continuing to answer them at the Sony Centre catering hall to be exact (laughs).
You’re a Jamaican girl. For those wanting to go to the Caribbean this summer, why should they pick your island?
They should pick Jamaica because there is beauty to be found in the untouched simple things of my island , I also believe the best way to see Jamaica is with a Jamaican , come and experience our island and our culture not just the resorts. We have beautiful beaches and lush fruitful mountainous lands and some of the most amazing food, not to mention the music !!!, There is most definitely every reason to come to Jamaica but for me the best part would have to be the people. So see you soon!
Thanks for your time, Tessanne! Best of luck with everything! Any last thing you would like to share with our readers at Direct Lyrics?
I just wanna say how much I genuinely enjoyed this interview and how very grateful I am for all the love and support!
All my love!