Tony Cummings reports on CHRISTINE ASAMOAH, singer on Jelz Music's "In My Head"
The soulful voice of London-based singer Christine Asamoah was recently heard by Cross Rhythms radio listeners on the single by grassroots rapper Jelz Music "In My Head". In fact Jelz's track isn't the first time that Christine has found herself featured on somebody else's successful record. Back in 2002, Christine guested on a single by the French animated star Cool T. The track "The Magic Key" for French/hip-hop group One-T (Thomas Pieds and Eddy Gronifer) went on to sell an amazing 400,000 singles and earned Christine an RIAA certified gold disc plaque for sales in France and Germany. Christine explained to Cross Rhythms' Chris Mountford how she came to perform on a European megahit.
"When I was in sixth form there was a music industry executive in my church. He told me about these two guys in Paris who were interested in putting a female rapper on a track they were making. They came to London for a weekend and I recorded the track. A few months later I got a call telling me that the song 'The Magic Key' was in the French Top 10. I was in sixth form at the time doing exams so it came as a bit of a surprise! After that I had the chance to go on tour in France and China and other places. It was a really good experience for me."
Music has always been an important part of Christine's life. She recalled, "When I was younger I used to do little plays and stuff at school. And then my mum used to put what she called my screaming to good use and sent me to sing in clubs and performing arts academies to get me used to being in front of an audience. At first I was doing mostly rapping but then more and more people said it was singing that I should concentrate on. I used to watch Madonna and Whitney Houston on TV and think 'I could do that!' I had grown up in church and gave my life to Christ when I was 14. I knew that when I became a Christian I wasn't going to sing about anything. My singing had to have a purpose."
Christine finally got to make an album in her own right in 2011 when she recorded the independently released 'Who I Am'. According to a press release the album "tells of a young woman's transition into womanhood." After spending over 24 months on the road gigging around the UK Christine followed up the album with the EP 'Yours'. Two of the outstanding tracks on the project are "Here Again" featuring a soulful vocal and tasteful piano played by singer/songwriter Jake Isaac and the electropop track "The Only One Part II". Now it's Christine's collaboration with Jelz Music which is picking up airplay. Christine spoke about the song. "'In My Head' is about how when we go through tough situations, the voices in our head, which come from the Enemy, are telling us all these lies. The song is telling us "I'm not going to let you get to me, make me act a certain way, and am going to change my situation with the word of God."
Christine has found that the lyrics of "In My Head" have a particular relevance to her. She said, "I've had encounters with people in the music industry who were saying things like 'you got to do it this way if you want to make it in the music industry'. But we know it's God who promotes man whether the man knows it or not. I'm trying to follow God with my music. Next year I hope to make a new record. People ask me whether I'm hungry to get a big seller like 'The Magic Key' but I tell them I'm not hungry, I'm just seeking to follow God where he leads me."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.