As soon as Tessanne Chin's rendition of Pink's Try forced a four-chair turn on NBC's 'The Voice', The Gleaner began looking at why it was that the singer had not earned more recognition in Jamaica, though her talent had been obvious.
Was it because she chose to infuse reggae with rock - a somewhat novel idea (Bob Marley had fused the two and suffered a drop in popularity in Jamaica) - or was it because she never received the right kind of support from the music industry's powerhouses?
The Gleaner asked some industry insiders to share their thoughts.
Do we support our artistes or do we wait until they have achieved internationally to embrace them?
Shane Brown (producer):
It is unfortunate that sometimes it would seem as if we don't support our own Jamaican brand until we are looked upon internationally. But as great ones have said, 'A king is never honoured in his own country'. But one thing is for sure, when it comes down to support, there's nothing like Jamaican support. Things like these (Tessanne's attempt to win 'The Voice') always unify the country.
Bambino (disc jock):
I wouldn't say it is all Jamaicans, but sometimes, you have talented people whose worth Jamaicans might not understand at times. Then when they go overseas and get recognised, then we out here start to show them more recognition. So I kinda agree with that statement. Sometimes we don't nurture our talented artistes, musicians, athletes here.
D Major (artiste):
It is sad that, for the most part, we don't support our own until they rise to international acclaim, and then we react. So for me, the one thing I would change is to have us as Jamaicans rally around our own people and support them from here.
Conroy Forte (producer):
It's a little bit of both sides. We do nurture those we choose to nurture. Some people have the mindset that when some artistes buss a farin, dem will buss a yard and vice versa. It's a little bit of both. But I'm extremely happy for Tessanne. She has done us proud.
For the most part, no. Most wait until something big starts to happen before they 'run in'.
Sharon Burke (Tessanne's agent):
History has always gone that away as is evidenced by Bob Marley, Shaggy, and Sean Paul. I think radio stations need to be more observant of artistes and be more mindful of the talented artistes who are being overlooked. We, as Jamaicans, need to focus more on our own. I am extremely happy, though, that Tessanne has now risen to international acclaim and has become the star she was destined to be. I am happy to see that Jamaicans are supporting her wholeheartedly. I can feel the love from all walks of life. As soon as Tessanne walks out of her hotel room, people are just flocking to her. Tessanne's talent is undeniable, and I know that she has done the entire country proud.
It depends on the artiste and the type of music. Tessanne is a prime example of not being embraced until international achievement. I just hope that in the future, we will be more accepting of all individuals and their talent and not wait until someone else recognises it before we jump on the bandwagon.