Up until 7pm last night I had merely heard about the US TV programme, The Voice. But, over several weeks, I’d gathered from social media that Jamaicans had a big interest in the series. Last night, I understood why. My little daughter was curled on a sofa with some cousins, all were chewing on their hands as keenly as they tackled the chicken bones. We were not at home and I needed to get her home. We dashed off before the the show got too far, so that she could bathe and get ready for bed. Then we waited…and waited…and waited. The sensation we were hoping for came out as the last contestant.
The profile of Jamaican singer, Tessanne Chin, was short but very touching, with nice shots of Jamaica and a link up with Sir Jimmy Cliff, with whom Tessanne had sung as a backing artist. He said some kind words. “Mr Cliff, thank you,” said Tessanne to the tablet screen, while Sir Jimmy posed with fez-like bonnet by a black grand piano.
Then, Tessanne started her number, covering Pink’s ‘Try’. Within moments, judges were hitting buttons, spinning chairs, and starting the mad rush to bid for her talent on their team.
She went stratospheric when she started talking afterwards, and gave the world another glimpse of the rich mixture that it is to be Jamaican. Many with close connections loved it when she talked about “bred an’ butta,” in that soft lilt that we know and love. We could have all whispered “Yea, man!”
Tessanne has set social media alight and Twitter trends may get rewritten soon; she was the number four trending topic soon after the NBC broadcast.
Let’s be like her father, Richard, and wish her well throughout the series and we’ll all be pushing hard for his “likkle baby”.
Jamaican icons have come in many shapes, sizes, and ethnic flavours. Remember, out of many, one people.