Today we’ve had a chance to interview another amazing artist Tara Kye. She is busy in these crazy times of pandemic and doesn’t waste time but productively works on her new releases. Tara has 20 songs released on her last album in 2020. Album title is “Become the Phoenix” and is available at all digital platforms with physical cd production available from store such as Amazon.
“Each song has it’s own pulse, genre, and story to share. maybe you can relate to the wide diversity life offers to us, please stop in have a listen, download a free tune and drop me an email. i’d love to get to know you! Sending you much love, be well stay safe and talk soon!”
Lisa: Hi Tara! What first got you into music? What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Tara: Music has been a passion of mine all my life, I was taught however there was no future in earning money as a musician so you had best have a career so you can afford your music hobby. In the time that I went to University, I worked three to five 8 hour shifts as a TELUS operator while attaining my degree in Biochemistry and Genetics. I had to work to pay my way through university, it was really a struggle financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When I graduated, I had become sick due to the extreme dedication and drive I had to make it through university, I had forgotten to play, and this almost cost me my life with a stage 2b Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis aggressively advancing towards stage 3. I lost 30 lbs. in 2 weeks, could not stay awake to drive my car, it was a black and scary time for me. During my treatment, I was counselled to find what I had lost. I wanted to sing. So, I took vocal lessons with Tenor Gary Zellers, who was a supporting role for Joan Sutherland in Vancouver, BC. Started writing songs. If it were not for my music, I would not be alive today, of this I am certain. My friend, John Dean, taught me some soothing piano arpeggios so that when I could not sleep during my treatment, I could play and find the notes soothing. This relaxation helped me to heal. Even today, when I encounter a situation that I cannot “process” or deal with, I will write a song about it, during the song writing, the song will metamorphosize into many different shapes until whatever it was that I had needed to process, gets processed, resolved, and released, this can really be seen in the new song “Become the Phoenix”. I have been dodging a real life “hit” because I am representing my farmers against a multibillion-dollar corporation, much like Erin Brockovich, it is much less expensive to pay to be rid of me than it is to settle with my farmers to pay them for the damages that the multibillion-dollar corporation has done. But I was raised to fight for what is right, to stand and not to run, so I feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity to do what is right whatever the cost.
Lisa: What is your creative process like?
Tara: Inspiration might be an event, a thought, a desire, a name, a picture, a memory, a newspaper article…. I never know when I am going to be inspired or what I will be inspired to write. Beautiful Gangstas was inspired by Gucci apparel in Las Vegas, in a taxicab on a paper napkin. Molten Metal was my struggle with cancer. First, we decide on a topic to write about and a genre, I love to fuse genre’s, but John keeps my fusion ideas on track musically, so we work well together as a team. We banter back and forth, John teases mercilessly when I write a not so clever line, we get a good giggle and then we edit my nerdiness out. John and I have worked together now for 25 years, so I consider him to be family and our relationship is like brother and sister. You only live once, was a very healing song to write. I wrote it on what my Aunt Christine said to me, “you must enjoy your life while you can still get away on a holiday”, she was referring to my mom being on vacation while I was visiting her. We lost my Auntie at Christmas, so obviously Christmas was cancelled, then my parents took us all to Mexico for a family vacation on New Year’s Eve. The gift of time together is a gift that is so precious. I felt the loss of my auntie, I had so many regrets of not spending enough time with her and my family, so I felt raw and a renewed sense of love for my family. When John and I first wrote the song, it was supposed to be happy, but my first recording was tearful, I bawled all the way home, then my Grammy said, Auntie Christine would have wanted to be remembered with a smile. So, I had to resolve my feelings of grief and transfer those feelings to feelings of happiness of having had those memories to “sell the song”. I focused on the feelings that I felt when Auntie Christine and her son and my niece spent the day with me at the Grand Hotel in Kelowna, playing around the pool, having laughs, Doggy Snuggles, and a beautiful dinner, Christine said “this is so grand, I feel like we are on an expensive holiday”, there was that ever present feeling of extreme love that you get when you know any moment might be a last moment the words, expressions, memories get written on your soul. I also used how I felt to vacation with my family. Turning her memory into an inspiration for others to love one another more right here right now because today is a present, it is not to be taken for granted, tomorrow is a possibility which may or may not be there…
Lisa:I’ve read somewhere that vocally you have many different challenges but you consider to be your greatest assets and strengths. Could you expand on that?
Tara: Ah yes, playing saxophone for many years as a child, developed an extraordinarily strong = diaphragm and I also learned how to read music on my saxophone which was awkward as my Alto Saxophone is E Flat concert pitch, so as a child I would sing in E Flat concert pitch as that was what I had learned, voice and piano lessons corrected my concert pitch. My diaphragm is so strong, I must “back off”, so for me just take a breath and do not engage my diaphragm too much or I overdrive my voice and create a tone which is not pleasing to hear. Because I learned how to play saxophone first and sing second, doing things with my voice such as growls, raspy-ness, even resonance in that deep chest which I use in playing my saxophone are not what people consider to be vocal techniques, but they are an expression from my soul, so I still choose to use them, in other words I love to sing and to play my voice. I have been criticized as not being able to sing since I do “play my voice” as I Play my saxophone. Grateful that Gary Zellers, instructed me in classical opera techniques, he was an incredibly positive vocal coach, he would laugh and say your diaphragm muscle is just too strong for your vocal cords, be kind to yourself be gentle. Gratefully, I had decided the previous vocal coach and I were not on the same track, some people’s interpretations of constructive criticism can vary widely, I value constructive criticism and will take seriously a requirement to improve but there is that fine line which becomes cruelly demotivational and condescending which has no place in healthy relationships. I had been criticized, so I rehearsed more to be able to sing better and I did, but I opted to not lose my authentic saxophone singing style which may or may not be to everybody’s taste, and that is ok, I have to be OK with me to be my authentic self. Additionally, due to the chemotherapy, I have an ongoing health challenge with my veins, they lost a lot of elasticity during the chemotherapy process and if I over exercise or over work, I can cause some damage to my veins. It took me months to heal this year from over exertion due to snow shoveling my driveway (it is 600m and on a hill with 3 feet of snow). I had to learn how to heal myself. So, I learned to research and create a diet appropriate for my health concerns, exercise, meditational prayer, sleep and just to be kind to myself. To love myself more has been a key to having better health and singing better. I had to get better to sing better and to live a better life.
Lisa: If you could choose to work with some of today’s established artists or producers, to move your game to the top, with whom would you like to collaborate?
Tara:Oh, my goodness!!!! I have so many favourite artists!!! I would love to collaborate with Lady Gaga, Madonna, Darby Mills, Amy Lee, Lindsey Stirling, Tarja Turunen, Sandi Saraya, Floor Jansen of Nightwish, Simone Simons of Epica, Elize Ryd of Amarynthe, Lzzy Hale, Doro, Charlotte Wessels of Delaine, Camilla Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Tove Lo, Cher, Tina Turner, Avicii, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Sebastian Ingrosso, Five Finger Death Punch, Dua Lipa, Sia, Lorde, Billie Ellish, Beth Hart, Celine Dion, Barbara Streissand, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Anne Wilson of Heart, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Sarah Brightman, Sarah MacLaughlin, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, Cyndi Lauper, but I am a dreamer. There are some phenomenal producers that I would love to work with, John would know who they are, I have unfortunately just spent so much of my focus on the love of music, singing, and creation.
Lisa: If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
Tara: My Music Video would be a reality avatar cartoon, in a fantasy setting in line with the song. I had always wanted to create a superhero avatar to inspire us to get out of our head and our current reality. Imagine yourself to be the hero, to conquer your fear, to make real your fantasies, to achieve your dreams and understand only you can be responsible for your own happiness. It would be supercool that a video production of a real-life video footage in a tropical, jungle, urban, country, or medieval location could be transformed into video. Oh to have a budget to create Walt Disney style footage of videos! Avatar, Mulan, Frozen, I would love that style of video!
Lisa: If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you take with you and why?
Tara: This question I have been considering for four days now and I have been up in the middle of the night obsessing about my answer. I love my alto saxophone so much! It is a part of me, and it feels like an extension of me as I am. However, piano gives me the versatility to compose new songs and sing to. So, I would be really upset to leave my saxophone behind, but I would choose to take the piano. Being stranded on a desert island would give me plenty of time to learn to play the piano better. The piano can hold a rhythm, design harmony, and create melodies, so the Piano to me is the ultimate instrument. I wish that I had had a piano to learn to play when I was a child, I would have rather learned the piano than the saxophone. I begged for a piano and I never understood why I was not allowed to have a piano to learn to play when it was my deepest heart’s request. I was given a guitar and a saxophone, but I never wanted to learn to play the guitar at all. I did learn my saxophone and I do love my saxophone, but I had really wanted a piano.
Lisa: What is one message you would give to your fans?
Tara: Live your Best Life, Life is not a dress rehearsal. The happiness that you have is the joy you create for yourself; nobody has the responsibility to make you happy, you own that. Discover who you are, take time to be alone to get to know yourself, only then will you know the life you wish to pursue and the people you wish to know and to meet. At the point in which you are not “lonely” when you are alone is the point at which time you truly love yourself, then you are ready to be the best partner anybody could ever imagine.
Lisa: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Tara: Growing up as a teenager, I had very youthful hip parents, so I was not able to lie or get into too much trouble. Mom always caught me, she said “you’re not like your sister, I can read you like a book when you lie”. “so, don’t lie”. Mom is very beautiful, and she drove a 1978 Firebird, so she would arrive at a party and everyone would let her in not knowing she was a “mom”, then she would casually find me there where I wasn’t supposed to be and I’d be grounded. I learned my lesson. Do not mess with mom. Dad and stepmom Cathy always backed Mom, so that was good, I was not able to get into too much trouble.
Lisa: What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Tara: Pray. Learn how to nurture and feed your spirit. Your spiritual being is an essential part of health. Most of my absolute best answers to my toughest questions I have discovered in meditational prayer. In prayer, I have found the answers to derive equations for my agriculture business, my personal problems, songs, vocal challenges to correct, financial woes, etc.
Lisa: What are you working on right now?
Tara: Currently, I am rehearsing my voice in both classical opera and jazz styles, we are writing two love songs, one a cover and the other a torch style piano singer ballad hopefully to be ready to release before Valentine’s day. I am learning how to create an income in music, it is a real struggle to earn a living in COVID when everyone is struggling financially. In times past, a singer songwriter would have signed a record deal and been managed. Money was fronted to the artist and the publisher made a larger percentage of the cash based upon record and CD Sales. However, in today’s world, an artist must learn to become an entrepreneur to earn money and gain a following before a label will represent them, so I am learning the business of music. Streaming services have really diminished the financial rewards that an artist can earn, so artists do not make money until you hit 1 million streams monthly. So, I am branching out and trying to discover some talents that might interest my audience. My audience seems to enjoy watching my live streams, so I am considering how to do that right now and looking to develop an internet edutainment reality show with some friends “Growing Your Best Life” on FaceBook. The show is in initial creation stages so more to follow…. Additionally, I work in Agriculture Consulting, fertilizer creation and sales. So, I am reviewing research, crop management strategies and preparing for next spring. In BC Canada I crop consult for Dairy forage, Cattle pastures, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, and vegetable crops. This is my primary business, NPK Growing Solutions Inc and NPK Nutrient Technologies Inc. Most artists do have to balance a real-time full-time job to be able to afford a living until they achieve massive success. I remain optimistically hopeful to earn a living in music, and that any fame I may attain in music might help to elevate the status of my farmers and promote their crops.
Lisa: What’s next for you?
Tara: 20 songs released on my latest album in 20/20 Album “Become the Phoenix” Tara Kye and is available at all digital outlets with physical cd production available from store such as Amazon…. I continue to work on my vocals to learn and improve, the essence of musicianship is continually evolving and learning new techniques to become a better entertainer. Rehearsing and practicing being ready to perform. Writing, creating new songs. My goal for 2021 is to become more engaged with my current followers and create more opportunity for accessibility to me. Facebook and Instagram messaging are overwhelming me on my cell phone so moving my followers to email me so I can reply is my goal for 2021. Tarakyemusic@gmail.com I am extremely grateful that people feel the desire to video call me, unfortunately, I am always busy doing something: rehearsing, taking a shower, doing yard work, up a ladder pruning trees, working at my small agriculture business, riding my motorcycle, online zoom conference calls, walking my dogs, and often, both of my hands are busy so I cannot reach for the phone. Also, there is a time zone differential, so sometimes I am sleeping. If I were on tour and I could meet you in person I would love that! But this is not our reality right now, so I am going to try to answer your questions on email. I plan to regularly share magazine releases, new songs, the behind-the-scenes story of writing songs, with exclusive video footage from the studio for fans only. I request that you email me and let me know what you want to know about me so I can share my life with you but understand please I am kind of shy and I do not know how much of me you are interested to see. Thank you for all the listens, streams, plays and especially for the shares! Please do share me! that is the essence of how people find my music and I am so grateful to you all for listening to me.
Sending you all Much Love