The Oxford Dictionary defines the meaning of the word "precious" to be: "greatly loved or valued". A glance back at her illustrious career would reveal that multi-talented female recording artist and songwriter Vanessa Thomas has undoubtedly lived up to the definition of her soubriquet, Precious.
A household name in her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, Precious first became well-known when her single "Riding It" became one of the top songs of Carnival 2000.
From the tender age of three years of age, this child of the late 70's, showed an interest in performing and entertaining. The fact that her father was a disc jockey exposed her to the rudiments of entertaining where she remembers singing to the music from her father's music collection adorned with microphone and headphones. While she was exposed to the then contemporary music from her father's collection, her mother recalls that it was the "sesame street" theme song that was the first official song that she officially sang and performed complete with makeshift microphone in hand.
Coupled with the love and support that her parents gave, Precious had the foundation that would prove essential for her emergence into the soca industry. Her loving parents would always encourage and support their young child in her one interest and take her to tea parties and functions where she began honing her skills as a stage performer.
Precious decided to take her love for music, performing and entertaining to the competitive arena. In 1989, Precious entered Trinidad's well renowned Twelve and Under series where she made it to the semi final round of competition. From this program, she forged into other competitions including Trinidad's Teen Talent and the Party Time series, emerging as a favourite in both instances.
It was not till the age of 18 that Precious came into her own as a song writer, recording artist and professional performer. In 1996, $hel $hok (known for his production of Machael Montano's Big Truck and most recently Allison Hinds "Roll It"), was "blown away", by this petite talented beauty. Since then, the duo compiled a number of singles including "Slow Wyne" (which featured the artist currently known as Maximus), and placed her voice on the local airwaves.
Precious was part of the opening act for international acts performing in Trinidad, which include, "The Fugees", "Lady Saw" and Monica. Precious had the privilege to work in Jamaica with General Degree and Hawkeye from the then Main Street record label. However, Precious became a household name upon the release of her trademark single, "Riding It" when she teamed up with the late great producer Kirk Mitchell. To date, "Riding It" has been hailed a classic in Trinidad and Tobago's soca archives. Following this was a series of hits including, "Ring My Bell", which was produced by $hel $hok. These hits afforded Precious with the opportunity to tour regionally and internationally, an experience which she happily recalls enjoying "every moment of".
After touring, she co-wrote "Panic", the song performed by Denise "Saucy Wow" Belfon which became a mega hit to Ms. Belfon. When asked about the inspiration to write this song, Precious, with slanted eyes reveals that, "Panic is a reflection of my alter ego". In addition to penning hits, she has worked with other local and regional artists including Machel Montano (Watch d People 2005), Three Suns (Baby 2004) and Allison Hinds (Independent Ladies 2003).
When Precious is not performing, writing and entertaining, she is either at home relaxing with her family and friends or enjoying a good book.
In 2007, Precious teamed up with song - writer and artist Ozzy Magic and local producing protégé KC Phillip. The combination has resulted in her mega hit "Black Carpet".
This young artist has endured the best and worst of the music industry and yet, with a smile on her face, she admits that she "loves what she does and would not change a second of the experience." Rare and valuable, Precious has certainly proven that she is a diva in her own right.
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