YARDHYPE recently had a question and answer session with the upcoming female Reggae Dancehall musician “Tia K” who is working diligently to take a place in the dancehall space. Learn about who she is and what her music is about below.
· Where Are You From? “This is always a tough question. A question of culture. I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised between both Florida and Jamaica. While my mother was pregnant with me in Jamaica she came to the United States before I was born, making me the first generation in my family to be born here. Providing me the opportunity to be of two places and to travel to both. She lives in Jamaica currently. But I have always regarded Jamaica as home over America”.
· How long have you been doing Music and what cause you to start? “I grew up in the church. Although now I regard myself as a spiritualist and a healer, I sung the praises of the creator every Sunday singing on every choir and praise team that my church had. My sisters and I would sing together daily, literally walking through the house harmonizing everything. I come from a very vocal bloodline. My cousins include artists like Iyara and Black Ryno, I have a few cousins that are producers, one of which is a Grammy winner, A-Million. In high school I would freestyle at lunch time, in college I would write as many songs and poems as I could. As a young adult, I published two books under the name Tia Kemali. And I just developed my craft into doing music for myself. It has always been in me from the beginning”.
· What is your style of music? “I do reggae and dancehall music. But many say it’s like an infusion. Creative, and artistic merging old school and new school styles. A lot of my inspiration comes from both my life; that of which I see in the testimonies of others and from a lot of well-respected Artists from the 90s”.
· What’s is your favorite verse you wrote? “One of my favorite verse is that from my song “Stand Out,” produces by Yard Hype music. It says, “No bwoi, can’t have mi name inna no mixup, ‘cause ah my money spend fi mi fix up, tru’ mi humble from birth, mi know what mi worth, nuh bwoi can’t come dish mi dirt”.
Tia K continues “I’m a Chinese puzzle mi nuh easy, some gyal quick fi lay down very easy, what yuh see ah what yuh get so believe, no bwoi can’t use no sweet talk and deceive me!” For me it’s a conviction, a proclamation of strength and self love, knowing self. To know self is to be impenetrable, to know that I’ve got this far by being strong and building me up, and I’m not so easily broken or used. I love and live by the strength this verse portrays!”
· Favorite dancehall Artiste? “It is hard for me to pick a favorite dancehall artist, I have been inspired by so many! I have always looked up to the following iconic legends: Tanya Stephens, Lady Saw, Buju Banton, Spragga, Lady G, Patra, Shabba, there is no way to name just one, so this is just to name a few. I am a huge fan of the 90s. It amazes me the impact that these artists have had on foundational music!”
· Favorite Reggae Artiste? “Cocoa Tea, Beres Hammond, Frankie Paul, Freddie McGregor, Queen Ifrica, Nadine Sutherland, Tessanne Chin, the Marleys, I mean I can’t even pick just one they are all iconic”.
· Which Reggae/Dancehall Artiste has been most influential in your musical career? “I mean the career and developmental convos I have had with one of my mentors has really shaped who I am becoming as an artist, and I’d be remissed if I did not give that credit to the Legend, the man, the icon; Cocoa Tea. He has been there to answer my calls, listen to my rants, and to lead without judgement. I have total respect for him and value his guidance always”.
· What’s next (Any new Project, Music video/single)? “I am working on a video for my song Stand Out on the One Time Riddim with Yard Hype Music, and I have lots of other songs waiting to be released. I was a radio personality, and I stepped away from that to focus on my music. There are so many things in store I can’t even reveal everything. Just keep watching the progress”.
· What Keeps You grounded (Things you do to relax/chill) “For me, meditation and cleansing is a must. Something as simple as walking through grass barefoot is so powerful in grounding, sitting by the river listening to African drums or even just nature. I’m a naturist, a spiritual being. The elements ground me and surround me. I love to paint, anything artsy, that’s me. I just love anything pure and fun, and creative. Finding alone time to just release and recharge always helps”.
· What do you love the most about Jamaica? “What do I love most about Jamaica?……I would have to say the people, the food, the culture, the scenery. It’s just beautiful in all it’s essence. When I say I am Jamaican people say, “oh my Gawd, I love there, but I’m so afraid to visit!” It is so sad that these are the thoughts that are now flowing through tourists minds, but I know of times of fun, times of my childhood, memories unforgettable, lands of beauty, waters so pure. I would say in these current times I would have loved to have left and moved back home. To me Jamaica is home. I love everything about it because that is where I feel most connected. My people are from Seaford Town, and Catadupa, although my mom lives in Rose Hall and frequents Kingston. For me the entire island is my portal of connection. And for me, that’s where my heart is”.
· Tell Us About Your Music Team “I do music with Bellevue Entertainment. That’s family! Me, Iyara and my cousin Bellevue. We are #ownway music. That’s our motto, because we got it off the muscle, it was never handed to us! From the ground to the sky, we rise! My management is currently WorlBlast music, Andrew Powell. He has been working in marketing etc. This journey has just been hard, yet amazing thus far. I’ve learned so much and I am still learning along the way. I’ve been blessed to work with so many producers and meet so many along the way. My team is still building but I stand front the viewpoint, if I win, we win!”
· Where Do You See Your Self 3 years from now? “With albums and Ep’s. Touring and influencing others as I do now”.
· How do you usually come about your lyrics, writing/freestyle? “My lyrics are drawn from everywhere! I have two writers, one in Jamaica, and one in South Florida. @winstonarts and Shiftacula Music. Both are great friends of mine and we co-write a lot. They know me, they know my style and they know my message. Lately I have been writing for myself. The growth is just amazing! And I love the flexibility to just be ME”.
· What Are Your Views On The Current state of Dancehall And Reggae music? “To be quite honest and candid, I’m not sure of its direction. There is so much crime and corruption in dancehall these days. I value the old and golden days. I feel like there is no time like the 90s. I hope we can get back to a path of using our platform for good, for betterment, for the culture of dancehall! I sing about everything from culture to slackness, spirituality to influence, self love to battles. Just about everything. But I try to invoke a presence of music and the feelings we get with reflection and strength, and always moving forward. I can’t knock anyone for their tactics. I, myself, just try to never be misleading. And I can only hope we all strive for that. The world and the dancehall needs love, togetherness, community and strength. That’s all I can hope. We bring back the love into the lyrics”.
Follow Tia K on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sewtia_ownway
Listen here latest release “Stand Out” Below