Album of the Week – ‘Soul Run’ by Tanika Charles
‘Soul Run’ by Tanika Charles is Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week.
Growing up on a musical diet of Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, Bob James, Stevie Wonder and D’Angelo, Tanika’s eclectic music taste subconsciously shines through in ‘Soul Run’, an autobiographic album in which classic vintage sounds à la Motown mingle with more modern sonority and hip hop beats.
The album, produced among the others by Slakah The Beatchild (BBE Records), best known for his collaborations with Canadian rapper Drake, is a “sentimental concept album”, in which Tanika uses 11 songs to describe the end of a troubled relationship and the beginning of a new life. Miss Charles presents an immutable charm, at times endearingly abrasive and honest in her vulnerabilities: if Tanika’s singing it, she’s lived it!
Her touring career has seen her supporting the likes of Estelle, Haitus Kayote, Lauryn Hill and Macy Gray. Highly impressive, considering she is only just releasing her debut album to the world, after her low-key EP release, ‘What! What? What!?’, back in 2010.
‘Soul Run’ is an album which strikes a seamless balance between that warm authentic vintage soul sound, yet contains a contemporary twist to it. A tricky thing to accomplish, however, Tanika has undeniably managed to achieve this, judging by the glowing reviews she has already received from her native Canadian press.
Aside from the distinguished reviews circulating in her home country, she has also performed on some of the most prestigious TV shows in Canada; such as CTV’s show ‘Canada AM’, Global’s ‘The Morning Show’ and City TV’s ‘Breakfast Television’ and her songs are regularly aired on Canada’s national radio station CBC. ‘Soul Run’ has also garnered her a Polaris nomination (Canada’s Mercury Prize equivalent) and a Juno Award Nomination, along with worldwide-known artist The Weeknd.
“Soul Run is a post breakup album. It’s not about a breakup as such, but about finding yourself after hitting the reset button”, Charles makes clear. Trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship in rural Canada, resulted in her “borrowing” her then fiancée’s car and running away to Toronto to begin her singing career, never looking back.
Tanika’s interest in music was very much inspired by her older brother, a musician and producer who is very active locally in Edmonton. “My older brother actually suggested I start singing and recording. He opened a studio up and I remember the TRITON keyboard being his pride and joy. He played most brass instruments and wrote music. He even attracted interest from the likes of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. While he never really pursued fame, a lot of artists in the city sought him out for music. He just really enjoyed making music” she clarifies.
Tanika explains her recording process: “We initially began to follow a sort of Motown-revival sound that has become increasingly popular, but along the way the decision was made to embrace the instrumentation of that era, while still seeking contemporary sonic”.
Part of the charm of ‘Soul Run’ is Tanika’s natural ability to wear her heart on her sleeve, “I am inherently open and forthcoming emotionally and for me it was important to showcase who I really am to those willing to listen, there is no façade, this is the real me.”
5.More Than A Man
11.Darkness and the Dawn
You can follow T anika Charles HERE . For an extended listen to the album, tune in on Thursday from 1.30PM – 2PM for ‘Album of the Week’ with Josh Crosbie. Don’t forget to also listen out for your opportunity to win a copy of ‘Soul Run’ all week. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up HERE. You can also stream the station HERE.