1200DREAMS PRESENTS: WAYNE TENNANT
Obviously, vocals are a big part of House music and always have been since its inception. You have legends such as Eddie Amador, Deborah Cox, Byron Stingily, Ultra Nate tearing the roof off for years. Barbara Tucker is nothing short of royalty, and still rocking it and you can’t forget the graceful and beautiful Stephanie Cooke. There are also plenty of new, though maybe not as familiar but equally as talented singers such as Sheila Ford, Vickie Ryan, and Anane, making the rounds. Other than that, and obviously, I haven’t mentioned everyone, it’s still slim pickings out there. Which is why it is so refreshing to see and hear new talent, Wayne Tennant is one such artist.
Born in Jamaica but coming to us via Montreal, Quebec, Tennant is a young and energetic multi-talented singer and songwriter, ready to take on the world. In just a few short years, he has gone from talent shows to traveling the world on the strength of his vocal talent and energetic performances. Whether it is an R&B tinged track or soulful House, or even some hip Jazz, Tennant gives it his all and his energy shines through.
Tennant’s vocals first appeared on a track in 1998; the track was “Sweet Days,” on a small label called Tang Lung records out of Toronto. The song created a buzz on the local Toronto Dance scene. Of course, an artists’ career never takes off over night, so Tennant kept on hustling, networking, started his own cover band, Mama’s Basement, and rubbing elbows with those that mattered. Whether it was as a back-up vocalist in the studio or on tour with other lead singers, Tennant kept at it. He managed to put out a self-titled, full-length album with the band God Made Me Funky and released the track “Subway Train” which made some noise and was even picked up for use in a national TV ad.
Over the next few years, Tennant remained busy, working hard building his confidence as a performer and singer, and a burgeoning songwriter. He worked alongside other rising and even established musicians such as Milos Angelov, Robert Strauss, and Motown legend Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, among others. In 2009, he had his biggest hit to date with “Mercyless” produced by DJ Fred Everything and featured on the album “Lost Together”. This track garnered a lot of exposure for Tennant and is still being played throughout the world, especially in South Africa where it is still creating a buzz two years later.
Despite all this hard work, the small and big hits, the industry connections, and most importantly, the actual talent, like many artists, especially in the Dance music genre, many that people never hear of, Tennant remains till this day, unsigned. He has faced many of the struggles that are almost too cliché to mention such as less than reputable producers, shady contracts, if any, music released without his permission, and more. Yet, Tennant keeps a positive outlook, his enthusiasm and sheer love for the music kill any notion that he is bitter over the dubious dealings he has had to face in this industry. Despite his history, he keeps singing, working on his own material, such as his album “Everything Changes” which he was recently promoting in Japan, and working with others when the opportunity arises.
“Love You Still” produced by Dolls Combers from Milan, Italy features Tennant on vocals and was just released in March. The song, released without Tennant’s full acknowledgement has already garnered plenty of attention on Beaport, Traxsource, and the like. There is also “Let Me In” on Soundman on Wax records, which just released April 4. Both these tracks display Tennant’s vocal talent and his ability to reach the audience. Will he ever see a dime from them? Let’s hope he does. Wayne Tennant is deserving of nothing more than a career that reflects what he has already invested into it, and what he is still willing to give. His love for what he does is palpable, and when artists, better yet, people like Wayne Tennant succeed, it only opens the door for others like him, and that benefits us all.