Her sound is reminiscent of a 70’s style Reggae album combined with the airy, spiritual influences of Afro-Asian and Native American religions. That’s why emerging artiste, Tchiya Amet, is a unique and soulful addition to the tapestry of world music.
The 52 year old singer, who calls Northern California and Chicago home, credits her growing success to her love for music and spiritual obligation to “share the gifts and teachings of the ancients” with her audience. Having overcome her shyness after watching a Sun Ra video, Tchiya believes that music is her “mission and calling to serve humanity” rather than “simply a way to get gigs and sell albums.”
Since her debut, Tchiya launched a series of three albums with Milky Way Records and Productions: Rise Again Truth in December 1999, Black Turtle Island in July 2003 and Celestial Folk Music in August 2012, which blog, Wildy’s World, describes as “having enough to keep listeners coming back.”
Despite its obvious Reggae influences her more recent work reflects a refined blend of world music with greater concentrations in Jazz and R&B. Though some see her music as an acquired taste, Tchiya’s work is unapologetically unpretentious, reflecting her First Nation and African roots.
It is through Reggae that she has been most impactful, however. In 2010, Tchiya opened for renowned Reggae artiste, Freddie McGreggor. She has also toured with Bob Marley Festival Tours and performed at Reggae on the River at the Sierra Nevada Reggae Festival with such artistes as Buffy Saint Marie, Katchafire, Yellowman, TonyRebel and many others.
According to the singer/songwriter, she’s inspired musically and lyrically by Burning Spear, King Tubby, Golden Age of Reggae, Sade, Nina Simone, Thelonious Monk and Brenda Russell, among others. Her album Black Turtle Island, for instance, features the poetry and teachings of Malcolm X, Langston Hughes and Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
Among Tchiya’s achievements is her rendition of the John Coltrane classic, “Equinox” on her third album, Celestial Folk Music, which she recorded in Brazil. She’s also proud of her “Rise Again Truth” album which is now on display at the Smithsonian Exhibit on Native Americans.
Tchiya’s music, which includes songs such as “Keep Chanting,” “EshoFuni” live and “Saturn Return”, is available on YouTube, CD Baby and at Digmusic in Ukiah California. Her Track “EshoFuni” will also be made available to WiFi PR Group’s Indie Anthems Volume 4 in mixtape format in March, 2014. She now looks forward to launching her new album and returning on tour.
By: Kimberly Lowe
Kimberly Lowe is a former journalist with the Gleaner Company of Jamaica turned Public Relations writer. She has a BA in Media and Communications (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of the West Indies and a Diploma in Media and Communications from Humber College in Toronto. She now writes independently from her home in Richmond Hill, Ontario.