Empress Cherisse
Vibrants The Arts
January 6, 2008

Track list
  1. Queen Omega
  2. Warrior Princess
  3. Love And Honor
  4. Irates
  5. Heart Of A Lioness
  6. Serenity
  7. Searching
  8. Grabba'
  9. It's Not Over
  10. She! feat. Arif)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
In the beginning of 2002, VIbrance The Arts was established as a multi media company, designed with Virgin Islanders in mind. On a quest to record by video their musical contributions, an archive of shows and recording sessions was acquired. Some of the collected works include that of Dezarie, Midnite, Batch, The Zioniers, Ras Attitude, Bambu Station and others. In 2003 VIbrance developed a sound of its own, that being "The Anchants". Not wanting to be restricted, VTA Recording Studio, presently based in Raleigh NC, was organized. This gave full flexibility and creativity so that the music could be recorded without any outside influence. Continuing on the path of growth, VIbrance has already released "Naked Roots", (a dub compilation), featuring all live instruments and produced by vocalist, writer and producer Arif Anwar. This was the labelís first release, but now comes Empress Cherisse who collaborates with Arif Anwar on her debut album called "Serenity".

Empress Cherisse, born as Cherisse Morris in Trinidad WI. started singing at a young age. She was five when she started singing as a soprano at a local school choir, at an older age she became a devoted Rastafarian. Empress Cherisse has shared the stage with artists such as Beenie Man and Capleton.

Easy going, spiritually rooted and conscious lyrics make up the persona of her musical character. She really impresses with songs like Warrior Princess or Searching, on the latter Tuff Lion lends a helping hand by playing the guitar. I can't help to compare Empress Cherisse with Dezarie from St Croix VI and I tend to favor Empress Cherisse both in songwriting as in vocal performances. Cherisse shows she's more than capable of holding her own amongst reggae's finest female artists (like e.g. Tanya Stephens or Dezarie). To be honest, this is an album that takes some time and adjustment to enjoy. For one thing, every single song is taken at exactly the same tempo. Reggae is a music that is built on subtle differentiation (or, as 'Babylonians' might say, it all tends to sound the same).

She is already noted as the "Sade" of reggae. Back in 1984 people were complaining about Sade as being deliberately icy, backed by a quasi-jazzy but 'boring' production, and yet she became an instant sensation through such songs as "Smooth Operator" and "Your Love Is King". You could argue about the lack of variation in tempo, but I promise you the unchanging, loping, serene groove, will begin to draw you in after a few listens.