Keshia Chanté

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Chapter 1: The Past
“I’ve been singing ever since I could talk.”

Considering this vocal powerhouse is a mere 15 years old, that statement is hardly surprising. And while it wasn’t long ago when she began talking and singing, Keshia Chanté has captured the ears and hearts of Canadians everywhere with her hits “Shook The Answer,” “Unpredictable” and her latest single, “Bad Boy.”

Born and raised in Ottawa, Keshia grew up surrounded by music and became an early fan of the late, great Tupac Shakur. “I was six years old when my mom’s friend overheard me rapping ‘Dear Mama,’” she recalls. ”I knew every single word even though I wasn’t pronouncing half of them right. My mom’s friend suggested I perform in a talent show for Black History Month at Carleton University. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to perform, but the feeling of being on stage was crazy. I realized: “I want to do this!”

Destiny took its course and Keshia’s mature, lush voice proved to be years beyond her age. With her sights set on pursuing a dream of superstardom, she moved to Toronto with her mom, who has been a huge source of support. “My mom has given me the best advice,” Keshia reveals. “She says ‘If you want something, just stay driven, be focused, and you’ll get there.’

Chapter 2: The Present
“I could have gone to a private school”

While loving her life as a young recording artist with all the interviews, studio sessions, photo shoots and performances that come with it, Keshia strives to maintain normalcy through her teenage years. “I still attend a public school” she explains. “I could have gone to a private school or worked with a tutor, but I chose to attend public school. High school only lasts for so long and everybody always says those are the best years. I don’t want to lose out on that chance, so I’m taking advantage of it now.”

Although balancing her career with homework, tests and projects is often challenging, this songbird has it all under control. Keshia took her fame in strides when her first single, “Shook The Answer,” was released (breaking the top 10) in 2003. “Realizing I have fans of my own is pretty interesting because I know how it is to be a fan,” she says with complete understanding. “The first time I was recognized by someone was at a mall back in Ottawa. Some people were staring at me and then they said: ‘Oh my god, are you Keshia Chanté?’ It didn’t hit me right away but then I thought ‘Oh wow!’” Now, I can’t go to the malls without getting recognized unless I put on a hat, big shades and tie my hair up!!

Chapter 3: The Record
"Since this is my first album and it reflects me, it’s self-titled”

Tupac Shakur, Christina Aguilera and Beyonce are some of Keshia’s influences. “As an artist vocally – Christina Aguilera has had a huge influence on me. Her range goes flawlessly from deep to high. She can do it all, she’s amazing. For sheer charisma – Beyonce! She is so humble. She’s not trying to be anything she isn’t. “

Keshia took these influences with her to the studio to record songs with superstar artists like Foxy Brown (Does He Love Me)). She kept the focus sharp working with superstar producer Young Gavin (Foxy Browns brother) producing 15 songs of sheer brilliance. Keshia Chante, familiar with studio operations after the recording of Shook “The Answer” and “Unpredictable”, took advantage of this newly found comfort level. “This time around I was not intimidated by the whole process (recording) and I found I could focus completely on my voice and vocals.”

Chapter 4: The Stats

While the attention may sometimes be overwhelming, Keshia’s charisma, sweet demeanor and immense talent has already won fans and industry trendsetters over. Within a year, she received a 2003 Urban Music Association of Canada Award for “Best R&B Artist” and the 2004 Canadian Radio Award for “Best New Solo Artist”. Her first two singles have shot straight up the CHR radio charts peaking in the Top 10 (“Shook The Answer” #10, “Unpredictable” #3), as did her video for “Unpredictable,” landing at #1 at YTV and cracking the Top 10 at MuchMusic. Her hit single “Unpredictable” was also a chart topper at retail achieving Gold certification. Keshia’s presence online has been explosive with her official website receiving more than 400K hits since its launch in June 2003.

Chapter 5: The Future

But there are always more charts to climb, fans and audiences to satiate and albums to sell. Keshia’s sensational self-titled debut album will prove to be the greatest demonstration of her talent. Not only does it showcase her impressive voice, but it is also a reflection of her mature persona. Not to mention, it provides an ample supply of ear candy to her eager fans.

Whatever the future holds, Keshia knows the only person she has to answer to is herself. And with all focus and fierce determination packed into her petite frame, its obvious whatever she sets her sights on, will be achieved. Keshia adds “My ultimate goal is to be perfectly satisfied - with myself and my work.”