Island sweetheart and songstress Tessanne Chin, has been uber busy since copping ‘The Voice’ title in 2013. She continues to truly represent her island and the Caribbean, both local and abroad. Chin also ‘shouted out’ fellow Caribbean musical brother, Machel Montano who won ‘Best International Performance’.
Fresh from her tour, Chin’s most recent major stop was the renowned 2014 Soul Train Awards Show , aired on BET, November 30th, where she was both an Award presenter and performer (See video below at 5:50)…How huge is that?? Taking the Caribbean to the worlddd!!
Tessanne has been posting her own unofficial personal pics from the show for her fans, while expressing excitement from her own personal experience being at such a huge event, sharing stage and witnessing some of her own favorite artistes in action on stage.
Clip from BET: “…and the perfect blend of island rhythms from Tessanne Chin and soul vibes from Liv Warfield come together to pay homage to the legendary Kool & The Gang. Season 2014 (11/30/2014)
Tessanne wrote: “Thank you CentricTV and BET #soultrainawards2014 for this amazing opportunity to share the stage with these incredible artists to honour these #Giants of music #KoolandTheGang So happy to #Celebrate with you ..”
SEE PICS BELOW:
“It was my honour Kool & the Gang !!! Sooo glad I got to share the stage with Liv Warfield during your tribute !!! #SoulTrainAwards #KoolAndTheGang #TrueLegends
This year’s Legend Award Presented by #ToyotaShowcase went to Kool & the Gang!!”
“It was such an honour to meet and present with you @WolfBlitzer thank you for helping me through the nerves #soultrainawards2014 @CentricTv @Bet”
Views expressed are solely the opinion of the writer, and when of others is clearly quoted, and not (unless specifically stated as such) that of www.nataliemonique.com.
by Natalie Monique
The Republic of Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean (over 11 million inhabitants), having gained formal Independence from the United States in 1902. Cuba has always been known for its rigid Communist regime under Leader Fidel Castro, causing a huge lack of Freedom for its citizens. After Raul Castro became President in 2008, he promised that there would be more freedom in Cuba, of which there has been progressive changes. Though slow in movement, one can say there seems to be a ray of hope. There are still major restrictions for example, Computer ownership/Internet use and Travelling to name a few, and there is still a high rate of Illegal Emigration. However, the island does boast a highly rich Culture (understandable being a highly multi-ethnic region), offers the best worldwide healthcare, a 99.8% literacy rate and a lower infant death rate than most developed countries, but many of the benefits are not equally distributed.
A huge part of Cuban Culture is Music, right now various types of Music though not definitively known as Genres are enjoyed more in the island. Besides Cuban produced Music, local Cuban musicians also tend to adapt worldwide Popular Cultures such as Hip Hop, Reggae, Reggaeton and Rap, while still maintaining their own vibe through content and lyrics representing current Social and Political issues.
Approaching the 1990’s, Cubans began listening to Reggaeton, a ‘form’ of Reggae Music (blending Reggae, Electronic and Latin beats) which many original Reggae Lovers feel can never come remotely close to the authentic and meaningful Genre. Reggaeton is mostly popular in the Latin American Culture and spreading to other regions especially where Latin American communities exist, I would be lying if I say it doesnt get me moving. There is nothing more satisfying and relaxing even somewhat holistic, than some real, unadulterated Reggae Music seeping through your body. However, I think its great when persons try to emulate this beautiful Genre, I’m all for diversifying, creating an eclectic blend, mixing cultures, as long as the original is still maintained and respected…I do agree however, we can never say it is actual Reggae Music:)
Holding Cuban and Jamaican Flags – Photo/Caridad
Some Cubans have actually criticised Reggaeton as being ‘too explicit’ and sexual, and publicly yearned for Reggae, and original Reggae lovers there have made efforts to push the actual genre, however limited by Resources and support. When say Reggae, I am not referring to Cuban Reggae, which is a mix of Hip Hop, African Beats and Reggae, but the original ‘Jamaican born’ Reggae. In Cuba, Reggae is largely associated with the Rastafarian culture, as is in many other societies, hence Reggae is represented and promoted by the small cross section of Rastas in Cuba. Reggae? We all instantly think of the Jamaican King of Reggae, Bob Marley who was a convicted Rastafarian, spreading Reggae Music worldwide, touching the lives of persons from various races, cultures, age and class.
Most of the Rastas and Reggae Musicians reside in in the Eastern part of Cuba, where it is believed mostly Jamaicans live, and a huge Caribbean influence exist. However, Cuba does not permit the ‘public’ Rastafarian practice, namely smoking Cannibis, which is considered a main part of the faith. There has been controversy as Reggaeton is more popular (not without criticism though) than Reggae, the original genre from where it was even created. There are a few Reggae bands/artistes in Cuba, main ones such as Remanente and Paso Firme, and others on the rise still trying to keep the genre alive.
I recently bumped into an article in the Havana Times, where the author Dmitiri Prieto said he met with Raudel, a local Musician who pleaded for ‘the advance of pacifistic non-conformist spirituality in support of reggae and against reggaeton, which he said represented the corruption and perversion of the music that gave it its birth.’ He also highlighted the fact that Rastas are unable to freely practice their belief due to Law enforcement.
Check out this Documentary trailer, directed by Susanne Moss ‘Ras Cuba’:
He mentioned that the Mass Media has also been airing more Reggae promotions and even Bob Marley which is a good sign for the well loved Genre. To highlight progress, he also made reference to a recently published Cuban book ‘La Cultura Rastafari en Cuba’ (Rastafarian Culture in Cuba) by Cuban Researcher/Author Samuel Fure Davis. I also came across another interesting online narrative by Fure wrote back in 2005, ‘Lyrical Subversion in Cuban Reggae’ and and his in-depth ‘Reggae in Cuba’, a presentation at the University of the West Indies, UWI, Jamaica. Prieto also mentioned an upcoming conference on ‘African-based’ beliefs of which he says will include the Rastafarian Faith, for the first time.
Reggae means different things to different person, to Cubans it is synonymous with Rastafari. I am not a Rasta nor smoke Marijuana, (not every Islander smokes meds by the way), but those who know me well, KNOW I deeply enjoy the natural mystic/outdoor vibe, nourishing and healing the body with herbs, seeking knowledge, eating organic and healthy AND I am an avid fan of my Island’s Reggae and Dancehall Music! Despite what Reggae means to you, we here at nataliemonique.com are determined to keep this island gem of a genre alive and taking the authentic Caribbean culture to the World:)
We love the move, the word is getting out…Free Up Reggae maan! Its not ‘just’ Music, it is a euphoric experience! We may like Music, but everybody needs a little Reggae!:) Who better to explain what Reggae is all about than the King of Reggae himself: (Watch Videos below) Feel free to comment/share your thoughts:)
The effervescent, 19 year old Chantelle Winnie is Canada’s first contestant in the popular Television reality series, ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Cycle 21, hosted by Tyra Banks.
Chantelle ‘Winnie Harslow’ Young is also the official Toronto spokesperson Vitiligo, a skin condition which is also popularly referred to as the ‘Michael Jackson disease’.
According to her official Instagram page, Chantelle is of Jamaica descent and lived in Toronto all her life, her mother’s family hails from Trelawny in Jamaica and her father’s from Westmoreland.
Signs of Vitiligo became evident when Chantelle was around the age of four or five, which was first seen on her tummy and it has been progressing ever since. (via Instagram)
America’s Next Top Model first premiered on May 20th, 2003. In 2004 when the popular Eva Pigford won, Jamaica was one of the international destinations during the competition as well as in 2012, co-hosted by former Miss Jamaica Universe, Yendi Phillips. ANTM also further expanded with the ‘Caribbean’s Next Top Model’, shot on location in Trinidad and Tobago . Former Miss Universe and Miss trinidad Wnedy FitzWilliams was one of the judges and the winner Treveen Stewart from Cayman Islands.
Watch Chantelle’s ANTM Plea Video and her discussing Vitiligo, how she has overcome challenges, proving she is not different but unique, building herself into the bold person she is now. (below):
After first gaining recognition on ice on entering their first ever Winter Olympics, Calgary in 1988, Jamaica is once again proving there is no stopping for the little island on the map! Taking the Caribbean to the world
From previous legends and onwards, including but by far not limited to the great Bob Marley, Usain Bolt, Tessanne Chin to name a few…the 2 man tropical Bobsledding team, Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon are ready to melt the ice in Russia, at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
For those not familiar with the movie ‘Cool Runnings’ which gave an account of the controversial Bobsleigh team coming out of Jamaica, see video below (includes snippets). Jamaica is ready again…the previous team may not have won but certainly had the world talking in awe of their brave achievement.
…Jamaica’s Bobsleigh team Coach Tom Samuel is certain the islanders can do it, efforts are currently underway and with the well needed funding, the team is ready to prove their worth on ice…check out video below:
PS. Follow link to official crowdfund page to help contribute to Team Jamaica’s Bobsled team https://www.crowdtilt.com/campaigns/help-the-jamaican-bobsled-team-get-to-sochi?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Tweet&utm_campaign=JamaicanBobsledToSochi
Morgan Heritage’s latest single “Ends Nah Meet,” has been selected as the official theme song for the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship, following Jamaica’s last leg of FIFA’s World Cup Trophy Tour.