Tanika Charles will be performing with her band The Wonderfuls at Ritual on May 14th in support of the May 10th release of her first LP Soul Run.
The title track has already hit the top 20 on CBC Radio 2 and her latest single Two Steps was also released on April 13th. Though this is her first full length release as a solo artist (her debut EP was released over five years ago) she has lent her voice to accompany such artists as Emmanuel Jal, Fred Penner, Donna Grantis, Zaki Ibrahim, and Bedouin Soundclash. She has also just toured opening for fellow Toronto artist Jason Collett.
Tanika’s latest album is intensely personal, chronicling the aftermath of a relationship. Her bio boasts “If she sings it, she’s lived it.” With lyrics such as “Put my bags inside your jeep I stole your keys and now I’m speeding”, one wonders in excitement just how far that statement goes. Of her experience writing the album, Tanika states: “I just kind of started writing based on what happened after the breakup, leading up to now. From being in the relationship, to dating, to getting called back to get back together.”
I often write about my admiration for artists who write and perform from a place of vulnerability and emotion. Tanika is no exception. Speaking with her, I could tell she is a very vulnerable person, her shyness and nervousness very apparent and incredibly endearing, which stands at odds with her strong and powerful music. She sees her performances as a release. “I enjoy it because I am an emotional person. When I am singing out it’s a relief because dealing with so much shit in life. As a woman, and being in relationships, it’s just easier to sing it out as opposed to keeping it inside and not wanting to express how I feel.”
With idols like Patty Labelle, Amy Winehouse, Grace Jones and Gladis Knight, Tanika comes from a long lineage of powerful voices in Motown and Jazz music.
Tanika Charles performs at Ritual (137 Besserer St.) on May 14th. Tickets are $10 and are available online. Soul Run will be released on May 10th but is available for pre-order as of May 5th. Find Tanika Charles on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp.