Taragirl: Tellin’ It

If you saw Taragirl in the street right now, you probably wouldn’t reckon that she’s a R&B and soul singer. Looks can indeed be deceiving, that’s why it’s best not to judge a book by it’s cover. She’s shared the stage with Chrisette Michele and is constantly winning hearts over with her singing. She may not be all over your television right now, but you need to get to know this young lady.

Singersroom: Tell us a little about you. Who is Taragirl?

Taragirl: That always sounds like a silly question when you go to answer it, cause ya know…I’m just me! I’m a mix of Soul and R&B, Hip-Hop and Dance, and even Inspirational and Pop music. ‘Taragirl’ is kinda like a nickname that everyone knows me by now and I always want it to communicate a pure and soulful energy with a little bit of girl power and a whole lot of sass. I’m sweet, I’m positive, I’m real, but sometimes I also like to get down and tell it like it is. And that might involve some wailing but usually, in my opinion, that’s the best part of the song!

Singersroom: What made you want to get into singing?

Taragirl: I’ve been singing since I was a little kid. Check out the old 80’s YouTube clip if you don’t believe me. That’s mainly because my father encouraged me and kept handing me the microphone when I was around six or seven. When you grow up with this other means of communicating through music, especially singing I think, it really opens up a whole other side of yourself and you want to re-live that experience over and over again. One time someone said to me, “It must be so amazing to be able to use your voice to release all of that emotion!” And she was right. But the truly beautiful thing about music is that it’s interactive: the audience gets to feel what you feel – just by listening.

Singersroom: Who are some of your favorite artists?

Taragirl: My all time favorite as many already know is Aretha Franklin. For me, no one will ever surpass her. I’m also greatly influenced by an array of other people like Dinah Washington, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Madonna, EnVogue, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Boyz II Men, Lauryn Hill and certainly Mariah Carey. But everyday I‘m desperate for new music that’s fresh and exciting too, so lately I’ve been into stuff like k-os, Zero7, Citizen Cope, Fiona Apple, Maroon 5…I love fusions and artists that don’t fit into just any one category.

Singersroom: What inspires your music and you to sing?

Taragirl: Everything; the good, the bad and the ugly. I mean it! I first started taking songwriting seriously when I turned on the radio and the caliber of music had gone way down. It was “I want you, I need you, you’re the one for me” blah blah blah. I thought to myself, girl get some confidence, you can write a better song that that! As it turns out–at least for me–it’s a lot easier to channel all the negative crap that happens to you as opposed to the positive. It’s kinda like, when you’re all happy and feeling good, you don’t want to sit home by yourself and write a song…but I’m starting to embrace those feelings more and make some fun music too!

Singersroom: You're in Philadelphia right now, and it's gotten some negative press and even been called "Killadelphia." What do you think about that and do you think you will write about the current climate there anytime soon?

Taragirl: It’s true and sad that’s our nickname right now. Philly is going through some things right now, but I have faith that we will come out of it. In part, I’m psyched about the new guy in office, Mayor Nutter. I believe with his guidance and with our patience, we can put the focus back on education, fight crime, and come up with innovative ways to uplift our communities. Understandably, a lot of young people growing up in the ghetto environment are discouraged by what they see; I’ve talked with some of them, debated with some of them and a lot of people are consciously or subconsciously living in ‘survival mode.’ The truth is, the world we live in shouldn’t control us; we must control our own destiny to a very large extent. “Getting by” doesn’t have to mean selling drugs, hustlin’, and it sure as hell doesn’t have to mean violence.

Despite our different circumstances, a lot of us are struggling with the same issues of negativity, self-doubt, frustration, fear and stress. I would love to deal more directly with these issues in my songs. So far, everything I’ve written about is from an autobiographical standpoint. In my new songs, I’m dealing with my experience on these same issues, but from my point of view. My forthcoming single, “The City,” is all about dealing with the extreme highs and lows of life and how hard that can be; one day you’re on top of the world and the next day you’re flat on your back. How do you find the strength to get back up again? I have another song called “Get Down” that’s from a friend to a friend, about holding your head up no matter what life throws at you and remembering your self-worth.

Also, I never want my songs to sound too preachy because I wouldn’t want someone to talk to me that way…I try to get my message across but keep you jamming at the same time.

Singersroom: You recently shared a stage with Chrisette Michele, what was that like?

Taragril: [It was] awesome! But totally scary too! I just wrote a blog about this. I was trying to give people an example of what it feels like to be an opening act – it’s not all happy faces and applauses. In the beginning, especially when you got like a hard core soul/R&B audience from Philly, they see me – this hype, little white girl – and people are not exactly thrilled. That’s usually how it is for me whenever there’s a new audience; I have to win them over note by note. But by the end they were shouting my name so…it really was a great time and I think I succeeded in warming up the stage for Ms. Chrisette who, of course, killed it!

Singersroom: What's in store for you this year and what can your fans expect?

Taragirl: Well this year I’m working hard and plan on releasing new music very soon. Fans can expect me to drop at least two new singles by the summer. One is a really funky, sassy joint called “What You Give” that you will not be able to get out of your head. Don’t hate me! And the other has a feel-good, hip-hop soul flavor to it entitled “Act Like a Star.” Both of these are gonna surprise people I think; they definitely show a different side to me than you might be used to. Of course, it’s been there the whole time, but now I have the opportunity to get down with it some more and get your head bobbin! And there will be another album coming out eventually, but I can’t say when. At this point, these will be limited digital releases. I’m experimenting right now, collaborating with a lot of different cats and shopping for a deal. Those are my priorities right now and for once in my life, I’m just gonna let the music lead me.



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