Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 27th 2013 Contents B1
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Singer Tessanne Chin is still
on cloud nine following the
broadcast of her audition for the
televised talent show, The Voice,
on American network NBC on
Speaking to the Jamaica
Observer, Chin described watch-
ing her pre-recorded performance
"I was at a family friend s house
and in true Jamaican style we cel-
ebrated with food. I relived every
single emotion... It was a moving
experience. I am super-happy
with all the love and support I
am getting from my Jamaicans
and Caribbean people," she said.
On Tuesday, Chin, who gained
prominence locally for her hit
song Hideaway, mesmerised her
audience performing Pink s Try.
As for her decision to work with
coach Adam Levine, Chin drew
parallels with her own musical
style and that of the Maroon 5
front man. "Adam is a musical
chameleon. You hear pop, rock
and different elements and genres
in him and I like that. I hate being
put into a box. I believe one should
be free." (jamaicaobserver.com)
Tessanne Chin on a musical high
If 50 CDs are sold for the week at $30 per
CD, then that would cover the bills for the
month. Simple math is a system of survival
that has kept soca star Fireball afloat for some
So, to see him neatly attired in jeans,
a shirt and a cap---knocking at the wound-
up windows of cars, trying to get the
attention of drivers waiting for the green
light at Trincity Central Road to turn onto
Churchill Roosevelt Highway, the image
is a shock to some. To others, it s a joke.
Radio DJs have sniggered on air about his
present state. But for Fireball, whose real
name is Rohan Richards, it is not neces-
sarily a down-in-the-dumps scenario.
"It is one of my strategies to make it
in the (music) business," he said frankly.
"This business has its ups and downs and
when you are down, you have to fight up.
At the end of the day, I have my respon-
He captured the spotlight with his falsetto oper-
atic voice as the first Synergy Soca Star in 2006.
This was quickly followed in 2007 by his first hit
What I Want which morphed from soca to a
reworked hit by French DJ and remixer Bob Sinclar
that same year and topped the European Club
Music Charts. Not to mention there was a saucy
music video showing off his "boot camp" that
converted demure nerds to silicone-implanted sex-
pots. In 2008, the song was released by Record
Plant Records in the US and hit the Billboard Hot
Dance Club Play Charts at number 14. That year,
he was in contention with Madonna, Ne Yo and
He admits though there were things that did
not sit right with him after his successful start.
"They told me my performance was not good
enough," Fireball said of his relationship with the
company that helped him score on Billboard. "That
is what mashed me up."
The hope of working on a CD also went up in
Back in Trinidad, he was feeling stifled.
"My music was not getting played. I worked
with top producers and still the music did not get
played," he said. "Since 2008, I didn t get hire for
a major fete...now I realise talent isn t everything."
His greatest lesson about this music business:
talent is five per cent of the game; 95 per cent is
business. So, he sells CDs; holds the mic as an
MC for shows and royalties from his earlier success
continue to come in. "You never hear rumours of
Fireball taking drugs or sleeping on the road," he
responds to the jokes about him.
His previous business was a juice vendor and
he did well at it. His trade is
steel bending but he has no
desires to return to the con-
struction industry. The Laven-
says he d rather the music busi-
ness despite the stones already
hurled at him.
"Music is easy for me. I have
more than 1,000 songs.
Music is now part of
me," he said.
lately at the Piarco Interna-
tional Airport, he offers
prospective buyers a choice
of his talent---soca or reg-
"I remember once, I
stopped a French man at
the airport, asking him
to buy my CD. He told
me I don t like
Trinidad music and
Then I asked him, Do
you know Bob Sinclar?
Then I m Fireball. It rang
a bell with the man, he said
he remembered me and told me how much
he loved the video. He bought a CD," he
When Fireball won the Synergy Soca
Star contest, he walked away with $5,000,
a music video and a cellphone. Six years
later, he walks with faith that his time
will return soon. He says he has songs
ready for 2014, waiting to release an album
of 12 tracks. He is also considering a musi-
cal return to Europe.
"Everything has highs and lows. The
best is yet to come," he said.
'Music is easy for
me. I have more
than 1,000 songs.
Music is now part
could switch my
Maybe you've passed
Rohan "Fireball" Richards
selling CDs in Trincity and
not realised that this is a
young man who has
taken soca music to the
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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