#PopularPlay: Tafari Anthony
Jun 19, 2020
No words are enough to emulate the captivating sensation one experiences when listening to LGBTQA+ artist Tafari Anthony’s charming vocals. Imagine if Sam Smith and John Legend’s voices had a love-child. The result would present you with Tafari’s sultry blend of R&B and pop. His talent is undeniable, but beyond his skill, Tafari manifests poise and passion and embodies the spirit of modern music.
No surprise here – Tafari was nominated for a Toronto Independent Music Award, and one of his previous singles received recognition as one of CBC’s Most Influential Songs of 2016.
He is a creator who aligns and pours personal experiences into his music, and the outcome leaves resonated fans in awe. We invite you to celebrate Tafari and stream his brand new single “Live in a Dream,” a refreshing, infectious tune about finding contentment in our lives rather than yearning for more.
“We are living in a dream.
Are you gonna wake up?
1.Your new single “Live in a Dream” encourages us to dream like we did as children. Do you remember what your dream was at that age?
As far as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a singer / performer, but of course as children the dream is grander. I’m definitely doing what I wanted to do now, but maybe just not at the same level. I think it’s important to have big dreams and aspirations, but also just as important to be proud of and celebrate the steps on the way. And maybe you won’t reach the final destination, but the journey is just as important – and if you are happy where you are, then that’s something to be proud of.
2.Tell us more about your musical influences? Are you hoping to achieve a certain sound or theme on the new release?
I’ve been largely inspired by artists that are able to do what they do in any genre. Artists like Prince, John Legend, Brandy and Rihanna are great at genre-bending and still having a very cohesive sound.
We wanted this song to have a bit of a rebellious feel to it. I was really taking note of what was happening in UK Pop and ended up with a bit of an afro-beat, reggae inspired, marching anthem. I knew I wanted the song to move and feel very matter of fact in its approach. Some big influences on this one was Holy Child, Col3trane, Seinabo Sey & Labrinth.
3. Tell us more about your performance with Shangela and how that came about.
We had showcased at the same showcase for College events in the states. We met there and she was so lovely! Eventually we were booked for the same event and she hosted the show, just her and my a Capella band, Eh440. It was such a highlight because I’m such a fan of Shangela. Her work ethic is off the charts and her energy just brings everyone such joy.
4. As a black and queer artist do you ever feel pressure to look or sound a certain way in your music?
100%! I’m constantly being pigeonholed into R&B, expected to be either super hard or super femme, but never can seem to just be. It’s taken me a long time to really take hold of my music and image and do what feels right and authentic to me. I keep a pretty small, close knit team for these reasons.
My voice oozes with soul/richness that I just can’t deny, but most of the music I’m making these days is far more on the pop side of things compared to today’s R&B – but more often than not I will just be classified as R&B as if to keep me in line. I really respect artists like Todrick Hall who has really been able to create a lane for himself that fuses all of his influences and it’s reassuring to see people accepting other versions of being black and queer. I’m just trying my best to do me and offer another perspective.
5. What is a current musical aspiration you have?
I’m still working on new music amid these releases, and I’m currently working towards an EP and hoping to find a label to call home on this journey!