Velvet-voiced Rochelle Watson has come a long way. A firm gospel background has been a strong influence in the evolution of this Cairns resident’s musical style ” a winning combination of soul, reggae and Islander sounds.
Her partner and manager Pat Ganita has helped Rochelle in fostering her extraordinary talent. Pat is from Fiji and together they are involved in Junga/Vonu Productions.
Rochelle was 23 when she decided to do something serious with her beautiful singing voice. Inspired by Aretha Franklin, Rochelle says that the Queen of Soul’s powerful style and message in her songs have helped to create her own love of singing.
Rochelle’s debut four-track CD, Black To Reality, is released on the Junga/Vonu label, and she hopes it will eventually lead to a full-time career in music. The album is soulful and diverse, with lyrics ranging from an exploration of identity to an expression of support and appreciation for her Indigenous brothers and sisters.
Here’s a breakdown of the tracks:
“Problem” is about friends and families who have problems in their everyday lives. Rochelle believes you shouldn’t keep your problems to yourself. Reaching out is what being human is all about.
“Too Deadly My Sister” is a song Rochelle wrote about all the women who have influenced her, making her who she is today.
“Identity” reflects on those who go through life not knowing about their background or their culture.
The title track, “Black To Reality” is about being Aboriginal in contemporary Australia.
2000 was a good year for Rochelle. Entering the television program Star Search, she won her heat and went on to sing in the Grand Final.
With their own production company behind them, Rochelle and Pat aim to help kick-start the careers of many more talented Indigenous artists.