A soulful unique voice and sweet spirit are adequate words to describe Chantae Cann. A celebrated singer, songwriter, and child of God. Chantae was the featured guest artist this past Sunday at Destiny Music Group's New Year's concert. She closed out the night and did not disappoint. In the midst of taking pictures and connecting with the audience, she was able to answer a few questions about her life and love for music.
André: Where are you originally from? And where do you reside now?
Chantae: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. But from the ages of 4 - 13, I was raised in Chicago, Illinois (Southside). My parents then moved to Atlanta, Georgia when I was about 14 and we've been there ever since.
André: How did you become a background singer for India Arie?
Chantae: One of my sisters and musical mentors Ametria Dock was on the road with her already, along with a gentleman named Matthew Johnson. Matthew had to go and do a play for a month, so Ametria reached out to me and informed me of the opening. She asked me if I would be interested, to which I replied 'of course, all you had to say there was a spot' (laughs). And I have been there ever since, which is about 6 years now.
André: How has the experience been touring with India?
Chantae: It has been amazing and breathtaking. The opportunity to travel and see the world has been great. It is a blessing to be sustained by something that you love to do. Especially, with such a person like India Arie who I truly respect musically and as a person.
André: How would you describe your sound?
Chantae: Wow...well it has evolved over time. As of right now, I would classify it as 'world soul'. It is something you can hear at the Montreux Jazz Festival, overseas, but still has that underlying soul inspirational feel. I fancy Gretchen Parlato, Esperanza Spalding, and Lalah Hathaway.
André: Who has inspired you vocally? And who would you like to work with?
Chantae: Esperanza, Gretchen, Lalah, Stevie, Michael Franks, PJ Morton. PJ is one of the independent artists who is just amazing. As far as work with, all those who I have just named. I am dying to work with Robert Glasper, that is definitely on my wish list.
André: When can we expect a full album from Chantae Cann?
Chantae: Well, I am glad that you asked. We have been recording for the past few months for it. I am looking to release something in late Spring hopefully. Be on the lookout online for further announcements and some crowd sourcing to get the public involved with the record.
André: What do you expect and look forward to for 2013?
Chantae: Well I am looking forward to the album dropping this year first off. After that, I want to do a mini nation tour and get overseas to tour. A lot of places outside of the U.S. connect with my music, so I want to reach out and tour in those places. I have not been to a few countries that I am looking forward to doing shows in.
I sing because God has entrusted me with a gift purposed 2 cHaNGe the WORLD... one note at at time...I sing to HELP... I sing to HEAL...I sing to COMFORT...I sing to LIBERATE...I sing to APPRECIATE ...I sing to MOTIVATE...I sing to EXPRESS...I sing to RELEASE
-excerpt from chantaecann.com
André: What do you feel God has called you to do?
Chantae: That is a loaded and extensive question, but I will give the short version. (laughs) In a nutshell I believe God has called me to make music that changes the world. "One melody at a time", that's kind of my staple. I have a company called Love Heals Music. I believe music is more than just the stuff we listen to, there is healing within music and encouragement in music. A lot of different ailments I believe the world could be healed from through good music created from a good heart. I feel we as believers are branching out more and not boxing ourselves in with these musical categories and genres. We can just be lovers of God and allow that to spill over into our lifestyles and whatever we do. I believe I have been blessed to be able to reach the church and the un-churched, so I thank God.