This week’s special guest is Tanisha. She is an R&B / Alternative artist from Toronto. At the age of 14, she started singing in Toronto Children’s Concert Choir. After touring to the Bahamas at the age of 18 with the choir, she knew that music is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
On this episode, Tanisha talked about the importance of having a strong circle, why 2016 has been the most challenging and rewarding year for her, and so much more.
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Excerpts from our conversation.
Chedo: Tell me what was your upbringing like? What was your childhood like and how you came to discover music?
Tanisha: My family isn’t into music. I am actually the only one. I kinda forced it on to everybody else. [Laughs.] But I grew up in Toronto Children’s Concert Choir (TC3) and became a member when I was 14 years old… I joined in when I was in 8th grade. I was in TC3 until I was 18. We were constantly performing. I was performing and also going to school. Being part of the choir shaped me as an artist. It showed me from a young age how to stand on stage, how to work with others, and how to be professional. It really formed me into an artist. When I was 18 I went on a tour with TC3 to The Bahamas. My mom is actually from The Bahamas but this is my first time to go on tour there.
Chedo: Have you been to The Bahamas before you went for the tour?
Tanisha: No. I’ve never been there before. It was awesome there. I got to meet my family that I haven’t met before. As I was performing, they came to our show… That was awesome. I also met other creatives and got to see their culture and how much they love music. Seeing that we are from Toronto, they were so inspired. That inspired me! I was like, “Wow! You can go other places and share with them what you are working on creatively. This is what I want to do.” And that is how I started.
Chedo: As you look at the Toronto scene and at the creative scene, some people say that we are going through a renaissance. Some say that the energy that we have in the city has never happened before. They say that a lot of things have changed. How are you feeling of the Toronto music scene looking across?
Tanisha: I think that Toronto is an amazing place to be an artist or in the creative. I can only speak on behalf of myself. I haven’t put out records since March but I have received so much love. That’s all I can really say about that. I think this is a super dope place. You can be yourself and do what you want to do. Just put out your music because people here are definitely looking for music to listen. I am super laid back and introverted. This year has been impossible for me to not talk to people. I have made some amazing connections. Good energy… People here are just loving the music.
Chedo: You’ve mentioned that “Sometimes you have to force your confidence to catch up.” What does that mean?
Tanisha: Although you might have doubts, you just have to tell yourself to just do it. That is something that is big for me. Small things that I used to say like, “Oh my gosh! I can’t do this.” Even now that I am doing more things… Allowing yourself to reach your full potential can make things start to happen.
Chedo: You also mentioned that “2016 is the most challenging and rewarding year.” How so?
Tanisha: Personally, 2016 has been challenging because of the stress. That is in addition to being an artist and having to worry a lot especially being in the career that I have chosen. I’ve chosen to be a musician at 22 years old. I am not in school anymore. You have to create your own opportunities. Being a musician is not like a 9 to 5 job and get paid every 2 weeks. You have to figure it out on your own. That is what I meant by the challenge. Either you go hard or go home.
Chedo: What is it like going through that challenge? What is the thought process like?
Tanisha: I knew the steps but it’s just a matter of putting myself in the right position, the right energy, and right focus. If I put a 100% energy into what I am doing, then it will take me further. You just have to put faith in it. I just decided to do it because I’ve been doing music for my entire life. That is the one constant interest that I had. I played basketball, I did acting, I did a bunch of random things, but music never left me. I thought of things like, “What is the next step? After TC3, I have to find open mics. How to do these things?” But I also thought that “If I was doing that at 14 then I should be able to do that now that I am older and more experienced.” It is time to go after my music and put my heart into it.