Tamera Transcendes Musical Genres And Styles
After taking some time out, rebranding and hitting us with brand new tracks ‘Romeo’ and ‘Don’t Phone’ via Moonshyne, British songstress Tamera has been working hard to not only be one of the most captivating singers on the London scene right now, but she’s also someone who knows exactly what she wants. Having collectively over 300,000 streams on Spotify and over 100,000 views on YouTube and counting, these tracks have planted her right in the neo-soul scene where she can flourish into being the dreamy soul singer that once she looked up to as a child. With creative direction from India Rose and Saffron Guiness for her first music visual for ‘Romeo’ which was released in August 2019, both the video and track were described as having gentle jazz, R&B with lo-fi 70s effects. Written about an ex lover who had enabled her to see the bigger picture in life but wasn’t romantic at all, the first lyric reads “You’re no Romeo but I like it better because you inspire thought” whilst the chorus reads “Now I know how far I’d go for you”, fortifying the idea of space age visuals in a bubblegum-pink suit and air helmet. Shot in Wales, she wanders around the copper coloured rocks reflecting on this time in her life. With her being blasted into space for the ‘Romeo’ visuals, it perfectly symbolises how Tamera is going to be reaching new heights in the forthcoming years.
Interviewer Shenead Porosootum
Creative Direction:Derrick Odafi
Photography Nadine Petzke
Hair Lauraine Bailey
Make Up Sam Lascelle
Stylists Laila Violet Bailey
Retoucher Derrick Odafi
Visual Director Jordan Hurrell
Project Manager Matilda Sandi
Special Thanks to Triple Threat Management
Tamera has always been singing since she was young. Encouraged by her grandma who is a church minister, she would always call her out to sing and take part. Being able to explore harmonising and sing within a group of people was what paved a way for her career in the future and as she grew up. Tamera draws inspiration from a variety of artists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, James Brown and Usher, whom she was a huge fan of. As she got older, she started to listen to artists such as Sammy Davis Jr and Sarah Vaughan from the traditional Pop and Jazz genres. With this, she was introduced to a more technical side of music as well as hearing classic soul. From singing in church choirs to eventually writing her own lyrics in the studio, Tamera absorbs inspiration from absolutely anything she can get her hands on. Whether it’s a new artist she discovers, scrolling through Pinterest or watching a movie, there is always something she can utilise to make herself get more creative within her songwriting. She nurtures her creative genius whilst simultaneously listening to powerful female artists that she feels like she can relate to. Albums that meant the most to her in the last decade include Rihanna’s ‘R8’, SZA’s ‘CTRL’, and Teyana Taylor’s ‘K.T.S.E’.
Although her debut track ‘Romeo’ has been described to be neo-soul or R&B, Tamera doesn’t think she has a sound. As she changes and grows as a person she thinks she will adapt as her life goes on through different experiences she has. It is clear that she is evolving and will continue to as it shows with her second single; the summery and beat consistent track ‘Don’t Phone’ which was released in November 2019. She now explores more sounds like subtle afrobeats and draws inspiration from rappers. From having this dream since she was young, there’s no stopping Tamera from trying to achieve what she was born to do.
With the industry being condensed, Tamera believes that the most important way to stand out is for her to be truthful to herself. As she tries to view the world through multiple perspectives and connect with people, she thinks deeper into things and shows that she cares about people and the world around her. She injects that feeling of authenticity within her writing and wants anyone who listens to her to feel like they can relate.
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“I think I look at the world differently. I try to go deeper into things… I care about the state of the world and the state of people so I try and put that into my music.”
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Ruffled Dress Ana Sekularac
Jewellery Isabel Marant & Alighieri
In terms of competitiveness, Tamera believes that UK artists should stand together more in solidarity. Much like artists in the US who love to feature and collaborate with each other, she wishes of seeing a bigger sense of community that would bring everyone closer together as a family who are all striving for success but not trying to be on top of another. Tamera loves to collaborate as she feels that it can sometimes bring out something new that she wouldn’t necessarily find on her own. Alongside this, Tamera has dreams of one day collaborating with Missy Elliott; it’s apparent that Tamera means business. Hard work pays and it’s important to our songstress to knuckle down and grind to get what you want. In a materialistic world, it’s easy to get lost and caught up in the glittering things the industry has to offer as well as clout-chasing to get 15 minutes of fame. Tamera knows that it could all be gone in a heartbeat and strives to perfect her craft for as long as takes.
It may just be the start of perfecting herself, but this artiste is finding her feet and letting us feast on her art whilst she does so. By already producing two finely tuned tracks it’s clear that Tamera is going to be one to watch by spreading a bona fide sense of authenticity, love, and positivity through her music.
Check out an extract of our exclusive interview with Tamera below.
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Hi Tamera! How’s your day been so far?
My day has been good! It’s been filled with coffee so I'm buzzing right now but it’s good, we move, were shooting! *laughs*
The first question I would like to ask you, who or what got you into music?
My grandma. It’s all down to her. My grandma is a minister at church so I used to go with her when I was really young and she used to encourage me to sing. She would call me out to sing all the time I just loved it. While singing in unison with a group of people I started experimenting with harmony and things like that.
So from a young age this was something that you decided that you wanted to pursue?
100%. I used to run around my house with a toy karaoke set when I was a toddler apparently. I always loved to sing.
From then up to now, how do you think that you’ve grown as an artist in your professional career?
I've learnt how to write songs which is a great thing for me. I always used to write short stories and poetry, so my first time in the studio I felt like I had this… but then I realised I don’t have this.
It’s a lot more difficult than you thought right?
It’s was a lot more difficult than I thought. So I think I've grown on the writing side. I've learnt to become less attached to my ideas because it used to only be a personal thing. It was the only thing I used to do that would make me feel alive. I think the longer you're into it you pick up tricks of the trade. It’s definitely grown me as a person though. Being able to write my own songs is like therapy; it helps me level up mentally all the time.
For someone who has no idea who you are, describe your sound.
Right now I would say my sound is R&B and bass with a little bit of afro inspiration in there. But I definitely want to keep evolving and I'm just very inspired by rappers… the cadences they use and the pockets they find. I want to incorporate that into my music.
Is this a sound you want to stick with throughout your career then? Do you feel like you’ve found your sound?
No. To be honest I think that’s a myth – finding your sound. Because you're always going to change as a person and your experiences are always going to be different, your influences are going to be different, like the places you go and the people you meet. So I don’t think I'm ever going to find my sound, I think I'm just going to be an expression. Constantly evolving and constantly trying to speak my truth in my music.
Tell us about the creative process with your debut single ‘Romeo’.
With Romeo, I really wanted to write that song about the relationship I had at the time. As in being with someone who really opened my eyes to a lot of things and taught me a lot of stuff, but he was not romantic in the slightest. So the first line is “You’re no Romeo but I like it better because you inspire thought” and then the chorus is “Now I know how far I’d go for you” so that’s how the video came about because we wanted to find a way of showing how far you would go, so we took it to space! We found this incredible location in Wales that used to be an old copper mine so all the rocks and everything around it is just dyed red and orange and green. That was incredible and it was my first video as well so it was really exciting to see my ideas come to life.
Tell us about your hobbies; what do you like to do in your spare time when you're not doing music related things?
I'm quite boring *laughs*. I love what I do so when I'm not working on music I’ll probably be looking for visual inspiration on Pinterest or in movies or I’ll be walking around in the street recording background noise *laughs*. I just try to look for inspiration.
Is there anything you would have considered if music wasn’t a path for you to go down?
Yeah! Do you know what? I always used to say in school if I'm not going to be a singer then I'm going to be a lawyer. The other of end of the spectrum! I remember doing some debate classes in school thinking ‘yeah I'm alright at this!’ it was never something I really looked into properly though but that was my other option.
Finally, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t get caught up in the hype. Because there’s a lot of hype and a lot of clout, a lot of dazzling things in the industry, but if you don’t knuckle down and get the work done it doesn’t mean anything. It’ll be gone in a heartbeat. And I think that piece of advice really scared me because this is what I want to do. I don’t think I’ll be completely happy if I wasn’t doing this so it really encouraged me to just get my head down and perfect my craft.