After gracing stages all over the world and working with an array of artists and producers such as Roy Ayers, Fatback Band and Kyoto Jazz Massive etc to name a few. London based singer-songwriter Tasita D’Mour starts her own fire with her first solo album Help Me To Grow. Rocking guitar riffs, funky drums and swinging keys kindle an entrancing voice rooted in tradition and devotion.
Tasita D’Mour is not the shy new girl on the playground. She’s been working steady as a singer/songwriter for many years, going on tour with bands and providing vocals for house, pop, jazz and dance tracks. These experiences contributed to her development as an artist and helped to shape the vision of how she wanted to present herself to the world through music.
The album Help Me To Grow is infused with sounds that are very much part of the soundtrack of Tasita’s life. There’s soul “it comes straight from the heart,” funk “got to have a groove, I love to dance”, and even a hint of gospel which is where her love affair with music started. “And it was time to release my inner rock chick, which friends insist has been inside me for a long time,” Tasita says with a hearty laugh. The result is a dynamic and lively sound, also thanks to the fact that once the songs were written, all instruments were recorded live.
Just over two years ago a mutual friend introduced Tasita to Malik Esuo and Stijn Deldaele, the album’s producers. The duo was putting together a band for their project D-Urbanites and were looking for a backing vocalist who could also step into the limelight if a song called for it. It proved to be a proverbial match made in heaven. The chemistry was undeniable, both on a personal and an artistic level. Tasita had found the right partners with whom she could realise her long time dream of recording a personal album that reflected who she is and how she views things.
Title track Help Me To Grow is the first song Tasita started working on for the album. “On the very first recording, that I made with my phone, you can hear me singing with a tap running in the background,” says Tasita. Not because she’s indifferent to the environment but because she was so jazzed up about the melody. “Somehow inspiration tends to come to me when I am around water, whether I’m in the shower or just brushing my teeth,” she giggles.
Tasita discovered her love for singing at an early age. When she was eight, she joined the church choir in which her mother sang. The church group organised an annual trip to Jerusalem. On such a trip, Tasita would give her very first stage performance. Upon visiting an ancient Roman building where performances used to be held, Tasita ran down to the amphitheatre and sang a song for the group. Feeling the attention and appreciation from an audience, Tasita had found her calling. After the trip, she was called on each week to sing a solo in church.
The transition to becoming a full time singer happened years ago for Tasita when she got an offer to go on a two week tour of Asia, Japan and Hong Kong with ‘Reel People’. The tour conflicted with her work schedule so she quit her job in the City and has been working steady as a singer ever since. She has performed with several bands and artists on stages all over the world and is in high demand as a vocalist for house and dance tracks.
“When word first got around that I was working on an album, people assumed it was going to be a house album,” Tasita recalls. How wrong they were. “However, house has been good to me and I certainly appreciate the hardcore fans of the genre who have supported me throughout the years. I would love for them to get better acquainted with me through my album which is why I plan to work with some producers on putting together a few remixes. Tracks like ‘CALLING’, ‘SAME SITUATION’ and ‘DONT YOU DARE’ definitely lend themselves to a house makeover.”
“I never wanted to be a house singer, people said I had the voice for it. I got the opportunity to record one track, ‘Release Yourself’ and then later ‘We Can Rise’ with Producer Duo ‘Copyright’ and people really responded to those songs so I got offered more work after that. Working as a singer in the house scene and the music business gave me the chance to work with an array of producers and helped me to grow, both as a singer and a songwriter, and taught me a lot about the recording and producing process and I learned a lot about the music business in general.
”The first name she blurts out when asked about her musical heroes is Chaka Khan. “I almost met her once,” Tasita reminisces. “One day I was playing at a Jazz festival in Jakarta with Reel People. Chaka Khan was also on the bill. Unfortunately, she played when we had to sound check for our gig so I missed that. Later I found out that not only was Chaka Khan staying in the same hotel as us, she played an impromptu set at the piano bar while we were still on the festival site. When people told me about it, I was like: I cant believe I missed that, I’m devasted!.” Her infectious laughter after sharing the anecdote suggests that she did not sustain lasting trauma from the disappointment.