Welcome to my story, a series dedicated to creatives of color and their path to success. According to these diverse narratives and backgrounds, we hope that our cultural interactions will expand and respect for our differences will increase.
Five years ago, multi-thematic artist Tikka began recording a debut full-length album and quickly became a beloved voice in the Canadian music industry, thanks to a series of critically acclaimed R&B singles, which he released on his album Released as fans. anywhere but Here. In that time, Tikka snatched a spot in a duo of Sipora campaigns that dazzled her growing fanbase with magnetic displays, and explored other mediums such as filmmaking. But the album never arrived. Today, TIKA has released anywhere but Here, Her long-awaited, half-a-decade, full-length debut album. Unexpectedly (for those who have followed her music over the years), the record is already receiving praise from critics.
We sat down with Tikka (literally) for an untouched conversation about ego, music and identity.
On releasing an album during the epidemic
“this is so weird. Quarantine has a different energy and a different vibe. Most of [promotional] The things I’m doing are doing through Zoom. I had to perform streaming and to do them, I needed to be near my band, so I came here to be with them for Montreal, so we could perform together. The shows themselves take place in a rehearsal or studio space and are live-streamed so as to sound strange. But all in all, I am grateful that I have been able to release this body of work. It’s been five years in the making and I feel like this is a time where people need this kind of super weak music. “
On the ego in the way of art
“The music itself was done entirely in 2019 or 2020. But I went through many different photographers to finalize the artwork, So So many pictures and so many different artistic directions. I think that talks about my ego in the way of art. Now I’m finally realizing how long it took me to release it. And releasing art should not be about that. You are just a middle man, you are a messenger, a drain. But because of ego, sometimes we want to beautify the gift, or make it different, make it beautiful, wrap it differently. It was my fear and apprehension, ‘Do I like enough? Am i good enough Do I need to physically change myself? ‘I think this album is about me taking off some of my own bullshit. Montreal changed and inspired me, and allowed me to slow down. Earlier, while living in Toronto, which is such a fast-paced city, it felt like I was bulldozing through my work and art rather than meditating and intending. And the lack of affordability in Toronto is a big thing, especially if you are a marginalized artist. So Montreal – in terms of affordability, mental awareness, thoughtfulness, slowing down – played a major role in me being able to see myself. before this [coming here] I don’t think I had as much self-awareness anymore. I finally realized that this album had little connection with me. I just needed to free it from the stratosphere and survive it and be there. I sat with it for five years because it made me feel uncomfortable or it was too weak. I was not able to understand those emotional aspects of myself before moving on [to Montreal]. “
Taking care of her mental health during a live performance
“There is an element of over-exclusion in the performance. Even with the spiritual response that you get from the audience, you are still emotionally and physically exhausted. You are giving more than you are receiving. I was once talking to Daniel Caesar and he asked how the performance feels for me, and I said that it seems like I’m about to touch God’s hand. It is the highest. If you are suffering from chronic illness, it all leaves your body when you come on stage and for a moment, you are free. But it always comes running backwards. It is an out-of-body experience and your physical body pays a toll for it. If you suffer from anxiety, when you move forward your anxiety is still in your physical body but your spiritual body is gone; You are swimming somewhere else, and when you return to your body you feel Every thing. So yes, it is ending.
In that regard, quarantine has been really good for me because it has put me in a position where I have to look inward and I usually don’t. Also, the way we produced this project, all records are intentionally timeless, so whether one finds it now or 20 years ago, it won’t combust in T-minus in 24 hours. If I get to perform live after the epidemic, great. I think I may have given myself time to recover [from the process]. “
Being a black artist in the music industry
“It is a very painful, eye-opening experience of what people expect from me. If you are a black artist, there is a level of perfectionism that is expected of you. You can’t show off and be black and just Happen. It is only in the last few years that people have started showing themselves. For example, artists such as Summer Walker and Ari Lenox have recently been very vocal about their boundaries and their needs for privacy. I think it is very brave of them to be as brave as him. You would never have seen that in the past because we always had to show Jauhar and be perfect. Beyoncé Vibe [was the only option]. But there is a disconnect between perfectionism and humanity. I am in the process of learning – and unlimited those things. “
His greatest musical influence was on Prince
When I was 14 years old, I was just thrilled the moment I came to my grandparents’ house on vinyl, specifically ‘I Will Die 4 You.’ Of course, these were pre-Internet days. When the Internet was later available to me, I was ‘I knew how to make these records.’ This was the website for super fans to find the vault record; In this way I came to know that ‘I Will Will 4 You’ was about Prince as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He wrote it from the point of view of the Holy Trinity. It changed my lens very deeply. Like how great is it to write a # 1 pop hit that is truly from God’s point of view and to love someone so deeply that you will give your life for them? I felt that it was so beautiful that he could take something like that and then turn it into a dance-pop song. But I wanted to cover it as a song because I didn’t think people were really understanding the depth of the song. Rajkumar died the day I got the record back from the engineer. I was devastated. I wanted him to listen to it and shade me or something. You know how shady he was. But that experience definitely changed the way I write. Now my writing is less structural and much more deliberate. I really try to draw from a place of honesty and vulnerability. “
Use of makeup as a means of self-expression and exploration
“I like makeup a lot and I think it’s capable of playing the character or someone else for a day. I’ve always found it interesting how I can look at using mascara or female – or makeup I’m not using, so knowing how far I can take beauty is just another element for me. I remember seeing Prince performing and it was the first time I ever saw a woman The way men wore dresses; she had long hair and was wearing heels and furs and was getting very exploratory in terms of this non-binary modality. I had never seen one before and it inspired me very deeply. Pushed the boundaries in terms of identity. I found, and still am getting, that so sexy. “