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Tchiya Amet Transitions From Reggae Into A World Music Maven
Tchiya Amet is a rising, established reggae and world music artist who calls both Chicago and Northern California her home bases while creating evocative and compelling music that reaches far beyond her U.S.-based hometowns. She is a long-time musician with a successful career that continues to blossom as she moves forward toward more touring and an upcoming album.
Besides a love of music, a responsibility to share her gifts and the wisdom and teachings of the ancients with the youth of today drove Tchiya to start performing and recording. A Sun Ra video is what really inspired her to perform for others, as he helped her see this mission and get over the shyness that had initially prevented her from carrying out that mission. She feels that music is her calling to serve humanity rather than simply a way to get gigs or sell albums.
When it comes to the business aspects of her career, Tchiya is old school and works from the heart. She notes that tours lead her to more fans and CD sales, as she is able to share the experience of her music with others, which is her ultimate goal. Tchiya has released three albums with Milky Way Records and Productions over the past decade and a half: Rise Again Truth in December 1999, Black Turtle Island in July 2003 and Celestial Folk Music in August 2012. With each album she progresses beyond simply reggae music into a sound that is a refined blend of world musics with concentrations in R&B and jazz.
She draws on several different musical influences, from Burning Spear, Culture and Sun Ra to King Tubby, Golden Age of Reggae, Thelonious Monk and Brenda Russell. Lyrically, she names many of these groups and musicians plus Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes and Cesaria Evora as chief influences. She is also influenced by Sade, to whom she is often compared, along with Nina Simone, Ulali and Walelei. She is inspired to write music and lyrics by various aspects of life, such as her love of her family, her history and culture, truth, justice and astronomy.
Tchiya takes great care to show admiration and respect for activists and musicians who have come before her. Her album Black Turtle Island, for example, features the poetry and teachings of Malcolm X, Langston Hughes and Marcus Mosiah Garvey. On her third album, Celestial Folk Music, there is one track that features her own original lyrics set to a John Coltrane classic, “Equinox.” This was the last song of Coltrane’s work that his wife Alice Coltrane granted permission to have lyrics added to, as she actually passed while Tchiya was in the studio recording.
In addition to the Coltrane song, Celestial Folk Music was also special for Tchiya because it was primarily recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It features the voice of Aleh on two tracks, and one love song, “Love and Joy,” is the first English version of the popular song, “Xodo,” which was translated by Antonio Dionisio. One other notable contribution to national music culture is her album Rise Again Truth, which is on display at the Smithsonian Exhibit on Native Americans.
Tchiya has had the opportunity to play with countless national and international artists at her various festival performances over the years. She has toured with Bob Marley Festival Tours and performed at Reggae on the River twice, at the Sierra Nevada reggae festival and many more. Some of these artists include Buffy Saint Marie, Katchafire, Yellowman, Tony Rebel and many others. She also opened for Freddie MacGreggor in July 2010.
Tchiya will contribute her track “Esho Funi” to WiFi PR Group’s Indie Anthems Vol. 4, a digital mixtape of talented up-and-coming artists from around the world. The mixtape will be handed out as a limited number of download cards at SXSW in
Looking toward the future, Tchiya has a fourth album ready to release, which she will do when the time is right. She is also looking to plan a tour and shoot a music video as soon as possible.
You can find Tchiya Amet’s music on CD Baby and at Digmusic in Ukiah, CA. She also sells copies of her music out of her luggage at the airport, in parking lots or wherever else she may go. Check out some of her music videos on YouTube, such as “F***ed Up System,” “Keep Chanting,” “Esho Funi” live and “Saturn Return” live.
About Tchiya Amet Music
Rise Again Truth (1999)
Black Turtle Island (2003)
Celestial Folk Music (2012)
Alisa St. Rock
WiFi PR Group
About WiFi PR Group
WiFi PR Group, www.wifiprgroup.com, based in Los Angeles, CA, is an innovative marketing force in the interconnecting worlds of Philanthropy, Business and Entertainment. Specializing in digital publicity and branding, WiFi PR works closely with its clients to create business to business and business to consumer campaigns.