Philly has seen its fair share of talented emerging artists. Some make it, like The Roots and John Legend, while others may just wind up in the used CDs bin at any retail store. Where the stakes are high, it seems that everyone wants a piece of the pie, and Taragirl is first in line. She’s lived almost everywhere in the tri-state area, beginning in North Jersey and working her way to New York, where she studied at New York University from 1995 to 1999.
Since 2002 she’s called Philadelphia home, and it is here that she’s making her R&B and soul career come alive. Taragirl came close to winning the recent Philly Soundclash, a battle of local musicians at World Cafe Live Feb. 22. And while she settled for second place, talent is something this Philly transplant definitely has.
The Temple News: When did you start singing?
Taragirl: I started when I was five and kind of progressed
from there. I always knew I wanted to be a singer ever since I was a kid.
TTN: How did you realize you had talent?
TG: When I was in college, I performed a lot and [participated in] music theater and got a good foundation off of that. I still wasn’t sure what I was looking for so I graduated NYU with an academic degree in journalism.
TTN: What made you decide to come to Philadelphia?
TG: The music scene wasn’t doing very well where I was at. I didn’t want to leave but I needed to. Every time I broke down my options, Philadelphia kept coming up. I had heard about this place in Philadelphia where all the local artists like Jill Scott, the Roots and Floetry performed at and I knew I wanted to get on the mic just like them.
TTN: Have you ever been intimidated thinking that you have to fill the shoes of other successful Philadelphia artists like The Rroots?
TG: No, honestly it’s something for me to aspire to. I’m always growing and I know I’m not there yet. It’s a real positive and inspirational thing to see other artists that came from the same area becoming successful.
TNN: Yyou released your first record last May. Iis there a second Taragirl record in the works?
TG: (laughs) I actually just had my first production meeting. It’s to not want to create. My next CD will be at my pace. I’m taking my time and there’s no pressure.
TTN: Iif you were stuck on an island with only a CD player and three CDs, what CDs would they be?
TG: Only three? Oh man, I guess I’m going to have to say Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life,” D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar” and Dinah Washington’s best of “The Essential
TTN: If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive, who would it be?
TG: (sighs) It really depends on the day I’m asked, but I’d have to go with Aretha Franklin. She’s my favorite singer.
TTN: What was your worst performance?
TG: That’s easy. This one show the pressure was so high. I opened up for Avant at the Theater of the Living Arts. There was not a lot of notice and it was my first time performing with a major label artist. It seemed as if everything
went wrong at that show. I mean, vocally I felt fine but musically, it was off. Also it was a poorly attended show, not to mention a weak performance. We blew it as a whole ensemble.
TTN: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
TG: You need to find what makes you an individual. Once you’ve done that use it to your advantage. That way, people will come see you and say, “That’s what they do and I like their style.”
Kyle Marino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.