STAR of the Month : I got my sound from my mother - Tommy Lee
STAR of the Month, Tommy Lee Sparta has a unique sound, one that makes him distinguishable from every other artiste in Jamaica.
Many have wondered if his sound is due to any digital alteration. But the origin of his unique voice may surprise readers.
Tommy Lee told THE STAR that his mother is responsible for his sound, as he was trained at a young age to close his mouth when he spoke, causing him to talk through his nose.
"Me's a man who talk and lock me teeth all the time cause a so me mother teach mi fi talk. She seh me fi make people read me lips," he explained. "So because a so mi train fi lock mi mouth all the while mi talk inna mi nose so mi voice sound squeaky and nasal. Mi nah sing through me belly but me nose."
He said he is happy that his mother trained him to speak in that particular manner because it gave him his one-of-a-kind sound, a sound he has been able to use as a tool for building himself a successful career in dancehall music.
Tommy Lee explained that he used both his shy persona and his unique sound to set himself apart from others in the business, and said it was one of the reasons he was recruited to join the Gaza Empire.
"Kartel always come down deh (MoBay) and see mi a mash up di place, man. Him start ask bout fi mi and a seh a which man dat wid da voice deh a spit dem lyrics deh. Links start make and him seh mi fi come a Kingston," he said. "Inna 2010, January 7, me reach a town and join the empire and things just take off from deh so."
For Tommy Lee, in an industry where it is extremely difficult for up-and-coming artistes to catch a break, it is important for them to have one unique thing that distinguishes them.
He explained that if an entertainer manages to find something unique, they are more likely to succeed.