Tweet seeks Bajan roots


TWEET IS A LOT more of a Southern Hummingbird than she might have originally thought.
Five years ago, the singer – real name Charlene Keys – discovered her paternal roots in Barbados.
And now she was on the island for a few days, it was something Tweet intended to investigate further.
“ . . . [My grandfather’s] name was John Keys and his father was from here, and his name was Anderson Keys, so I am excited to be here. I just hope I get some information and take it back to my family. We are very excited to find our roots and where our family came from,” she exclusively told SATURDAY SUN during an interview at Treasure Beach Hotel, backdropped by the pristine West Coast.
Dressed casually in a grey short-sleeved shirt-dress and shorts, the Call Me singer, along with her family, had always been interested in their roots, and she was visibly excited to visit Barbados to strengthen the links on the Keys family tree.
“My grandmother is Cherokee Indian, so it was just important to find out where it all came from on my father’s side,” she continued. “We have been trying to find out for the last ten years but it has been coming in bits and pieces, but this is definitely a winner for us . . .”
Tweet is on the island for a charity event as well as to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the release of Southern Hummingbird, best known for Oops (Oh My). The Aquarius was still taken aback by the impact the album continued to have.
“I am still taken aback every day getting messages from people on Facebook and Instagram about how it got people through certain times in their lives and [that] people are still purchasing the album . . . . It really doesn’t seem that long, but . . . I am proud of the work that I put in that album and I am happy that people enjoy it.”
Released under The Goldmind Inc. and Elecktra, the album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts and was certified gold. Beyond its commercial success, Tweet’s debut album struck the right chords for critics. However, the flight of the hummingbird was short-lived and Tweet seemingly disappeared from the music scene.
 “About the hiatus, I don’t think people really know that it was not on purpose . . . . It was the business part of it. I was always stuck in some kind of contract or things weren’t right up until today. But everything has its purpose and I think that right now is the right time to put more music out.”
Reflecting on darker days of shelved projects, alcohol abuse and even a suicide attempt, Tweet has admitted her naiveté in the industry and regretted her inability to have a voice.
“In the beginning I put my trust in too many people. I was naïve to think that these people would have my back from day one till now. If I had taken a little more control of what was going on and about what I felt, when a lot of things happened or didn’t happen, I should have had a voice,” Tweet mused.
“ . . . At this stage I could do it, but back then it was hard and I thought people would speak up. Coming from a girl group and being timid and shy and I took that over to my career. Now I know exactly who I am . . . . A lot of record companies think they know, and a real artiste is someone who is not puppeted. True artistry is you know who you are [and] what type of music you want to do.”
 And that was what she intended to do. Tweet was not after the “next hot thing” or becoming a gimmick, but rather maintaining a strong relationship with God and bringing the soul back to music scene. It was with this aim that she hoped to release Soulfully Yours soon, following an EP.
“It will be Southern Hummingbird times two and I am excited about it. Again it will be pages out of my diary. You would basically know what I have been through from my music . . . . The way the [music] business is right now, the meaning behind the music has been lost and watered down, and basically Soulfully Yours is coming from my soul in terms of love and [being] in and out of love and bringing the soul back to music . . .”


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