Alty B aims to ‘nice up’ the vibe in Canadian dancehall with return SINGLE

alty b nice up in yaby Jodee Brown

After taking an extended break from the music scene, internationally recognized recording artist, Alty B, known for his 2013 smash hit, Island Girl (feat. Richie Loop) has returned with a proverbial call to arms, shooting lyrics aimed at bringing back a positive vibe to dancehall across the Greater Toronto Area and Canada with his new SINGLE, Nice Up In Yah.
With the Canadian dancehall scene in need of a mainstream boost, Alty B speaks on many of its promising talents that have shown flashes of their talents, but have seldom been heard from in recent times. With ‘no vindictive feelings’ being expressed, as the song’s intro indicates, Nice Up in Yah mentions friends and fellow acts such as Eyesus, Sample King, Ziggy Eva Strap, Blessed and Lindo P as he openly wonders why Canadian dancehall fans have not seen much from some of the familiar names within the LOCAL industry.
The Island Girl singer ponders why ‘from when Five Star nuh sing bout di gyal dem, Badda Squad? nuh hear from way back when,” as he looks for answers as to why the scene is not as vibrant as it once was. Furthermore, he addresses fans who have questioning his own hiatus from the music scene as he reveals the birth of his first child played a major role as he put family first before deciding to make his triumphant return.
Featuring the combination of a pulsating beat and Alty’s vibrant PERSONALITY, Nice Up In Yah is a charge to bring back the energy and dedication to Canadian dancehall that it so desperately needs, with the always-ambitious entertainer willing to step to the forefront to lead said charge.
Produced by fellow Jamaica COLLEGE alum, Ramus and Brampton-based Unit One Recording, this track is simple but effective with its motivation; a chance to rejuvenate interest this popular genre across the GTA and garner attention from the necessary industry players to again put Canadian dancehall on the map. With a mixtape in the works and other projects to come, Alty B aims to ‘nice up’ the scene again through his music

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO “NICE UP IN YA”  BY ALTY-B

or visit http://youtu.be/VaTastQBOqk

 

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Tessanne Chin performs Michelle Obama’s concert at White House Tonight!

Tessanne Chin will make history as the celebrated Jamaican singer will perform at the White House in Washington D.C. on Thursday night.

Tessanne Chin will make history as the celebrated Jamaican singer will perform at the White House in Washington D.C. Tonight.

by Jodee Brown

Jamaican songstress and reigning The Voice champ, Tessanne Chin has landed one of her biggest gigs yet as she has been confirmed to perform a concert at the White House on Tonight.

The concert, Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House is being put on by United States First Lady, Michelle Obama and casts Chin within a star-laden lineup that includes legendary singers, Aretha Franklin, Melissa Etheridge and Patti Labelle, who she once opened for in her younger days. The show also features high-profile singers, Janelle Monae, Ariana Grande and Jill Scott, according to a release issued Tuesday by The White House

Described as a show where artists will perform songs expressing the plights and achievements of women, Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House will be streamed live on the White House’s official website (WhiteHouse.gov/live) around 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on PBS April 7th. The broadcast will later be seen on the Armed Forces Network to American servicemen across the world.

Additionally, an interactive, day time workshop will be held in connection with the concert to educate middle school, high school and college students about the women of soul. Chin and all the other featured performers will be at the workshop sharing their experience with students as well as answering questions regarding the music and entertainment world.

Chin has been a semi-regular fixture on American television since winning season five of The Voice last December. She performed a series of talk shows, including Access Hollywood and Live with Kelly and Michael shortly after her win and also appeared at the Rose Bowl in California on New Year’s Day. She will be the first Jamaican artist of note to perform at the White House.

Meanwhile, Tessanne Chin is also booked to perform on May 17 at the Sony Arts Centre in Toronto. It is her second of two scheduled appearances there this spring as she is set to personally accept a Luminary Award at the University of the West Indies Toronto benefit gala on March 29.

Sean Paul’s ‘Full Frequency’ tops Billboard chart in spite of sluggish sales

by Jodee Brown

Grammy-winning Jamaican musician, Sean Paul has scored another chart-topping album as his sixth studio project, Full Frequency has reached number one on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

This, despite a less than impressive sales figure early on as the album, released February 18th, sold just 2,160 copies in its first week. This nearly doubles the first-week output his last album, Tomahawk Technique (2012) provided, selling over 1,200 copies.

However, combining both sales figures, they are a far cry from his multi-platinum effort, Dutty Rock in 2002, which sold nearly 20 times more copies at 65,000 in its first week.

He recently performed his new single from the album, Want Dem All alongside song collaborator, Konshens on the Arsenio Hall Show last month and has since released the official video for the song.

Meanwhile, the latest edition of the Billboard Reggae Albums chart features appearances from Papa San, whose previously chart-topping album, One Blood hails at number five, selling just under 2,000 copies to date. Tarrus Riley’s new album, Love Situation is two places higher, selling around 1,126 copies to date while Gyptian’s Sex, Love and Reggae is 10th, with just under 4,000 copies sold so far.

DJ FreshCut launches ‘De Mayor TV’ with Soca Reggaelution XXIV Recap

FreshCut_Cover1_FB2by Delroy Williams

Popular event promoter and DJ, Freshcut De Mayor has recently launched a dedicated YouTube channel to showcase the raving success of Soca Reggaelution XXIV in Toronto’s west end late last month.

More than a thousand die hard Soca/Reggae fans as well as notable media outlets including G98.7FM, CHRY 105.5FM, TorontoDeejays.com, and AN Photography came through to discover and enjoy the legendary Soca Reggaelution party experience. Freshcut is extending his thanks and gratitude to all those who helped in making the event a huge success.

Dedicated followers as well as hundreds of new faces make his fan base undeniable and it continues to grow as Freshcut commits himself to throwing some of the most enjoyable Caribbean-themed parties around. As a way to help fans stay connected and entertained between party events, De Mayor TV was launched on YouTube and is already receiving noteworthy viewership. Watch the full Soca Reggaelution XXIV Recap video here.

Freshcut had the following to say about his new Youtube channel:

De Mayor TV gives you VIP Access to the behind the scenes footage from some of the hottest parties in the GTA as well as out of town ‘campaign dates’ wherever De Mayor is booked! Now I cannot speak on behalf of every other promoter in Toronto, nor can I predict the outcome of their events. I can only display what to expect when De Mayor is booked for an event or has an event of his own. You will get your money’s worth and TNA – Total Non-stop Action!”

De Mayor’s next event, Caribbean Scene Investigation (CSI): The Final Chapter will be held at The Vue Nightclub on Friday, March 14, 2014 and marks the end of the ten year long party-series. Although the curtain will close on CSI after this highly anticipated night, Freshcut makes it clear that, “the action will only get bigger and better with Soca Reggaelution, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Soca In The City, to name a few…”

CSI tickets are now available for purchase on TicketGateway.com.  Tune in to Freshcut’s Confunkshun Show on CHRY 105.5FM every Tuesday 6-8pm for a chance to win tickets to CSI and other upcoming events.

IRIE FM and ZIP FM CEO, aged 27, dies from illness

Chad Young, the CEO of Jamaican radio stations, IRIE FM and ZIP FM, has died at the age of 27.by Jodee Brown

The Jamaican media industry has suffered a stunning blow as Chad Young, the CEO and managing director of popular radio stations, IRIE FM and ZIP FM has died at the tender age of 27.

Young was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon at his St. Ann home following a brief illness, though no official cause of death has been given. The two sister stations released a joint statement late Thursday confirming his passing.

“Chad was loved and respected for his happy nature, affableness and down to earth personality,” the statement read, in part. “The family of Mr. Young and the Management and staff of IRIE FM and ZIP 103 FM are grateful for the outpouring of affection and promise to carry that with them as they grow from strength to strength.”

Chad Young took over ownership of Grove Broadcasting Company, the parent company of IRIE FM and ZIP FM in 2010 following the death of his father and long-time owner, Karl Young. Under his stewardship, both stations became the first in Jamaica to have mobile apps and built ZIP into one of the country’s most popular stations with its more new-age brand of thinking.

He was described in the statement as ‘innovative,’ and ‘cutting edge’ with his work.

Lorde says she hates Reggae, Jamaican artists react

Never shy to speak her mind, Grammy-winning singer, Lorde says she's not a fan of Reggae musicby Jodee Brown

Reggae music is, for the most part, loved universally as one of the best and most celebrated genres. Grammy-winning singer, Lorde is not one of those lovers apparently.

The 17-year-old, New Zealand-born singer, who rose to international prominence with her hit single, Royals, was highly critical of Reggae music during a recent edition of her VEVO vlog titled, The World According To Lorde.

“I hate Reggae, Reggae makes me feel like am late for something,” she said.

Though the comment was made months ago, a report in the Jamaica STAR Tuesday brought the comment to light, triggering mixed views among Jamaican music insiders. However, Dancehall artist, Spice, whoremixed Royals in January, lambasted her upon hearing of the comment..

“I’m really disappointed in her statement, because I was such a big fan of her music, and fell in love withRoyals the moment I heard it,” she told the Jamaica STAR Tuesday. “I’m not a fan anymore, and will just delete her album and move on. Reggae is the most soulful genre, so I can’t understand how someone could hate it. I really regret even doing a reggae cover to her single. Everyone knows the origin of reggae music is Jamaica, and by black people. So my question is: Is it the music that she really doesn’t like, or just the black race?”

However, ZIP 103FM regular and selector, DJ Chrome was of a contrasting opinion.

“If that’s how she feels, then that’s OK. It’s her opinion. I personally wouldn’t say that I hate any genre of music,” he told the newspaper. “They might not be my favourite, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that I hate them. If she thinks Reggae is that bad, then it’s no big deal.”

This is not the first time Lorde has courted controversy with her comments on other genres. In an interview given to Complex Magazine last fall, saying she did not relate well to music from Nicki Minajand Drake because they ‘all sing about such opulence,’ while also saying, ‘How are we listening to this? It’s completely irrelevant.’

She later clarified her comments on Twitter, saying that loves and admires both rappers, saying, “Just because their songs aren’t my reality (being 17 and from Auckland) doesn’t mean I don’t admire their musicianship and careers!”

Sean Paul to drop new studio album this month

Multi-platinum selling Jamaican entertainer, Sean Paul will release his sixth studio album on Feb. 18. The album had originally been slated to come out last November

Multi-platinum selling Jamaican entertainer, Sean Paul will release his sixth studio album on Feb. 18. The album had originally been slated to come out last November

by Jodee Brown

International megastar musician and former Grammy-winning artist, Sean Paul will be unveiling his sixth studio album, Full Frequency on February 18, according toreports Saturday.

The album, which will be released physically and on iTunes, features a number of cross-genre efforts alongside some of Reggae, hip hop and pop’s top stars. Notable collaborators on Full Frequency includeDamian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Konshens, Nyla, 2 Chainz and Juicy J.

Sean Paul, who won the 2004 Best Reggae AlbumGrammy for his multi-platinum record, Dutty Rock has released several singles from Full FrequencyRiot, which features the aforementioned Marley and Want Dem All which features KonshensEntertainment (w/ Minaj, Juicy J and 2 Chainz) and, most recently, The Other Side Of Love.

His last album, Tomahawk Technique struggled to make any significant impact sales-wise in the United States, selling just over 1,000 copies in its first week. However, it was certified gold in France and Switzerland, with its lead single, Got 2 Luv U (feat. Alexis Jordan) in particular scoring number ones on charts in the Caribbean, Europe and Asia to name a few region.

Full Frequency is being distributed by his long-time label, Atlantic Records.

Macka Diamond defends crucifixion picture from upcoming video

Deejay, Macka Diamond has taken heat for this picture leaked from her upcoming video for the single, 'WickeD Heart.'

Deejay, Macka Diamond has taken heat for this picture leaked from her upcoming video for the single

by Jodee Brown

Acclaimed Dancehall artist, Macka Diamond is out on the defensive after a picture leaked online from an upcoming video showing her hanging from a cross, mirroring the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The picture, taken from the shoot of her upcoming video for her single, Wicked Heart, triggered social media furor this past week, with some insisting she committed blasphemy by doing the act and crossed the line of artistic expression.

In a radio interview Friday, the Dye Dye singer denied this was the case, saying the picture and meaning behind it were taken out of context.

“To be frank, I was never looking at it that way. It’s since I’m seeing the comments (that) I really started to think about it,” she told IRIE FM“According to Jamaican terms, we she, ‘Chu, people a crucify mi..dem nah get mi down.’ I wasn’t even thinking aobut this Jesus ting or nail mi hand…like I dying for nobody sins. It is not as deep as everybody is thinking.”

Macka said the scene was only done as a way to represent the recent criticisms fired her way, particularly since her controversial lyrical clash with long-time rival,Lady Saw at STING last December. Wicked Hearthas been branded by many in the music industry as a diss track aimed at Saw.

This is not the first time an artist has done a crucifixion in his or her videos or songs. hip hop superstar,Nas pulled off a similar tactic in 1999, hanging from a cross in the visuals for his smash hit, Hate Me Now, which featured P Diddy.

Seven years later, pop legend, Madonna pulled off a mock crucifixion during a stage show performance in Germany, sparking outrage from church groups and music lovers alike.

The official video for Wicked Heart will be released in the coming weeks.

Sizzla, D’Angel banned from STING, says Isaiah Laing

Reggae/Dancehall singers, Sizzla Kalonji and D'Angel have been banned from future editions of STING following alleged controversies during their performances at STING 2013

Reggae/Dancehall singers, Sizzla Kalonji and D’Angel have been banned from future editions of STING following alleged controversies during their performances at STING 2013

by Jodee Brown

Days after giving what some said was the best performance of STING 2013, Reggae singer, Sizzla Kalonji has been banned from future editions of the show by its lead promoter, Isaiah Laing, for alleged hate lyrics performed during his set, according to reports Tuesday evening.

The Grammy-nominated artist gave a rousing, hard-hitting set during the 30th anniversary show, in which he spoke out strongly against homosexuality, negative connotations attached to marijuana, among other societal issues. According to Laing, Sizzla’s ban comes as result of continuous rants against homosexuals throughout his performance, which went against a pre-show agreement with organizers not to sing anti-gay lyrics during his set.

“Sizzla was warned repeatedly before going onstage about not promoting hate music and he went up there and did it repeatedly,” the Supreme Promotions CEO told the Jamaica Gleaner. “We are going international and we warned every artiste before they went on to the stage.”

Meanwhile, D’Angel is also in hot water with Laing after giving a controversial set of her own at STING.The popular deejay was banned for at least five years as a patron following a clash with Ninja Man for what Laing called an ‘embarrassing’ stint. During the impromptu setD’Angel surprised the crowd when during her performance, she spread her legs multiple times while only wearing a short dress. She also made several references to needing to pay for her son’s school fee as she was not initially booked to do the show.

Both bans were reportedly confirmed on Saturday following a meeting.

“What kind of image is D’Angel portraying as a mother? he told The Gleaner“She’s saying she came to clash but that’s not how the clash went. It was not about Ninja Man, she embarrassed herself. At least a five-year ban for D’Angel.”

“We don’t need your money D’Angel. Stay home. Watch the event on pay-per-view next year,” Laing continued.

A press release, issued by STING 30 promoters on Tuesday illustrated the organizers’ frustration with some of the acts during their performances, saying they were, “inconsistent with their efforts to provide energetic and authentic Jamaican entertainment.”

“We believe that our artistes will take note of the observations which will assist us in effecting the kinds of control that we have been working assiduously to maintain and introduce,” the statement continued.“We wish to commend the majority of artistes who appeared on the show and performed in accordance with the standards which are reflective of our objectives.”

“Sharp lyrical exchanges and colorful performances are staples of our annual offering, however, in accordance with our efforts to internationalize the event, we strive to ensure that the performances conform to accepted standards of decency and decorum.”

STING 30 was broadcast to overseas viewers, via pay-per-view and a live stream worth just under $US40 each.

2013 Year in Review: The best songs, artists and stories in Jamaican music

by Jodee Brown

After a 2012 which saw Jamaica return to the roots of its music during its 50th anniversary year, the majority of 2013 proved to be a major letdown and appeared to be heading for irrelevancy within the pantheon on memorable Jamaican periods. That is, until a certain sparkly 28-year-old singer reminded everyone that our music still has a very long shelf-life, if attention is focused on the right channels.

Tessanne Chin added a much needed boost to what was a mostly ordinary year within Jamaican music and entertainment. From a downsizing of hit songs, to increasingly poor album sales in the United States, to undying scrutiny regarding lyrical content and party regulations, these were trying times for artists and music lovers alike in 2013.

Nevertheless, we try to look on the brighter side of things in our music. With that said, check out the slideshow in the middle of this article, showing slides looking at the songs, artists and news makers that made Jamaican music interesting in 2013.  Feel free to comment below if you agree or disagree with these picks.

Best New Artist – Jah Bouks

Best New Artist – Jah Bouks

Honorable Mentions – Keznamdi, Kelissa, Alkaline, Samantha J

This year was a strong year for debutantes on the local scene. Keznamdi has music lovers re-thinking how they would spend each Weekend, Alkaline inked his eye and his name on the Dancehall scene, Kelissa continued a recent run of impressive, upcoming female singers coming out, while teenage sensation, Samantha J bragged about being the girl in the Tight Up SkirtBut, in this writer’s opinion, there is only one winner.

As an ardent listener of Portmore’s Sun City 104.9FM, there is a strong amount of good, featured music by artists with potential, but little to no mainstream assurance. One such artist was a St. Thomas native by the name of Jah Bouks whose vocals and concepts were unique and smooth.

After hearing songs like Angola and Don’t Cry play so many times on radio, there was no doubt in this writer’s mind 2013 would be Jah Bouks would be a breakout act, if he got the right push. Sai push came in the form of competing on season six of Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall, where his singing ability and stage presence instantly made him a hit with music lovers. He failed to emerge with the million-dollar grand prize, but his star had shone too brightly for him to fade in the limelight soon thereafter.

Angola has been a big hit in mainstream media and on Jamaican streets, landing him several shows locally and overseas in the last six months. Going Home, Vital and others proved that this was not just any ordinary, fly-by-night tinker in his music, but someone whose vision is more wide-ranging than some veteran acts in today’s business, if you listen to his content. 2014 will be a year in which music lovers will look on him Highly! As he would say.

Male Deejay of the Year – I-Octane

Male Deejay of the Year – I-Octane

Honorable Mentions – Aidonia, Vybz Kartel

There was a huge struggle with this pick, nearly a temptation to leave this award vacant in all honesty, as no Dancehall artist really made his mark on the scene all year-round, struggling for a string of hits.

Konshens, who asserted his authority in Dancehall throughout 2012 with a slew of number ones, was mostly an afterthought this year, with Pull Up To Mi Bumper (feat. J Capri) really being his only standout song, with well over six million YouTube views.

Vybz Kartel, still awaiting word on his freedom from a long-standing murder charge, produced his share of noteworthy songs such as School, Business and Georgina. But, as often the case with the ‘Worl’ Boss’ in recent years, he follows up one big song with five low quality ones.

Aidonia certainly looked like the frontrunner in the first half of the year, driving female audiences mad with songs like Fi Di Jockey, Bruki and Tip Pon Yuh Toe, but his work released since the summer drastically failed to replicate that early success.

So, in the end, this honour goes to I-Octane. His hit at the start of the year, Gyal A Gimme Bunwas a hit with music lovers, adding a mix of old-school vibes with new school humor, as evidenced by the accompanying video. Happy Time and Wine and Jiggle have also been strong on local charts and, despite some skepticism going in, Octane validated the faith shown in him by Reggae Sumfest organizers to close their Dancehall Night with one of his better performances.

Mind you, this was not as solid a year for him as 2010 was, but in a year where many Dancehall acts flattered to deceive, he managed to topple them all.

Female Deejay of the Year – Lady Saw

 Female Deejay of the Year – Lady Saw

Female Deejay of the Year – Lady Sawjamaica-gleaner.com

Honorable Mentions – Macka Diamond, Spice

Unlike the male version of this category, the female one took much less thought, because frankly, content from female deejays was very limited.

Macka Diamond certainly had the biggest song amongst her compatriots with the chart-topping single, Dye Dyebut could not duplicate that form with her follow-up efforts, no matter how raunchy or edgy her promotional or lyrical content gotSpice also had a pair of modest hits, Twerk and Dun Wife which were catchy and thought-provoking, but she was mostly anonymous otherwise, with her beefs with Macka Diamond and the winner of this category mainly keeping her talked about in the press.

For all intent and purposes, Lady Saw was supposed to be done with Dancehall – moving on to a calmer, more spiritual lifestyle after growing tired of the stress and obstacles within a genre she dominated for decades. But the inner ‘bad gyal’ in her just could not resist staying away for good. Her video for Heels On, and the remix (featuring Flo-Rida) put her back on the international map again.

Her solo set at STING 2013, and, moments later, lyrical decapitation of the aforementionedMacka Diamond during their heated clash at the show really summed up how much Dancehall still needs its queen. She still has the edge and lyrical quality left to be a force in the business, as Heels On proved. Time will tell if she follows up on her decision on walk away for good, but her fans will certainly try their best to keep her around.

Reggae Artist of the Year – Chronixx

Reggae Artist of the Year – Chronixx

Reggae Artist of the Year – Chronixx reggaesumfest.com

Honorable Mentions – Sizzla, Beres Hammond, Etana

After a year which saw him rise to instant super stardom with one international hit after the next, one could forgive Chronixx if he relented and moseyed along 2013 while trying to find firm footing within this new-found status. Nope, he is a Warrior, and he continues to fight his way to the top with alarming ease.

Conceptually, he is well beyond his years, showcased through his chart-topping hit,Smile Jamaica, a song reminiscent of Bob Marley’s classic, with a spin on it comparing Jamaica to a beautiful woman. After dropping one of the best songs of 2013, he could again be forgiven for taking his foot off the gas pedal. Of course, again, he refused.

Access Granted, Rain Music, Most I and Here Comes Trouble went over with Jamaicans far and wide, earning rotation in markets such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Billboard has already identified him as potentially Reggae music’s next big superstar, and who would blame them for jumping to that conclusion this early, given his catalogue.

In fairness, Sizzla, Beres Hammond and Etana put out solid hits which did not received nearly the same airplay or approval, but were solid throughout the year, both in studio and on stage. The former two received nods for the 2014 Best Reggae Album Grammy, whileEtana, in this writer’s opinion, should have earned a similar nod.

Given the trajectory Chronixx is on, such recognition will be coming his way much sooner than later, and deservedly so.

Song of the Year – Bumaye (Major Lazer feat. Busy Signal)

 Song of the Year – Bumaye (Major Lazer feat. Busy Signal)

Song of the Year – Bumaye (Major Lazer feat. Busy Signal)twelvefresh.com

Honorable Mentions – Smile Jamaica (Chronixx), Gyal a Gimme Bun (I-Octane), Nuh Compatible (Bugle)

There were a few gems that sparkled song-wise within the seemingly rusting jewel that was Jamaican music in 2013; all of them dominating for a long stretch of time.

Gyal a Gimme Bun was Dancehall’s biggest, most noteworthy hit between January and March, racking up number ones and giving pop culture a new term to exhaust with ‘Mi chest plate a bun mi.’

Nuh Compatible was one of the spring’s most talked about songs, composed by journeyman artist, Bugle, who finally earned his first real mainstream hit since his debut single, What We Gonna Do five years earlier. The acclaim it received was deserved and gave those going through untenable relationships a song to hang their hat on.

As mentioned in the previous slide, Smile Jamaica was a stroke of genius by Chronixx, and was easily the best Reggae song for 2013. But, the winner of this category had his song play in the background of a Pepsi commercial featuring world footballing great, Lionel Messi.Enough said.

Busy Signal, seeking that next, big mainstream hit since being released from prison in November of last year, teamed with Major Lazer for the single, Bumaye, which in English, means kill them (a phrase shouted during Muhammad Ali’s legendary fight with George Foreman).

This top-of-the-line, collaboration was, to use another boxing reference, an instant knockout, earning over 40 million YouTube hits, platinum status in Denmark and that aforementioned commercial with Messi. It was a throwback-themed song – using old-time Dancehall sounds and terms – that morphed into a commercial success and made Busy a major international player once again.

Story of the Year – Tessanne is ‘The Voice’

Story of the Year – Tessanne is ‘The Voice’

Story of the Year – Tessanne is ‘The Voice’ File photo

There could only be one winner or nominee for this honor; a no-brainer really.

Some four or five months ago, Tessanne Chin was a relative afterthought struggling to find a major breakthrough that would launch a once promising career that mostly stalled since making her mainstream debut as a teenager in 2004. Thanks to smart advice from Shaggy and one-chair-turning audition in Los Angeles, she went from Hideaway to being one of the most sought after musicians in the world right now.

Chin long possessed the vocal range, clarity and stage presence necessary to become a superstar, and after successfully auditioning for season five of NBC’s The Voice, those qualities were finally there for a much bigger audience than ours to witness. Song by song, she hit every high note with ease, and round-by-round, more American viewers were warming up to a woman whose personality and talent were too irresistible a combination to overlook.

Her last two solo performances – of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Waterand Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing – were two of the most memorable performances ever displayed by a Jamaican artist, or on any talent show worldwide for that matter. With every well-sung word, she had her own coach, Adam Levine, and really everyone else speechless, leaving one to wonder how high her ceiling really is.

Winning The Voice and an American recording contract were mere formalities really. It was the way the she galvanized her entire country to the point bars and Half-Way-Tree square were filled to Bolt-like proportions that was the real story. Jamaican music, and Jamaica in general, now had something to smile broadly about in a year filled with economic and social mishaps and drug controversy surrounding the island’s main source of unbridled joy in recent years, its track and field team.

Chin brought a badly-needed light on the island in dark times and has given every local musician to believe that a break is coming, with just a little persistence and attention to detail required. She now has the opportunity to become the island’s next musical icon and open doors for Jamaican in an American market which has not been kind to them since the days ofDamian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Shaggy and Sean Paul.

Here is to hoping in 2014, she lays the foundation for Jamaica building a much stronger home musically.