TUNING IN WITH SINGER-SONGWRITER TAMIKA J.

Meet Tamika J.

We love celebrating strong, successful women here at The Caviar Spoon, which is why we’ve created ReBelles. These are the women who are working it and owning it! We’re thrilled to have emerging artist singer-songwriter Tamika J. join our ReBelle ranks!

Thanks to Keba Williams, The Caviar Spoon has been introduced to some fabulous music and talent, like Tamika J. Also based in Miami, she has a wonderfully rich and soulful voice and as soon as we were introduced, we were sold!

We listened to a few of her tracks, got to know her by email, and now we can’t wait to introduce her to you.

Keep your eye on this one because we’ve got that tingling feeling that Tamika J. is going to be a star. She’s real, honest, passionate, has respect and integrity for her art, and all of that combined with her natural talent and enthusiasm for life all but guarantees this emerging artist will become an established one!

Q&A With Tamika J.

Ed. note: some answers have been edited for clarity

Tell us about yourself
My name is Tamika J. Born and raised in Miami, Florida 🙂
I love my city and I love representing where I come from. I am of Haitian descent and I love my culture. My parents are from the beautiful Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

There is so much about me: I am an artist, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a motivator, a creator. I love who I am and love this journey that I am on. I am also sensitive but very strong…I may bend but I NEVER BREAK!  I am quiet, silly, goofy, complex and very outspoken…I am nurturing and extremely passionate. There are so many sides to me and I embrace each one of them.

Who inspired you growing up and why
Wow! So many people inspired my growth. The first thing I think about is my parents. Without their words of wisdom, I would not be who I am today. My parents have a way of just getting straight to the point. There is no grey area, it’s just the truth and I can honestly appreciate that about them. Their strength has definitely inspired me to grow in my life journey. They went through so much in their earlier life and to see them now and what they have accomplished always and forever inspires me.

What and when was your “AHA” moment in terms of moving into the music industry
My “AHA” moment was I enrolled in college—the University of South Florida. Even though I truly enjoyed my college years, I still had the yearning to pursue music. I remember being in Chemistry class and instead of focusing on formulas and the periodic table, I was creating melodies in my head and writing songs in my class. I would rush to my apartment to sing, dance, write songs, and play my guitar. I wanted to do that instead of study for my pre-med courses. That was my true “AHA” moment when I realized I need to move into the music industry.

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What challenges have you faced being in the industry
Wow, this answer will be a novel!!

There are so many challenges I’ve faced. For example, being an independent artist means you are paying for a lot of things YOURSELF so sometimes you will see indie artists struggling financially. Another challenge is, of course, being stereotyped and boxed. Because I am a black woman, many assume that I can only sing one style of music and that’s all.

Colorism and racism are another challenge. My dark skin is sometimes not pleasing to people so I am overlooked because of my skin. Additionally, I do wish that I had more support musically because this industry is not easy and having that support would make the journey easier. My dad is a fan of music but not the industry so, I do not talk to him about my music endeavors, unfortunately, but I am hoping that his worry will turn into full support.

Another challenge is sometimes, ME…I tend to get in my own way! A long time ago, I would question myself “Am I good enough”, “Is my music good enough”, etc etc…All these doubts and questioning myself sometimes got in my way of progressing to become the artist I know I can be.

How do you keep motivated
PRAYER!! Prayer is key in my journey, my relationship with God, my family, and also my two nieces. They motivate me because I want them to know that Auntie is working hard for her dream. I want them to see me push through this because one day they will have a purpose and remember there was a time when Auntie pushed hard for her dreams. I want them to do the same. I want to be a role model them so they can pursue their purpose 100 percent just like their cool Auntie 🙂

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Tell us about a famous singer who you admire and why
I have so many!! I can’t pick one…but if I have too I must say…Oooo this is hard because I love so many but I will pick Jill Scott. Her voice, her lyrics, her stage presence, her love for music exudes on stage and on her albums!! I look up to her musically and also personally. I got a chance to read about her story and what she went through as a woman in the music industry and it definitely motivated me to stay on course. Also, she is not afraid to be sexy which I love!!

Being sexy is powerful…So Jill Scott is who I admire AND I got the opportunity to meet her TWO TIMES!!

And also an emerging one we need to know about…
ME!! Lol!! Everyone needs to know about Tamika J. She is pretty amazing!

My music is needed in the industry!!! My mix between jazz, neo soul, and R&B with an alternative twist is so necessary for the music industry. I am the emerging artist that people need to know about.

Where do you gain inspiration
LIFE!!! All the ups and downs inspire me to write songs and to be more transparent on stage.

If you could turn the clocks back, what be the one piece of advice you would give “you”
Oooo great question, I would say to myself: “You are weird for a reason, you are beautiful, you will make it, stop worrying, love yourself to the fullest, and don’t be afraid to be YOU”

When the going gets tough you…
I push through…I have no choice!! I have to push through and pray while pushing!

If you weren’t a singer you would be…
I would probably be dancing backup for a famous singer because I love dancing or be a full-time American Sign Language Interpreter for the deaf. I actually interpret part-time but if I was not singing, I have a feeling that would probably be my profession full-time.

For anyone out there looking to break into the business, your one most crucial piece of advice is…
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF

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What are your personal values in life?
Staying true to myself, spending time with family, staying true with my songwriting, not sacrificing my image for a check, my relationship with God/Jesus, my education, my health, my faith, my friendships, my image…I have so many values that mean a lot to me.

You’re having a dinner party for 5—who would be at the table?
I would have Sade, Jill Scott, Marvin Gaye, Beyonce and Maya Angelou

Which brick in the wall would you be and why…
I would be the one lifting up the because I don’t do well with being stuck…I am always evolving and finding myself in new places. I am always moving and always creating…being stuck is not for me.

Your life mantra is…
Be better, not bitter

Favourite hotel in the world is…
Well, I have not been to a lot of hotels because Airbnb has taken over!!

Favourite place in the world you have visited
Wow!! I have been to a lot of places but I must say Jamaica just because of the mountains, the food, the water. The overall experience was life changing. Also, I really enjoyed myself in California…everything about it felt right but Jamaica was very moving for me.

A quote to inspire is…
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

3 words to describe Tamika…
Passionate, Strong, Silly

Anything you’d like to announce?
I just released an acoustic project entitled “Acoustically Speaking Vol.2” and I am working on my EP 🙂 For shows and events you can simply go to www.tamikajmusic.com

Acoustically Speaking Vol. 2

Find it on iTunes

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