*Update: Hey Nirmods! Check out this interview with pop starlet Tanya G and check out the video below for her rendition of "I Will Survive". Enjoy!
Nimrod Street: Why did you quit Fe-Nix?
Tanya G: The group actually split as everyone wanted to venture more into themselves and find ourselves as individual artists rather than just one. Especially at times we did have some creative differences, which is what does happen in that sort of circumstance. So I took the split/deporter as more of an opportunity for me to find my self as a solo-artist and perfect my craft as I am very passionate about music.
NS: Was it difficult adjusting to being a solo artist or did it come very natural?
TG: My transition into becoming a solo artist wasn't very difficult, as I did take a few years break before actually establishing myself as one. But during that time I was constantly working on me and my music. I was in contact with producers like Urban Soul and Paleface and just working on music. So within that time I was able to focus more on the music I want to present to the World. Also now that i'm with Chapter Records I have more creative freedom to explore my taste in music as opposed to being the group, we constantly had management/labels screening our singles/tracks before we could release them.
NS: Can you tell us what you've learned from being in a group that you'll take with you on this new adventure?
TG: Well one of the biggest opportunities I've had being in the group was getting a record deal with Universal Records as it was a pinnacle point for me especially as I was lead vocal on “Lady Baby” which is what got us the record deal. Also other moments, such as performing on Big Brother's Big Mouth and doing a show on Sky1 Pineapple Dance Studios has definitely helped me realise my potential as an artist in the industry and also understanding the makings of the industry as well, as that is very crucial.
So i'm definitely keeping these achievements in mind as reminders of what I have done in my past in a group, so I can definitely do more as a solo-artist.
NS: Why did you choose to cover "I Will Survive" as your new single?
TG: As an aspiring/upcoming artist, it's always great to experiment with different sounds/different genres as it would help you establish your place in the market. So taking on a track like I Will Survive is definitely a hit or miss, as it's such a massive global record that there's only so much you can do to make it yours. So my spin on the record was just to reinforce that message of female empowerment... but I wanted to do it in a way that is similar to the original and still make it a dance-floor hit.
But modernizing the track and adding my own sound to it has really helped in expressing how I feel as an artist and what i'm about. Empowering people in my music. Making people feel good. Especially women as we do need that push at times. The tracks on my forthcoming album will definitely hit home with a lot of women of all different ages, backgrounds and statuses in society.
NS: How do you hope the re-birth of this song will affect how women perceive relationships in their own lives?
TG: Well the music video that was directed by Naushervan Shad did have a bit of my input as I want everyone and anyone who is listening to the single to know that they will survive in a sense. As these things don't last and as women we recently celebrated International Women's Day that highlights what we are capable off. So women who are going through the situation that is highlighted in the video and have a rough or tough relationship, I believe it will affect them to the point that they will realize that they are important, they are valuable and that they can hold their head up high.
NS: Does this particular track have anything to do with you venturing out on your own?
TG: Other than the fact that it's a very uplifting empowering record for women and I did make sure that that message is quite clear in the video. It also symbolizes me venturing into the solo-side of the industry as my reputation currently stands at the fact that I was vocal in Fe-Nix. So i'm hoping that one day i'll breakthrough the stages of just being that newcomer who used to be in a girl group, but I actually want to survive this fast-moving industry and I want people to know who Tanya G is.
NS: What advice can you give young artists who are considering joining a band/group?
TG: That you may have creative differences from your other members, but if you combine those ideas together you will succeed. And never give up and ALWAYS BELIEVE that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. As opportunities will come your band/groups way that you won't be expecting, but it's all in the pipeline if you keep focused and continue doing what you love.
NS: I guess it's obvious you're influenced by disco and other music from that era? Are there any other genres of music you feel inspired by?
TG: Well if were talking pre-millennial era of music, then definitely influenced by Garage music. I grew up on it so it's my favourite genre of music as it reminds me of so many good times I had growing up. When I listen to a garage song especially old skool garage, I think of so many great memories. It really puts me in a good mood and it gives me good vibes. So you'll be hearing a lot of garage on my forthcoming album as well R&B.
NS: Has working with big name producers taught you anything to maybe self-produce your own material in the future?
TG: Well I am more of a songwriter if i'm going to be honest, but I do get involved with the production side of things when i'm working with producers. So if I like the backing that they are proposing or if I see potential in it, I get writing and I sort of tweak parts of the composition to what I think really captures the essence of the record. So in a sense I do produce my own material. But you never know, maybe one day i'll venture into producing my own backing lol.
NS: What's next for Tanya G?
TG: Well i'll be releasing my debut album this year, as that's something i've been working towards for a while now. I also have collaborations with some rappers coming out very soon, so look out for that within the next few weeks :) My management are currently in talks with a few brands at the moment, so I have a few collaborations/lines coming out soon. I also have an interview I did on Sky1's JustEve Show airing soon and various other interviews coming out. The work ethic is quite high this side of the year, so lots are to come very soon!
NS: Are you considering doing a tour any time soon?
TG: Yes I am most definitely considering doing a tour. In fact we currently have some shows/performances in the pipeline at the moment. But all will be revealed in due time. I'm super excited for everyone who has supported me in my journey since Fe-Nix till now to see what i've been cooking up and get a feel of Tanya G this year!