Business

Like other contestants, Tessanne landed recording deal before winning The Voice

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 25, 2013    

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SINGER Tessanne Chin signed her recording contract with Universal Music Group long before winning The Voice, but remains mum on details.

She acknowledged the merits of the contract but added that the losing contestants now have bargaining options.

"You have to understand that we signed a record deal before everything started. Even before the blind [auditions]," revealed Chin in speaking with reporters at the Jamaica Observer's Beechwood Avenue headquarters Monday morning.

Chin said recording should begin in January or February next year, depending on the decisions of the record label. She was unable to recall the quantity of albums required under the contract.

The Jamaican artiste last week won the fifth season of the The Voice USA. She bettered other contestants by garnering the most weekly votes and music downloads over some three months.

"You had lawyers hired by Universal and I also had my lawyer to look over the contract. It's not [as bad] as somebody walking in off the street and getting a deal — it's better than that. But we will see what can be negotiated or renegotiated."

Her exposure elevated music back on the national headlines which, in recent years, has been usurped by the global success of star athletes.

Her followers on Twitter "doubled" over the show's duration to 186,000 which surpassed — popular deejay Vybz Kartel; and all local athletes except Usain Bolt at some 3.1 million and Yohan Blake at 265,000 followers.

"I am sure that the other people that left The Voice had the opportunity to have more bargaining power because of it," she said of record contracts alluding to runner-up 16-year-old Jacquie Lee, and third placed finalist Will Champlin.

Chin is part of a musical family that includes sister Tami, a recording artiste who exited a four-album record deal with Universal Motown in 2009 after a number of stalled album launches.

French-owned Universal, Japanese-owned Sony and US-owned Warner Music are the three big players in the global music industry.

Universal's operating profit (EBITA) jumped 36 per cent year on year to ¤112 million from ¤1.16 billion in revenue for its September quarter 2013. Universal, which part of the Vivendi conglomerate, benefited from synergies and cost saving associated with acquiring another large music company EMI Music into its group in September 2012.

"Synergies related to the EMI Recorded Music acquisition, which are expected to be over £100 million, are on track to be delivered by the end of 2014," added Vivendi group.

The best-selling music for the first nine months of 2013 included Rihanna, Robin Thicke, Drake, Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, Stromae and Vanessa Paradis, financials indicated.

Tessanne Chin, in addition to the prestigious title and record contract, won US$100,000.

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