Buffalo State music major Amber Simone Chinn has just completed her freshman year, but already has garnered worldwide attention for her stunning voice.
While attending a local pool party in May, she sang the Jhene Akio song “The Worst.” A friend’s aunt recorded the impromptu performance on her cell phone and uploaded it to Facebook.
This comes as no surprise to Chinn’s mother, Shellonnee Baker Chinn, who has been telling her daughter since she was a toddler that she would sing to millions of people around the world one day. It was an auspicious declaration, considering her third child’s precarious beginning. Chinn was born with craniosynostosis, a defect in which the joints between the skull bones close prematurely. At 6 months of age, she underwent surgery to correct the birth defect and has since matured into a talented singer with an ethereal voice.
As a fifth-grader, friends found her voice so soothing, they asked her to sing them to sleep while on a camping trip. At Buffalo Seminary, she was president of the a cappella club and sang in her church choir and in weddings. She also has performed on campus, winning an Apollo Night Talent show.
For the past three years, she has been writing and recording her own songs. She is working with Buffalo artists under the Eggertsville Music label to increase her portfolio of original songs.
“I want to work with a local music label so I can control my time and help other artists develop their work in an environment that is creative, technically supportive, and allows for them to maintain control of their work,” she said. “I plan to continue studying at Buffalo State and complete my undergraduate degree. I came to Buffalo State to study music, and I will continue my professional work as I continue with the foundation work that formal study provides.”
Music Department Chair Emily Boyce said, “Students like Amber are a model and an inspiration for those who recognize the power of every individual’s will to succeed.”
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