Chanté stresses honesty for new album, image
sony bmg music (canada) inc. PHOTO
Days away from the release of her second album, 2U, Keshia Chanté was keying away on her BlackBerry in muted frustration — the Ottawa-born, Brampton-raised singer wasn’t satisfied with a forthcoming advertisement promoting its Dec. 5 street date.
Chanté frowned upon the font styles being used.
Talk about sweating the small stuff. But as someone who pays close attention to her career and image, Chanté displays a mature, adult professionalism and charm that belies her 18 years of age.
"I just want all of this to appeal to people of my generation," she says. "So I guess I can be a bit stubborn in that perfectionist kind of way."
For instance, Chanté admits her new album was originally going to be named after the new album’s second track: Kiss. "It’s a love song which explains how vulnerable girls like me can be," she says. "Lyrically, it’s honest. When it came to titling the album, I wanted to show myself coming from a place that’s personal — I’m putting a lot of my own emotions out there.
"And while I liked the title Kiss, 2U actually made more sense to me."
Another case in point for the change in title: Chanté was in Los Angeles — one of the four cities where she was recording 2U — two days before the album’s final mixing deadline when she heard a new song from producers/co-writers Matrax. Within a day, Chanté and the Philadelphia team completed this "must-have" track.
"That was 2U," Chanté laughs. "We did that in such a rush, it was ridiculous. But the song was so inspiring, I just had to share this with people."
That’s how driven the artist born as Keshia Harper can be.
In 2002, Chanté, then 14, signed a deal with BMG (pre-Sony merger). She scored three Top-10 singles before her self-titled album was eventually released in June 2004. From that platinum-selling effort, she was twice nominated for Juno Awards and acquired multiple Canadian Urban Music Awards, in addition to her 2003 Canadian Radio Music Award for best new solo artist.
Already she’s worked with Foxy Brown (that’s her co-singing on Chanté’s single Does He Love Me?) along with Chris Brown in Bow Wow’s video for Shortie Like Mine, and recently opened for Ciara and toured malls throughout the U.S. gearing up to break into that market. (Her CD is slated for U.S. release in 2007.)
As well, Chanté will show her thespian side when she appears in a TV adaptation of the play Da Kink In My Hair, due out in Canada next year.
"I have so much to offer vocally and artistically," the recent high school grad says of her limitless ambitions. "I feel I have been blessed by God. But I want to be as honest with people as I can be."