In our modern day parade of glamour, glitz and unmerited superstardom, Cherine Anderson has taken today’s road less traveled; the path of paying dues,
cultivating her abilities and developing her signature Dancehall Soul sound; a mixture of reggae, dancehall, soul and r&b. After the past two years of constant
work by the songstress, the name Cherine Anderson has become synonymous with several titles: chart topping and award winning singer, thought provoking
songwriter, award winning actress, music video director, magazine cover model, dynamic stage performer, vibrant collaborator and fashion forward stylista.
Cherine was born in Rockfort, East Kingston, Jamaica to parents Derryck and Barbara Anderson. Her parents immersed Cherine and her two older sisters in
church activities, determined to keep them off the unstable streets. It was in church that her musical talents were discovered. Cherine explains, “It wasn’t so
much the message in the church songs that appealed to me at first…it was the passion and strength of peoples’ voices.” Cherine received professional
training in music, dance and theatre at age 12 when she became a touring member of the Ashe Performing Arts Ensemble, one of the Caribbean’s most
successful performance companies.
In The Movies
At age 14, Cherine’s formal professional career began when she starred in one of Jamaica’s most successful films, Dancehall Queen. In 2003, Cherine
combined her two loves, singing and acting, starring in the film One Love. Her voice lent two heartfelt songs to the film’s soundtrack, and her acting talents
earned her the MTV2/Urbanworld Film Festival Award for Best Actress in a Feature Film. Anderson returned to acting in 2007 to star in MTV Tempo’s
interactive drama Choices.
Beauty AND Brains
Not only does this young lady possess talent, beauty and class, Cherine is a highly educated, intelligent young woman as well. Graduating with honors from
prestigious Middlebury College with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Music and a minor in Japanese Language and Literature, Cherine continuously raises the
bar for herself in every aspect of her life. She even studied abroad for a year at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. During her college career, her passion and
dedication to her craft led her to acquire numerous internships at entertainment companies including MTV Networks, Interscope Records and the Chris
Blackwell owned Palm Pictures and Palm Records.
The Big Time
For an artist who has yet to drop her debut album, Cherine has had the opportunity to appear alongside some of the world’s biggest artists. Cherine has been
featured on the official remixes for Madonna (“Give It 2 Me”), Britney Spears (“Piece of Me”) and Sir Paul McCartney (“Nod Your Head”). She has also
collaborated with Wyclef Jean for her upcoming album, and she performed with Wyclef to over 7,000 fans in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Cherine was also
chosen by prolific singer/activist Michael Franti to be featured on the new Franti and Spearhead album All Rebel Rockers (September, 2008). Anderson co-
wrote and sings on three songs on the project, the band’s highest charted album in their history (entered #39 on Billboard’s Hot 200 album chart). Their first
single “Say Hey (I Love You)”, featuring Cherine, is garnering positive radio rotation, and is being used for advertising by outlets including E! Entertainment
and the CW Networks. Cherine also made her US television debut, appearing with Franti and Spearhead performing “Say Hey (I Love You)” on the popular
CBS program The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Giving Reggae Some Good Love
Cherine’s formal introduction as a singer/songwriter came in the form of “Good Love”; a soul filled lover’s rock tune produced by the legendary Sly & Robbie.
“Good Love” peaked at #2 on the South Florida reggae charts and also appeared on Sly & Robbie’s Grammy nominated album Anniversary. The follow up
was “Coming Over Tonight”, a duet with Chuck Fenda which gave Cherine her first #1 song and video. After two love songs, Anderson showed her flex as a
serious songwriter with “Kingston State of Mind”, dealing with the volatile political and economic climates in Jamaica. Cherine directed the video for “Kingston
State of Mind”, which peaked at #1 on MTV Tempo and other video programs. The lyrical depth of “Kingston State of Mind” also pointed Skywritings
Magazine, (the inflight magazine of Air Jamaica), to Cherine. Skywritings chose the 5’3” beauty as their feature artist and cover model for their annual Music
Issue in the summer of 2008, putting her in the esteemed company of former Music Issue cover artists Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu and Norah Jones. Her next
single and video, “You & Me Against the World”, demonstrated the singer’s vocal prowess and exquisite fashions. After a series of successful singles,
Anderson’s team made a bold move, deciding to put out a free downloadable mixtape, instead of releasing a sellable product. The mixtape, entitled Street
Anthems, was hosted by Rory of Stone Love, and gave Cherine’s fans even more to look forward to with the release of her album. Cherine also began to
receive major recognition in the form of numerous award nominations, and took home the 2008 Best Female Vocalist award at the Caribbean Urban Music
The Introduction - dubstyle
Cherine’s first formal product to be released in October 2008 will come in the form of an eight song EP entitled The Introduction-dubstyle. This EP release
grants Cherine’s fans access to some of her released singles, as well as some newly released songs including her cover of the classic “Movie Star” and her
latest single climbing the charts, “Talk If Yuh Talking”.
On The Road
Cherine has been introducing herself and her Dancehall Soul sound to audiences in the form of steady touring. In addition to performing at large Jamaican
shows such as Sumfest, Cherine has toured as the featured vocalist for Sly & Robbie on two extensive tours, taking her across the United States and Canada.
The Tailgate Summer tour of 2008 put Cherine in front of nearly 150,000 fans over 21 shows. Currently Anderson is touring with Michael Franti & Spearhead
as their opening act, as well as featured vocalist during their set. This tour will take Cherine to Australia in October, and she’ll continue by joining Sly & Robbie
and the Taxi Gang on a European tour in late October and November.
Kingston State of Mind
After writing and releasing number one songs, filming great videos, gracing the cover of magazines and touring the world, one might think the hard work is
complete, but for Cherine, it’s only just beginning. 2009 will bring the release of her long anticipated debut album Kingston State of Mind, with topnotch
producers and even more versatility exhibited from Cherine. Anderson says, “The world needs to hear more reggae and dancehall from a female’s
perspective. I feel blessed to have such great legacy set by Bob Marley, Shabba, etc… but I want to be a part of the female movement out of Jamaica that
makes a similar or even greater impression on the world.”
ITEMS OF NOTE
! Cherine will tour as vocalist for Grammy winners Sly & Robbie on extensive European tour Oct/Nov 2008
! Cherine toured the US and Australia with Michael Franti & Spearhead Sept/Oct 2008
! Cherine performed with Franti & Spearhead on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Oct 2008
! Cherine performed to sold out Hollywood Bowl Sept 2008, her second appearance at famed location
! Cherine co-wrote and performs on three songs on Franti & Spearheads album All Rebel Rockers
! Cherine performed at the 2008 Ragga Muffins Festival in California for three consecutive nights
! Cherine tours with Sly & Robbie and Taxi Gang, Slightly Stoopid and Pepper, reaching approx. 150,000 new fans Summer 2008
! Cherine was awarded the Best Female Vocalist award at the Caribbean Urban Music Awards, 2008
! Cherine released mixtape Street Anthems, a free download, as a gift to her fans
! Cherine’s single “Good Love” appears on Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Gang’s Grammy nominated album Anniversary
! Cherine performs on the Sly & Robbie official dancehall remix of Madonna’s hit “Give It 2 Me”
! Cherine performs on the Sly & Robbie official dancehall remix of Britney Spears’ hit “Piece of Me”
! Cherine has recorded a remix of “Kingston State of Mind” with Grammy winner/multiplatinum artist Wyclef Jean
! Cherine starred in the interactive drama Choices, airing on MTV Tempo
! Cherine performs alongside Sir Paul McCartney on the official dancehall remix of his song “Nod Your Head”
! Cherine reached 40,000+ fans with her tour performances with Sly & Robbie, August 2007
! Cherine performed to a sold out Hollywood Bowl (over 17,000), August 2007
! Cherine has performed at Reggae Rising (2006, 2007) to over 15,000 fans each year
! Cherine performed two nights at Reggae Sumfest, 2007
! Cherine opened for and performed alongside Wyclef Jean to over 7,000 fans in Tortola, BVI
! The video for “Kingston State of Mind” peaked at number 1 on MTV Tempo and other video programs
! Cherine directed the video for her song “Kingston State of Mind”
! Cherine’s single and video for “Coming Over Tonight” (feat. Chuck Fenda) spent several weeks at #1 in Jamaica
! Cherine’s official debut single “Good Love” (produced by Sly & Robbie) peaked at #2 on the South Florida reggae charts
! Cherine performed at Reggae Sumfest, 2006
! Cherine graduated with honors from prestigious Middlebury College
! Cherine studied Japanese Language and Literature at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan
! Cherine co-wrote and appears with Bootsy Collins and Fat Joe on the song “Soul Sister” on Bootsy’s 2003 release Playing With Bootsy
! Cherine played the heartfelt character Serena in the 2003 film One Love
! Cherine has three songs which appear in the film One Love, two appear on the film’s soundtrack
! Cherine won the MTV2/Urbanworld Film Festival Award for Best Actress in a Feature for her work in One Love
! Cherine recorded with Wyclef Jean and Sting while she was still in high school
! Cherine’s first release was a cover of Gloria Estefan’s “Party Time” in 1998
! Cherine co-starred in the film Dancehall Queen playing the sexually molested teen daughter Tanya in 1997
2009 - The Introduction Dubstyle EP
Various Soundbites on Cherine
[+ Show ]
VARIETY MAGAZINE Hollywood Bowl Hollywood, California Capacity 17,000 + By: Steve Mirkin ...VARIETY MAGAZINE
Hollywood Bowl Hollywood, California
Capacity 17,000 +
By: Steve Mirkin
“Another singer, Cherine Anderson, nearly stole the show. The Jamaican beauty is another in the long line of fine vocalists who have recorded for the Taxi label; her sweet yet authoritative voice
lends a maternal comfort to Marley's "Redemption Song," her recently recorded "Kingston State of Mind" and the gospel standard "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."
By: Nicole Kristek
“…Cherine Anderson, who showed off her range and power with slow "diva"-style vocals mixed over reggae beats. A bit reminiscent of Lauryn Hill but with more funk to her voice, we found her to be
extremely charismatic, weaving her sultry way across the stage.”
Legendary musician, Sly & Robbie
“Cherine is the real deal. A truly strong vocalist on hardcore reggae riddims with the ability and potential to surpass Jamaican audiences to reach the masses.”
LOS ANGELES JOURNAL
UCLA Jazz & Reggae Festival Hollywood, California
By: Jamie Bender
“Even without a backing band, Dancehall Queen and One Love star, unloaded a musical set that vouched for her vocal and acting talent…”
Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, BC Canada
By: Chris Little
“Finally, the emergence of Anderson for the final 40 minutes of the show took the spotlight away from Sly & Robbie and their guitar player/ad-hoc vocalist. Young, beautiful and assertive, the multi-
talented performer commanded the stage with her powerful voice, inviting more than one comparison to a young Lauryn Hill. After impressing the crowd by singing over classic reggae rhythms like
the Soul Vendors’ “Real Rock,” she ended the night with an entertaining rendition of her Jamaican chart hit “Coming Over Tonight,” proving that the fusion of classic and modern sounds championed
by the tour could be formula for continued success.”
National Daily Newspaper
By: Basil Walters
“Cherine Anderson oozes the kind of confidence and eye-catching charm that echoes her win ability in a creative endeavor that has often proven unkind to the female of the species. This dancehall
"soulstress," who is of the view that the music world needs to hear more reggae/dancehall from a female's perspective, is smoothly sailing to the forefront of her game. If there is one dancehall act
(irrespective of gender) who is on a roll at this juncture, it's Cherine Anderson.”
Bicentenial Park Miami, Florida, USA
By: Evelyn McDonnell
“Singer Cherine Anderson, a Jamaican film star, mixed neo-soul and reggae well. She was a highlight of a segment of the festival that segregated most of the female artist….”
Coral Springs, Florida
By: Cecelia Campbell -Livingston
“ A dapperly dressed Cherine Anderson sauntered onstage and like a siren, she teased tantalized and made the connection with the crowd…when she drew her mega hit “Coming Over Tonight”, it
garnered her an overwhelming response.”
By: Martin Wong
“Cherine Anderson had the full package, with an amazing voice and stage presence. She came out with "Redemption Song" and pretty much killed it through the remainder of the set. Is she a star
By: Peggy Simmons
Which band are you most excited about seeing? (#1 on Top 10 List) Cherine Anderson (South by Southwest Festival performance at Flamingo Cantina). I’ve heard a lot of great things about this
lady; she has it all going on! Songwriting, vocal range, passion, she’s worked with a ton of big names – just check out the scoop on her site and I think you’ll know why this is a must see show.”
Reggae Forums and Fans Sound Off
[+ Show ]
YardFlex.com: Beautiful show. Magnificent. I also got the opportunity to watch the young girl - C...YardFlex.com:
Beautiful show. Magnificent. I also got the opportunity to watch the young girl - Cherine. She locked the show, she looked stunning. We need to get ready to crown the queen of Reggae. Is she Bob Marley's child?? Sly and Robbie, sell off. Great performance. We need more talent like yours.
Cherine Anderson was freaking phenomenal. That chick has a huge career ahead of her. Got the chance to see her again after Reggae Rising at the Hollywood Bowl about one week later and she blew the audience away ( I am impressed that a virtually unknown act could command 17,000 people like that ).
Yeah, when Cherine Anderson sang "Redemption song" it really moved me which is rare, it even brought a tear to my eye. She did steal the show.
-Rhythmnwize (Hollywood Bowl)
Sly & Robbie absolutely killed it with a nice live dub set. Cherine Anderson was amazing -- what a voice and she is absolutely gorgeous, too.
Cherine Interview by Stan Smith
[+ Show ]
Cherine Anderson is an accomplished young lady despite her age. As an actress, Anderson starred in t...Cherine Anderson is an accomplished young lady despite her age. As an actress, Anderson starred in two feature films, Dance Hall Queen with Paul Campbell and Audrey Reid and the Rasta/Christian love story, One Love with Kymani Marley. A college graduate, Cherine speaks Japanese. We can now add singer to her resume. .
Cherine, the sexy siren, is intelligent, ambitious and driven. She is part of a new crop of Jamaican female performers like Tammi Chyn, her sister Tessann Chin, Kris Kelli, Brick and Lace, Calibe, Alaine, Etana, Devine Brown and Jovi Rockwell, to name a few who are expanding the frontiers for female entertainers in Jamaican music, where females are sorely underrepresented, by carrying the baton with veterans like Tanya Stephens, Lady Saw, Marcia Griffith, Diana King, Patra, Grace Jones, JC Lodge and Nadine Sutherland.
With several singles currently riding the international airwaves including “Come Over Tonight” with DJ Chuck Fenda and “Good Love”, (Jimmy Riley’s Love and Devotion rhythm) on VP Records 2007, Strictly the Best Singers, Vol. 36 and under the musical guidance of Sly Dunbar and Robbie and astute management this mocha chocolate beauty is set to take the world by storm as one of Jamaica’s great export to the world in the entertainment as a singer and actress.
I talked with Cherine about balancing her twin careers, singing and acting, and her impression of the music business.
SS.How long have you been singing professionally?
CA: I have been singing professionally for about 10 yrs. I started early with the Ashe performing group.
SS: Who were your major influences, internationally and locally?
CA:I am inspired by many artists such as Chevelle Franklyn and Lauryn Hill, Marcia Griffiths, Whitney Houston, Dennis Brown, Bob Marley, Prince, …too many to mention. I do also listen to a lot of female dj’s like Lady Saw and Tanya Stephens.
SS: How would you describe your music, which genre best describes your sound?
CA: I call my music “Dancehall Soul”. My sound is a hybrid of all the things that have inspired me. I have influences from roots reggae, dancehall, R&B, soul to gospel. So it’s an eclectic soulful sound that is more anchored in my Caribbean dancehall culture. Behind the beat is a message which incorporates the grittiness of my past with the sweetness of things that I have been exposed to.
SS: What are some of the obstacles you as a female artist have encountered in your career?
CA: I find that I have a very strong personality so I see obstacles as opportunities. While others have complained about shifty producers who have ulterior motives. I generally state from the door what I am about, I am here to work. Additionally I think I’ve been protected to a certain extent by having a no–nonsense manager as well as Sly Dunbar as a mentor, people are generally introduced to my talent before they even see my face…so it makes for better work and business relations. I have to say, I would have it no other way.
SS: Did you think your gender plays a part in helping or advancing your career?
CA: Historically, females have not had the level of success that males have had in the business so I do not think being female advances one career, especially in reggae. However, I think times are changing and with the commercial success of Sean (Paul) and Shaggy added to the collaborations between reggae/dancehall artist with R&B and Hip Hop artist, the international market seems a little more open to an evolving sound of reggae/dancehall that they can understand. Additionally, we have seen the emergence of many young female artists in the reggae/dancehall world in the last three years, most of who make music with R&B flair. Some artists have even been signed and plans are in place to market them in more than just reggae markets in Europe and Asia…but I think being female in reggae if anything at this point is a handicap. We have a lot of ground to break. We have to stay focus on making great music, creating HITS period and not depending on good looks.
SS: Do you think that radio, TV and the concert stage offer the female artist the same opportunities to be seen and heard as your male peers in reggae?
CA: Well I can only speak for myself. I think if you truly have talent, good songs and a smart team behind you promoters will give you the opportunity. Most Jamaican promoters won’t refuse a woman a chance to showcase on local stage. I would go as far to say they will take the chance internationally too (In my case UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival 2006). Also when you get the opportunity you simply must deliver. We can’t expect to be babied because entertainment is a business. So far I have been blessed to grace the stages of Reggae Sum fest 2006 (International Night), Reggae on the River (opening for Sly & Robbie), International Reggae Day and Sting Miami and I am still considered an emerging artist. I think the key is making sure you deliver and work on engaging your audience. Radio and TV are a whole other story. Cable TV has been very helpful for most of us young artist. Some radio DJs try to expose new talent but it’s a very, very competitive industry. However, females are getting played more on radio especially in Jamaica. I think this is the same industry that helped to establish artist like Marcia Griffiths, Millie Small, Diana King, Chevelle Franklyn, Lady Saw and Tanya Stephens to name a few…so we really continuing a legacy….things are changing. It’s really about making great songs…they always find their place.
SS: What are some of the things you think the reggae industry could do to make it easier for female artist to break into the industry or succeed?
CA: Well it would help us to be more business minded and professional and realize that females have worked in other genres and are a viable commodity. I’d say to all females stay the course and keep focused and to all male producers and promoters keep it business and let’s make music that we can market globally. I would also encourage more females to get involved in other areas of the business, become managers, promoters, publicist and rally around real talent and help to push other sisters. As females we can’t go in with the attitude that it should be easier for us…we just have to deliver as artist.
SS: What can female singers/dj do to improve and increase their visibility on stage and on record?
CA: This is hard one because every one enters the business for a different reason. I have seen so many girls my age and even younger come into the studio and before they even sing a note “on key” they are talking about being “sexy”. Image is very important but we should adopt an attitude where by we focus and commit to making “GREAT” music. Music that will affect people not only in Jamaica but internationally. With reality TV shows and talent competitions both here and abroad, I think we have more opportunities to perform live. We also have to invest in our talent, training is necessary if we intend to have consistency and compete internationally. I would encourage many established artist to start thinking about breaking new artist to carry on the legacy. Because every time a reggae artist crosses over and takes a break between albums there is nothing on the market internationally. Females such as Patra and Diana King made their mark but then no one else picked up the ball. We must also think and act as entrepreneurs’ maybe we might have to look into promoting events to showcase our talent.
SS: What is, or has been the biggest obstacle you have faced as female artist?
CA: I think my biggest obstacle has been to break the mold of my on screen characters. Many people believe you are the characters you play in film. But I also have to say I have gotten a lot of love across the board from the reggae community.
SS: Why do you think that promoters shy away from booking female artists?
CA: I didn’t know this was the case, and I certainly do intend to be booked by promoters (smile).
SS: List your most successful singles or album?
CA: Well there is “Good Love” which was produced by Sly & Robbie. The video peaked at number 2 on the local video charts and has recently been added to BETJ as well as MTV Tempo’s video list. Additionally it’s heavily rotated in Jamaica. There is also my collaboration with Chuck Fender called “Coming over Tonight” which is produced by Christopher Birch that has been doing extremely well. The video has just been released and Chuck Fender and I are promoting the song. The feedback has been very positive in the dancehall, at radio and in general with the people.
We are in the process of recording what will be my debut album. This should be out in the first quarter of 2007. But for more info on singles feel free to visit my myspace page (www.myspace.com/cherineanderson )
SS: Does your acting help you as performer?
CA: Acting doesn’t help me on stage. I don’t act when I perform…I just simple BE! I am totally Cherine when I sing my songs…it’s more personal. I relate to my live audience not as a character but as a young woman who has layers and feelings, emotions and something to say. I enjoy expressing fun and love however it is also important to speak to reality through music such as my song “How Many More.” This song addresses the realities of the streets.
SS: Do you have difficulty getting air play for your music, if so, in what radio formats?
CA: Like anything else the door isn’t wide open when you are new and have not yet established a track record of hit songs. Patrick Lindsay, my manager constantly pushes me to write good songs as we believe that solid music and great songs will ultimately win the hearts of the people. I believe each song should have its own identity and at the same time allow of people to see themselves in the song. For example when “Good Love” was released it took a while before it was played on radio but with the support of a few DJs the response has been great. In addition, the video has also done well. Overall airplay increased the more people really listened to the lyrics and it did not hurt that it was recorded on the classic Love and Devotion riddim. I am very appreciative and feel blessed to even hear my songs on the radio, because there are many records released independently in Jamaica weekly. I also love the fact that my songs are played in the dancehall, and that means a whole lot to me as I create music for the people.
SS: You are know as an actress, has the transition to being a singer been difficult, if so, what has been your biggest challenge?
The transition has not been difficult because I was singing before I did movies. I’ve worked on project since high school, worked with everyone from Shaggy, Wyclef, Bootsy Collins, Fat Joe, Anthony B, Chuck Fender and more. I’ve done a lot of background vocals as well as writing. I think most people who know me from One Love are now confirming that I was actually singing in the film. I have gotten a lot of love because in some circles people are already familiar with my on screen work. Nonetheless, I still have to deliver. The stakes are actually higher because making a mess at this could impact negatively on future films ... but I’m committed to getting it right. Like everything else, this is a work in progress.
SS: Has the public been accepting of you as singer?
CA: The public has definitely been accepting me as a singer and I am very appreciative of this. The audience is wide too everything from kids to adults both men and women.
SS: What are your professional goals as singer?
CA: To be the best at what I do. I would like to tour and take my music to the people worldwide. I would like to collaborate with many amazing artist in their respective genres. Whatever the highest standards or the benchmarks are for music and vocal talent I want to be measured by that , not limited in anyway but able to reach masses.
SS: Thank you Cherine, much appreciated and much success.
Stan Evan Smith is music critic, media personality and writer.
He can be reached stansmith email@example.com. http://www.myspace.com/stanwsmith