A tes côtés” (by your side) was a mega hit song in Haiti, precisely around 2008-2009. I could hear people singing the lyrics or humming its melody wherever I would go. It has that Haitian-French Guianese vibe to it that associated pretty well, which made me curious about the French Guianese part that was unknown to me. Therefore, I timidly started to follow Tina LY until Gabel new album, “KENBE YES OU” (2017), came out. She did an amazing job singing on one of Gabel’s songs “HAPPY FOR YOU”. After hearing that last, I was back to my inspector gadget life again (lol) because I wanted to feature her on Lady Sergine blog; Of course, this time, I put more dedication than I did the first time.
On her Ig, Tina seems to be a very sweet, and caring lady. She continuously shows to her followers her rich culture and her caritative works. Despite her busy schedule, she found the time for the interview as you deduce. So, I hope you find her interview interesting because she has some very great advice in there.
Introduce yourself to my readers?
Hello, I m TINA LY, a singer from French Guiana. It’s been 17 years that I’m a professional singer but I sing since I was a child. I have 3 albums out, which you can find on iTunes.
What inspired you to become a singer?
The fact that my father is a singer and a lyricist is probably one of the main reasons why music is such a huge part of my life. As I got older, I became such a huge fan of MICHAEL JACKSON and Tanya St Val. It only inspired me more to become a singer.
How have things changed from when you started till now?
I was lucky enough over the 17 years of my career to be able to travel because of my music, to meet people, and to indulge in new cultures by sharing my love of music with them.
Do you feel like you have achieved everything you wanted since you started?
Not at all! I have way more than I would like to do. It is just the beginning.
I know we have come a long way to where we don’t see women as just cooks or stay at home wives anymore. But how has sexism affected you in your career?
The music industry is mainly composed of men, and sometimes as women, we don’t usually get the best representation. They sexualize us, worst, in a vulgar way. Since I’m a very independent and strong woman, I had to fight to impose what I wanted. That’s one of the reasons why I am still part of the industry and get the respect that I deserve.
You have traveled the world. Which places visited that have impacted you the most?
I would definitely say Haiti. I don’t know why, but there’s something about Haiti that resonates so deeply with my soul. When my song “A Tes Cotes” Ft Richard Cave came out, I was welcomed with such open arms. I didn’t even expect it would. It felt so great to see how much they loved it.
I know you area mixture of French and Vietnamese. Did your parents make sure that you know both cultures?
Of course. I was brought up in both culture, that’s why today I am such a connoisseur of life. I love to eat and cook Creole and Vietnamese dishes.
What was the feeling when you visited Vietnam for the 1st time?
I first visited Vietnam when I first went there to film a music video for my song “LWEN”. It felt really strange because I didn’t grow up there. I was like a tourist while knowing that a part of my mother’s family came from there.
Would you consider yourself a feminist? If yes, Why?
There’s feminist and feminist. I despise injustice against women or the inequalities we are facing every day. Even though I am very independent, I don’t need anyone to take care of my life, it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t cook or take care of a man that l love. I think it’s important to allow a man to do his job. I am not those feminists who just hate the man. I believe we should be treated equally as well as allowing the men to play their parts.
What’s the best part about being a singer besides traveling?
What I love the most as a singer is being able to make a child smile, or when a fan approaches me to tell me how much my songs have meant to them or how much they had helped them through hard times. I was blessed with the gift of singing so that I can touch people with the words. To me, it is my job to use it to help people whether by doing concerts or charity works.
I saw that you were in Haiti. Was it your first time visiting? How was the experience?
That was my fourth time in Haiti, and it was incredible. I was able to go with this organization called “ONE TOY ONE SMILE,” where I was asked to sing for children. It was such a beautiful experience because I was able to bring tons of toys for the kids at the orphanage in collaboration with KAKO’s KIDS AYITI.
You’ve worked with a lot of artists such as few Haitian artists as Gabel and Richard Cave. What do you look in a person before working with?
Whoever I collaborate with, I have to first get a personal connection with the song and to feel it. It’s not only about business for me. You know, Gabel and Richard Cavé are artists that I admire because of their work ethic and passion for music. Because of my collaboration on the song “Happy for you”, I had the chance to meet Pachou and Flav who came across as people who have big hearts and passions. That’s why I said yes to working with them.
Who would be your dream collaboration and why?
Tanya Saint Val and Jocelyne Beroard would be my dream collaboration. I am such a huge fan of them. I’ve had the opportunity to share the same stage as them. It was magical. Even though they are my dream collaboration, I am open to working with other artists where we can create beautiful music or new friendships.
What is ONE thing that you wished you could still do and why?
To love, because without love in our lives, we are nothing.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned in your career?
To be strong and humble.
Tina, what are your other passions outside of music?
My first love was dance before I fell in love with music. As of now, I’m becoming really addicted to sports.
À tes côtés was one of your biggest success to the point people thoughts that you and Richard were a “couple.” Is there any truth to it?
Meaning him and I are really good actors if people believed it. People tend not to be able to make the difference.
Tina describes you in 3 words.
Independent, strong, connoisseur
In one word tell us how you are feeling at this stage in your life. And why?
I feel at ease, even though the world seems so agitated (war, bad news etc). I try to enjoy my life to the maximum, taking it a day at a time. I enjoy everything that life is giving me from A smile to the smallest thing.
I read somewhere that you love to cook, so what’s your favorite dish to make?
When I was doing some research about you, I did not find anything about you being married or having children. So, my question is: Are you married? Do you have kids? Are you very selective about what you share with your fans?
Haha, next question, please? This is a part of my life that I like to keep private.
Tina, what’s next for you, in terms of music, life, business?
I am actually working on my next album and a little bit of touring. More details to come in all of my social media facebook.com/tinalymusic and Instagram/twitter tinalymusic
It’s a tradition for me to ask anyone that I’m interviewing if they have one last thing they would like to say. I don’t know a message or anything that I might have left out to the readers.
Thank you Sergine for this interview . Hopefully, the readers will enjoy reading it. I wish you all peace and to take advantages of loving people that you have around you more. Life is short.
Love, Tina LY
Thank You so Much to Tina for the interview, loved working with you and getting to know you throughout of it. I appreciate the effort that was made to do it. I am looking forward to seeing what you do next. Lots of love !!
Lady Sergine 🌹💋