It's taken three albums, seven years and a whole lot of perserverance but the stunningly beautiful Ms. Chanté Moore can finally claim that she's got a bonafide hit record in the form of "Chanté's Got A Man," a pop and R&B smash that is finally introducing the San Francisco-born singer to a whole new audience.
In an interview in April - before the single began its ascent up the charts - she talked about the time between the new album, This Moment Is Mine and the 1994 set, A Love Supreme. "Each album requires something special," she says. "We wanted stellar producers so we waited for some of the people we worked with for the album. There were crew changes at MCA and of course, there was no more Silas Records..." Moore is referring to the label (a joint venture between MCA and late renowned industry executive Louil Silas Jr.) which had been her recording home starting with her auspicious and much-acclaimed 1992 debut, Precious.
The singer had also been through other professional changes (most notably a management change) and personal changes, with the birth of a daughter Sophia Milan Hardison in September 1996, the result of her relationship with actor Kadeem Hardison. She won't say much about the union but acknowledges, "It's very good that we're not in exactly the same industry but the fact that we're both in entertainment means that if one of says, 'I have to be gone all night,' there's no 'what do you mean?' We're constantly learning from each other about what each other does..."
That Moore is in a relationship with Hardison is public knowledge thus her hit song resonates with even greater authenticity: "People know I do have a man at home and he's a good man and because of that, I'm saying there have to be good men out there for other women too. The song is what I call 'sister-girl' talk!"
Moore worked with producers like current hitmakers Rodney Jerkins and Jermaine Dupri, reuniting with British music man Simon Law (with whom she worked on her first two albums) while making most of This Moment Is Mine with the legendary team of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who were responsible for her current hit single. "It's funny because I started this album with them in 1996 and ended it with them in December 1998," she recalls. "We did one song together ("Mood") for the "Beverly Hills III" soundtrack and I also worked with them on "Your Your Home Is In My Heart" from the soundtrack for the film "How Stella Got Her Groove Back." After being in the studio the first time, we all knew that we'd be working together again."
The co-writer of nine of her new album's eleven songs, Chanté says that "the lyics come from personal experiences and those of people close to me.." While she feels that the record is "an extension, more of a continuation" of the music heard on the first two albums, she's quick to point out that "I'm not just a jazzy, R&B singer. There are diverse ways for me to be produced and I think the producers on this record brought out a [musical] part of me that may have been missing on the previous albums."
While wonderful tunes like "As If We Never Met" and "Love's Taken Over" were included in her first album and songs like "Old School Lovin'" and "This Time" were highlights of her second set, Chanté's music did seem to have more of an adult appeal rarher than reaching the younger demographic who seem to be responding so well to "Chanté's Got A Man." She understands that the competition among female perfomers has certainly intensified over the last few years, noting that artists like "Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu have been keeping the doors open so there are no more barriers for women to make it in this business. Lauryn has established herself in the production area and that's something I really want to do myself..."
It certainly hasn't hurt Chanté's appeal to a younger audience that her new album includes a duet with Jo-Jo Hailey (of Ki-Ci and Jo-Jo fame): "I didn't know if I wanted to do the duet but once I met him, I found he was this nice Southern man, very cordial. We had a really good time together!" Chanté's duets with soul man Keith Washington (on the quiet storm favorite "Candelight And You" and on "I Love You" from Washington's 1998 album "K.W.") are well known among R&B music lovers who have been enjoying her music since the release of her first album. Now, she says, "As much as I have been gone, people are welcoming me back with open arms... now, it's all about seizing the moment because I really believe this moment is mine! "
About the Writer
David Nathan is the founder and CEO of SoulMusic.com and began his writing career in 1965; beginning in 1967, he was a regular contributor to Blues & Soul magazine in London before relocating to the U.S. in 1975 where he served as U.S. editor for the publication for several decades and began being known as 'The British Ambassador Of Soul.' From 1988 to 2004, he wrote prolifically for Billboard, has penned bios, produced and written liner notes for box sets and reissue CDs for over a thousand projects. He returned to London in 2009 where he has helped create SoulMusic.com Records as a leading reissue label.