Last year the soul community got to know about Toronto-based soul singer TANIKA CHARLES via a lovely ear-worm of a tune, 'Endless Chain'. Investigation revealed that the cut came from her album 'Soul Run' – issued on her own label. Well now that album has been picked up by European label Record Kicks and, hopefully, a wider audience can get to know 'Endless Chain' in particular and Ms Charles' talent in general! With Tanika on the threshold of greater recognition we felt it was time that we found out more. Meeting up, we started by wanting to know about her back ground and how she got into the crazy world of soul.....
I was born in Toronto and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. Growing up, we listened to a lot of music but JAZZ (my father's favourite) was at the forefront. Spyro Gyra, Bob James, George Benson, George Duke, those were my initial inﬂuences. Then later Earth, Wind and Fire, The Gap Band, Zapp and eventually transitioning to more current hip-hop and R&B. I used to love singing Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Well, mostly harmonizing ... those two are vocal BEASTS! Patti Labelle and Millie Jackson are my absolute heroes though. Millie with her raw and crass lyrics, Patti with her insane range and ability to maintain on stage when everything falls apart! This may sound cliché but music has the incredible ability to reach and touch us in so many ways. I truly enjoy SINGING - A career in singing was the last thing on my mind. I wanted to be a comedian or an actress!
OK, so when did you change your mind and decide to make a career from music?
I was living on a farm in Edmonton (long story) and watching a TV show about this band named Bedouin Soundclash. For some reason, I couldn't take my eyes off the television. I was just sitting there, while making and BURNING dinner, determined to meet them. I wasn't certain how, but something told me I'd be working with them. A couple months later, a girlfriend of mine called me from Toronto and said that Bedouin were holding auditions to sing BV's and I should ﬂy down to try out. So, I did. And got the job. Decided to use that time to hone in on my skills and get comfortable on stage. Once we were off tour, it was on!
Last Updated on Saturday, 18 March 2017 10:21