At only eighteen, Chelsea Ing Seng Ah Yuen is one of the youngest and most promising local female singers. Known as Afro-Jaune, her stage name, she has already released her first solo album which includes thirteen titles. The singer aspires to earn a reputation as a singer both on the local and international scene.
Her voice is like a sweet melody to the ears and she takes you on a pleasant journey with her songs. Chelsea Ing Seng Ah Yuen is the new local singer kid on the block. The Grade 12 student has recently released her first solo album entitled ‘Afro-Jaune’ which is also her pseudonym for her stage name. The eighteen-year-old singer shares how she got into singing.
When she was small, Chelsea dreamt of a career as accountant or performer. However her plans completely changed when she discovered that she had the vocals to sing. “I played the guitar but I did not know that I had the ability to sing. It is through one of my teachers, who played the guitar that I started to develop an interest in music and singing. In Grade 9 (Form 3), my neighbour Fabiola Attock introduced me to Sega singing. Then I got the opportunity to sing on a compilation of Jean Nanette together with Fabiola and her father Sylvain Attock the famous Sega song entitled ‘Seefoo’. I started to sing during prize giving ceremonies at school and during other events. Sometimes later, I participated in a singing competition for the Inter-college Port Louis and won the 2nd prize.”
Sometimes later, Chelsea met with the well known Sega singer Mario Potiron, better known as Dallon. “Every time I met him, he told me to sing with him and asked me if I wanted to become a star. Every time I declined and it was only two years later that we started collaborating. He started writing songs for me,” she explains. Together, they composed thirteen titles for the first album. Chelsea is proud to state that she does not restrict herself to only one singing style. “I sing all types of songs from Sega, Sega tipik, Sega Love, Slow, Reggae, Zouk, Kizoumba, Reggaeton, Gro Sega and Biguin.”
Chelsea also wrote one of the songs for her album. “I wrote the Sega tipik entitled ‘Laboutik Ah Koon’. This song is about my family’s snack. There was a tree under which famous local Sega singers would sit and sing like Nancy Derougers, Mario Justin, the late Kaya and others. The song tells about the ambiance and joy there was.” Moreover, Chelsea also sings in different languages as well, namely in French, English, Creole Antillais and Spanish. The song ‘Locura’ on her album is in Spanish and the songs ‘Bòdé Kréyòl’ and ‘Sa’w vlé’ are in Creole Antillais, Creole Morisien and French.
In order to articulate the words correctly, Chelsea had to practice for a week. “It was difficult at first but I was motivated and had the desire to do it right. Regarding the recording time, I did it occasionally. We mainly recorded the songs from December to May.” Each of the songs on her album ‘Afro-Jaune’ also carries different messages. “For example, ‘Locura’ is about an improvised party. ‘Bòdé Kréyòl’ is about island people who speak Creole languages. The reggae song ‘Yésùah’ talks about Jesus. The English slow entitled ‘If you love her’ is about a girl who has been hurt by a boy. In the song, I talk to the boy making him understand the girl’s worth. Any many more,” tells Chelsea.
A singing career
A resident of Roche Bois, Chelsea confides that her mother was not keen for her to sing Sega only. “My mother preferred that I sing pop songs because she believed that there is no future in singing Sega. However, my father loved it because he grew up in Roche Bois and has experienced the mood and the atmosphere that reigns when there is someone beating the ‘ravanne’ and singing a Sega song. However later on, my mum encouraged me to move forward when I was selected for the casting of a talent show, which was looking forward to promoting and developing young people’s singing talent. Through this I got the opportunity to do an internship in Italy with instructors from Berklee College of Music, Boston, which is one of the best music schools in the world.” The singer also shares that she got lots of support from her friends as well.
Chelsea is now contemplating a career as singer. She is definitely proud of her achievement of releasing her first solo album at such a young age and does not intend to stop there. “I am even thinking about going abroad and why not an international career. There are people who make a living out of art and I believe, in whatever form, plays a very important role in everyone’s life,” she utters.
Her advice to young talented Mauritians who are hesitating to step into the music world and give way to their singing talents: “I advise them to persevere and to make their dream come true before it’s too late. I advise them to listen to their hearts. Go ahead guys, music is life.”