Author: Fabian Thomas | Date: 06 May 2012
I have admired Cherine for a long time and continue to be inspired by her growth and maturity as an entertainer. She has taken the road less travelled: the path of paying dues, cultivating her abilities and developing her signature Dancehall Soul sound; a mixture of reggae, dancehall, soul and R&B.
Along her journey, Cherine has honed her talent and craft and become one of Jamaica's leading young female singer/songwriters and performers. Her genre defying grooves coupled with her powerful voice and thought provoking lyrics has brought her in front of well over 1,000,000 live audience fans. With a growing army of supporters, who she affectionately calls her dancehall-SOULdiers , she has had the privilege of steadily touring in places such as Jamaica, Europe, Canada, Australia and the USA.
What follows are Cherine's answers to 11 questions I asked her after she graciously agreed to be interviewed for MNI Alive:
Q: What are your proudest accomplishments as an artist to date?
A: That's a great question. I have been incredibly blessed with some wonderful opportunities to share my music with enthusiastic people all over the world. I am proud of all the accomplishments but there are still a lot of things that I would like to do so I'll continue to work as hard as I know to accomplish even more.
Q: What songs are on your Top 5 song list?
A: Still haven't Found What I'm looking For by U2
How We living by Cherine Someone Like you by Adele "Love On Top by Beyonce "Somebody That I Use To Know" by Gotye
Q: Who would you identify as your main influences as an artist and as a woman?
A: I have been inspired by several artists from varying genres some of the ones who stand out are Lauryn Hill, Marcia Griffiths, Gladys Knight, U2, and Bob Marley. As a woman I would say my mother has been my greatest influence.
Q: You have delved into charity and behaviour change work, what are the projects and why have you chosen to get involved?
A: I really love my country and I believe our young people need and want our support. I do applaud all those who choose to give from their hearts whether it's their time, expertise, or money no matter the amount. I do have to say that it's also rewarding for me. I actually started a foundation, "Reach One Child Jamaica. Through my foundation I hope reach and inspire young kids in a real way. We'll be launching our school tour and website soon so for those who are interested in giving back to Jamaican youths please check out our work at www.reachonechild.org
Q: What's your next music project?
A: Well right now I am promoting my current singles How We Living. The song has been getting really good rotation on local radio and the video has been making positive strides as well. In addition, we just release another single, titled Eagles & Doves. We are also in the planning stages for my debut album.
Q: Tell me about your band.
A: Rockfort Rebels is a collective of musicians and singers that I have handpicked to form my official backing band. It has always been my dream to have my very own band since I started in the business, so in 2011 after returning from a major tour I decided I would take the time to find musicians who would help me create a live outfit for many of the songs fans have grown to love. I was approached by TVJ to do an hour-long unplugged TV special and we use this as the opportunity to first introduce the band to the world. We took a few more months and a few members were replaced and then officially launched Cherine & Rockfort Rebels in January of 2012. I have a great bunch of musicians and harmony singers who are producers, writers and singers in their own right because we all pursue our own individual interest but play when we play together it's really the songs I've written and the songs that my #dancehallSOULdiers love.
Q: What does 'Jamaica 50' mean to you?
A: I am proud of the great positive strides for such a little country. Our music is distinctive and played all over the world. I also recognise that although we have made many strides as an independent country we still have a long way to go.
Q: What are you most grateful for?
A: Life. Love. Dreams. My family and the many awesome people I get to meet at my performances.
Q: Tell me 2 misconceptions people have about you.
A: 1. That I am from uptown (couldn't be further from the truth.)
2. That I am a roots artist. The reality is that I sing real music for real people, songs about society songs about love songs about issue like sex and all the things that affect me as a young woman.
Q: What would you like to have achieved by 2017?
A: By the 2017 I would like to achieve 3 mega successful global albums that allow me to keep touring until I chose to retire from this business. I would love Grammy recognition and the opportunity to be in a few Hollywood movies. Additionally, I would love to see Reach One Child Jamaica make significant positive impact on Jamaican youths and continue to expand on our outreach work globally.
Q: What are your feelings about the current state of the Jamaican music industry?
A: My view is that there are different types of music for everyone. What doesn't appeal to one set of people is embraced by another set of people and vice versa. So I want to see more dancehall and more reggae being made without preference shown to either, it still represents us, it's all Jamaican music. My concern is really about quality. I want to see a consistent great quality music coming out of Jamaica, but the current state of the music needs a lot of improvement.
Photo Credit To Jasmin Kuhn
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Fabian Thomas is an freelance contributor with MNI Alive