Tami Chynn (born Tammar Anika Chin, 14 June 1984) was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Her father, Richard Chin, is of Chinese descent with Cherokee ancestry and her mother, Christine Chin is Afro-Jamaican and British. Her parents were in a band called The Carnations and her younger sister, Tessanne Chin, is also a reggae fusion singer and former member of the group ‘Mile High’.
Tami grew up in the parish of St. Andrew and attended St. Peter and Paul Preparatory School. She later attended Campion College in St. Andrew, Jamaica. In 1998, at age 14, she moved to Leamington Spa, UK where she spent three years studying the performing arts and in 2001, at age 17, moved back to Jamaica where she worked on her music career and recorded her first single “Rock U”.
Tami Chynn married fellow reggae/dancehall artist Wayne Marshall in 2009. (Source: Wikipedia)
Sometimes it is where you’re from and not where you’re at. Tami Chynn, seated in Akon’s Atlanta studio is a long way from her hometown of Kingston, Jamaica, the place where she experienced her first foray into singing and dancing, initially for family and friends then later for screaming fans.
At first glance it’s clear to see that Tami Chynn is indeed one of a kind. A pop princess who emerged from one of the grittiest, male dominated music scenes, Jamaica’s dancehall. “My influences are very eclectic. If you browsed my iPod you’d get confused, but it all works really,” says Tami. As she prepares to release PRIMADONNA, her major label debut on SRC/Universal Records, Miss Chynn’s main focus is making music that inspires girls everywhere and of all ages. Tami succeeds in doing just that by singing fun, empowering, sexy, and at times sentimental lyrics over the platinum RedOne/Konvict sound. Her songs move you in the emotional and physical sense of the word, as this album is sure to keep you on the dance floor.
Ironically, as she prepares introduce her new material to the world and embark on her debut performance with Akon, she returns to the place where she first found inspiration to be a star. At the age of fourteen, Tami Chynn moved to London where she spent the next three years absorbing the culture and sights while attending school for performing arts. It was during this time Tami realized that her dream of becoming an artist could in fact be her reality, and when she returned to Jamaica she set out to establish her “roots.” Taking lessons from Jamaican artists such as Beenie Man, Sean Paul and Lady Saw, all of whom she’s collaborated with in the past, Tami realized early on the importance of catering to her core audience before spreading abroad. Soon after the release of her first video, “Rock U,” Jamaica was all abuzz with talk of this fresh new female artist who’s hot sound was rivaled by her even hotter look.
Once she had everyone’s attention, Tami Chynn earned her respect as someone to watch, keeping herself current by appearing on the hottest ‘riddims’ with many of the young successful artists out of Jamaica. While her underground hits such as “Touch Me,” “I’d Like to Know,” and “Show Me Now,” were gaining popularity Tami released an independent album led by the single “Hyperventilating” featuring popular reggae group T.O.K.
Although she was knee deep in the Reggae scene there was always something different about Chynn’s approach to music. Her diverse influences have always given her a more worldly sound. Looking to artists such as Beyonce, Madonna and Gwen Stefani, Tami Chynn has always understood the importance of being an artist who’s able to reinvent herself in new genres. “I think Jamaica expected this of me because my music was always dancehall with influences from pop, hip-hop and even rock and roll,” says Tami.
Though she’s not quite sure what to label her music and even suggests “we put the CD in a couple different sections in the store,” Tami Chynn does know how to make hits. She was first introduced to Akon in early 2007 through SRC label CEO, Steve Rifkind. The two later linked up along with Akon’s producing partner RedOne, and the chemistry was evident, as they breezed through the album in “about two weeks.” Banging out songs such as “Frozen” featuring Akon, “We Don’t Mess,” a diva anthem, and the trance-like “Hypnotico” Tami Chynn feels like this album represents a new sound coming from Jamaica that showcases its ever-evolving musical culture. Showing that she can still make popular music you can dance to without losing her message, Tami walks a fine line, always in her favorite pair of stilettos. On tracks such as “Killa Love Song” and “This Must Be Love” Chynn slows it down to demonstrate her vocal range and “channel her inner Sade.” However, don’t expect her to take it slow anytime soon. She’s already back in the studio recording for upcoming collaborations and other songs she may simply release exclusively for fans at home in Jamaica.
She might be “Frozen” over the sliding energetic keys on the destined for dance floor Konvict/RedOne hit, but Tami Chynn is far from being cold. The heat emanating from this soon-to-be pop princess is about to be felt worldwide.