Tessanne Chin Comes Full Circle in St Kitts

Above: Tessanne Chin at the St Kitts Music Festival (photos by CJ)

By Alexander Brtiell

BASSETERRE – It was a year ago that Tessanne Chin was slated to perform here at what was the 17th annual St Kitts Music Festival.

But at the last minute, Chin was let out of her contract by organizers, for a very good reason: she was launching an international career on NBC’s The Voice.

Chin later won the US singing competition, transforming her into one of the Caribbean’s premier music stars and a leading light of the reggae fusion genre.

Almost a year later, Chin triumphantly took the stage at Warner Park Saturday night, grateful for the chance to return and clearly mindful of how her life had changed.

“It definitely is a full-circle moment,” she told Caribbean Journal. “I can only just give thanks to God and thanks to the people out there that have supported me even from before everything. It’s definitely a moment I will treasure.”

In a wide-ranging performance that frequently included mentions of her journey on the show, Chin serenaded St Kitts and Nevis and the global audience attending this weekend’s festivities with everything from an old-school ska song to several of the ballads that vaulted her to the top of competition last year.

She displayed her impressive range with what was clearly a new level of confidence while retaining her signature humility.

She visibly moved the crowd with a soulful rendition of fellow Jamaican Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.

And there’s more: Saturday night’s show was also a return to a stage on which she made one of her first major regional appearances, also at the St Kitts Music Festival, in 2007, and she made a point of thanking fans for supporting her at that festival “before the Voice.”

This was, to be sure, a very different Tessanne Chin from 2007; her voice, however, was just as brilliant.