Updated: Aug 20
The Finale you've all been waiting for, my very 1st mini documentary featuring the Melanin Queens of Charlotte in "Black Girl You Are Magic"
Blog Feature by The Mcclarrin Group
Where are you from?
I am originally from Brooklyn, New York. Lived there for a short while and spent my childhood days in East Harlem until we moved to Charlotte, North Carolina when I was 8. Even though ages 8 - 13 could still be consider childhood I grew up pretty quick as far as responsibilities are concerned. Household chores, making good grades and attending church at least 4 out of 7 nights of the week were the norm.
The New York State of Mind was engrained as my mom would always have me hurry up when walking across the street constantly reminding me that I had to be two steps ahead at all times.
Why? because I have two strikes against me: I'm Black and I'm a female.
At what point did you determine that you wanted to sing?
I decided to officially think about singing as a professional career at age 13. It was just an epiphany I had. I would always sing to my stuffed animals while listening to Boyz II Men, Brandy, Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, no complaints there lol. But seriously I knew I had the voice because I had the ear. Which is all I needed.
Singing came as natural as walking.
However I was shy. But one day at choir rehearsal I came out of my shell to everyone else's surprise, including mine, while singing for a needed solo. After that it was history! I added singing, along with drawing, to my repertoire of talents I'd display to the public.
What obstacles have you faced in the music industry and what are some of the things you do to over come them?
There are so many obstacles I've had to overcome. From no shows at performances to lack of funds to come up with a decent wardrobe to working three jobs just to make ends meet. My favorite is a period where I used to clean buildings in the Ballantyne Area. I was in charge of two and had been doing so for at least 6 months at this point. Some nights are better than others. However this night my current position in life had really got to me. I had a performance at Vapianos here in Charlotte. I was exquisitely fabulous, red carpet ready and untouchable that particular evening. I sang, wooed the crowd and the night was perfect. But like Cinderella, the clock had struck for me. The night of glamour transformed as I said my farewells to the smiles and congratulations of an amazing performance. Drove home to take of one glorious costume and change into another. Only this character was not make believe. It was my life. That night after Vapianos I put on a t-shirt and my sweat pants and drove 30mins out to Ballantyne to start my night routine of cleaning buildings. This evening there was extra trash... and the bathrooms were just a bit much to clean this go round. That's when it hit me and I cried because the extreme I had experienced was just too much this go round. I went from the top to the bottom in less than a day. And when it was time for me to take the trash out to the dumpster passerby's paid no attention to me. So much for my trip to the ball.
Unlike Cinderella there was no Prince to save me from the realities of life.
Times like that make you want to quit it all and just do something else because it just get's too hard at times. To pursue a dream and make a living. How do I overcome? Singing is who I am. God told me at 17 that is what I'll do. He told me I would be a planter of seeds and to not worry about who's going to water, plow, or till the land.
My mind is always creating and if it weren't for my imagination or my ability to express myself artistically I'd crumble. It's how I let go of the bad on the inside and turn it into something useful.
I minister to myself while ministering to others.
This new song "Black Girl You Are Magic", after all the disrespect black women have been receiving such as Rep. Maxine Waters to over dark skin women being label as less attractive what inspired the name of this song?
I remember reading an article on Michael Jackson and him saying that the songs tend to write themselves. I truly believe that. You have to listen to the music very carefully and it will tell you what to write. That may be deep lol but on a simpler level lately I have been doing a lot of research about my history as an African American Woman and have such an appreciation for me and my people. That same love I felt for myself I just wanted to share with everyone else so they can feel the same way. In addition when Jesse Williams spoke at the BET awards, his speech really resonated with me and the "magic" of being black stuck with me. I told myself I would do something with that when the time is right. The right track came along and here we are listening to "Black Girl You Are Magic".
Who Am I? Tiffany Jaye - Singer / Songwriter / Dancer / Artist
Follow me on Social Media @tjayetaylor
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