Tamera is ushering in ‘sad girl summer’ and laying her emotions bare across her forthcoming EP L.I.T, her most vulnerable music to date. L.I.T (Lost In Translation) is a sonic trip into Tamera’s mind, heart, and soul as much as it is a testament to her powerful prowess as a lyricist.Her pen game is at maximal levels throughout the highly anticipated 6-track EP as she dives deep into her own lived experiences and intimately traverses a range of topics.
On the breakout solo release off the project ‘Diversions’ produced by Aston Rudi and Rise & Shine and ‘Poison’, she riffs about battles with codependency, lack of self-worth, self-sabotage and looking for love in the wrong places. Whilst shedding light on the complexities and trauma of overcoming an abusive relationship, one of the darkest periods of her life.
“I wanted to get real, real on this EP. My main prerogative with this project was to be as honest as possible. I had to diD deep to create a song like ‘Diversions’ & channel sensitive emotions that I would usually avoid or was low-key embarrassed to speak up about until now.”
Fuelled by her own healing, she continues, “It’s amazing to be vulnerable and brave enough to put those words out loud for the world to hear and say farewell to this past version of myself. More than that, it’s been a real blessing to see my music helping others who’ve been the same as me.”
As deeply personal as her lyrics, Tamera’s sonic artistic touch points are also a melting pot. Heavily influenced by her rich heritage, she laces in the sounds of a Nigerian, St.Lucian and UK background flowing over afro beats, r&b, and hip hop. Then flexes her curiosity for storytelling with evocative, ethereal and divine, feminine goddess energy conjured from her Greek roots.
Born in Gravesend, a smalltown in Kent, she was bred, supported and uplifted by powerful women, her mother and grandmother who she considers to be two of the most significant “anchors” in her life. She cut her vocal chops practising hymns at the piano Saturday night for Sunday service, alongside her grandmother who was a pastor. After witnessing Tamera’s talent, her grandmother took that passion and made it blossom by frequently putting her on the spot to start verses in front of a packed out congregation. At home, she was raised on a diet of James Brown, Whitney Houston, Mariah, Alicia Keys, and Missy Elliot thanks to her mom, a great recreational singer. As Tamera gained confidence and discovered her voice, she also became her mother’s most adored party trick and would be persuaded at every chance she got to perform at family parties.
Tamera put pen to paper from an early age and wrote poems and descriptive shorts fascinated by painting stories with words. By her teens she fused her influences from MTV and childhood weaving yarns into songs. She levelled up and learnt about song structure by hanging out in the studio and recording songs around fellow artists. Then put a few videos out on her socials with no expectations.
However, the summer she graduated, at 16 years old, Tamera’s life and future changed forever. Her plans to study Music Tech at college and get a part time job would ground to a halt after she received a DM from a fellow singer who’d seen one of those videos and invited her to audition as a duo called ‘Silver Rock’ for the XFactor.
Despite the duo being broken into solo’s immediately, Tamera had knocked the judges for six at the audition and remained in Season 10 of the competition until the fifth place! Not long after while performing on the X-Factor UK arena tour she was handed a contract from Syco Entertainment. By the end of the year, Tamera was in a studio recording her debut solo single, signed to a major label.
“My life changed in a matter of weeks and months! At that time I was a bit of a reckless teen, but suddenly, I had this opportunity and that set me on a better path. Not only did it put my foot in the door to the music industry, but it gave me a reason to calm down, focus and take things more seriously.” she admits.
“I spent the first couple years really dabbling in everything, hopping around into every other genre. Just testing the waters to see where I felt most comfortable and genuine. A lot of people were trying to influence me at the same time. It got to the point I was doing the thing that I loved so much but I wasn’t doing it genuinely, it was with someone else’s voice in my head”
With all eyes on Tamera including the press, label heads and a dozen different opinions, she eventually made the decision to follow her heart, walk from the label, and pursue her craft on her own terms. She threw herself into writing, studio sessions and unknowingly the most unhealthy relationships of her life with a producer who became her boyfriend. Thankfully she was able to flip the negative to a positive and songwriting became a vehicle to grapple with her feelings, understand herself and gain the momentum to leave.
Amid 2020, after processing the break up at her mom’s house, Tamera emerged like a phoenix from the ashes “I would say, those years really broke me but they also built me as a person and as an artist. I came out of the situation in my hot girl era. I was coming into real womanhood, I was feeling beautiful, gorgeous, free. I just knew exactly what I wanted to write about and all of that energy I put into those songs.”
An offer to create her debut project Afrodite and unlock a creative connection with UK afro and r&b great P2J set her on fire. “In the second session he said “We should do a project together” and I was like “Don’t threaten me with a good time” she laughs.
Tamera unleashed her boundless diversity and multi-hyphenated genre-blending abilities on Afrodite (9M+ streams). Her sultry West African-influenced ‘Wickedest’ (12.5M streams) and ‘Good Love’ ft. Tay Iwar (8.6M streams) was produced entirely by cultural mainstay produced by P2J (Wizkid, Beyonce, Snoh Aalegra) and set Tamera on a blazing trajectory towards her most authentic sonic self.
She’s since jumped on a Fugees cover of ‘Killing Me Softly’ for Amazon Originals and a string of high-profile collaborations where her outstanding vocals took centre stage, including a feature on SPINALL’S ‘Honest’ feat. Tay Iwar, ‘I’m So High’ with P-rallel & Toddla and most recently, ‘Options’ with Kamille and Bellah, which saw her dip into her garage and pop sensibilities.
Fast forward to present, and Tamera’s hot off the back of a staggering list of festival slots last summer from BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, The Great Escape and Strawberries and Creem on the mainstage and her own sold out headline show at COLORS. Her killer vocals have clocked co-signs from DJ Target, Giles Peterson, Annie Mac, Complex, Nylon, Highsnobiety, i-D, Billboard, Loud and Quiet, The Line of Best Fit and Pop Justice to name a few. She’s was tipped by Amazon Music UK as a ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2021 and #YouTubeBlack Voices Artist Class of 2022 alongside the likes of Bree Runway, Kamille, Midwxst, NSG, Omah Lay. As well as racked up industry nods from cultural institutions such as No Signal Radio, gal-dem, i-D, Annie Mac, The Face and BBC Radio 1Xtra for her debut smokey singles ‘Romeo’ and her sunsoaked mantra ‘Flipside’ ( “catch me on the flipside”). Most recently, she caught the attention of seminal hip hop producer Timbaland who reached out to work with Tamera after being blown away by her singing via TikTok on his infamous Timbo Idol.
On L.I.T Tamera’s sonically picks up where she left off in 2021, and is showcasing the dexterity of her skillset and decade worth of experience behind her, yet still only warming up. A new chapter best represented in the opening track ‘Bamba’, Tamera’s most personal and the one she fought the hardest to get on the EP.
“For a long time, I think my coping mechanism was to suppress everything so that I could keep showing up day by day. When I started working on L.I.T in Hackney and out in LA all of the shit that I’d been burying just came to the forefront and was demanding to be heard.”
A teary conversation with her grandmother and prayer sparked a seismic spiritual shift. “From that point I adopted prayer into my process to help me be grounded, present and centred. When I wrote ‘Anchor’ it was a manifestation of that mindset. The whole song is a love letter to God, to a higher power, the creator, for being able to centre me and pull me out of any deep situation I’m in.”
All this propelled Tamera to blazing success on the underground and mainstream, has seen her deliver mind-melting live shows and find the inner strength to release L.I.T her most vulnerable music to date.
Riding on a high that shows no sign of slowing down she reflects on her proudest achievement so far “I feel like it’s learning to have self belief and trust in the process. I’ve been doing this for a decade now. A long, long time and I know a lot of artists who’d give up, stop and pursue something else. I’m really proud of myself for how far I’ve taken this, sticking with it in my way and how determined I’ve been.”
As far as her biggest obstacle Tamera waxes poetic “There’s been a lot of things that could have taken me way off track. I’ve had to learn different ways to stay strong and keep positive and not let the hard things harden my heart. I’ve always said that my end goal in life is to die happy and proud of myself. So instead of going through something crazy and dark like I did, I don’t hold any bitterness in my heart towards anyone. I take it as a learning experience and pour it into my music to empower others.”
As she gears up to drop L.I.T and ignite stages with headline shows Tamera reels about dream collabs with Kendick or homegrown lyrical legends like DAVE, a trip back to LA to seal the deal with Timbland and what the future holds. “I’m always working, but I’m in album mode now. I’ve started working on my first LP, so I’m really, really excited about that. I came up with the concept two years ago and sonically it will be a really dynamic and interesting project. You already know I like to jump on all types of genres, but now that I’m feeling the strongest and most creative I’ve been, and at the top of my game, I’m going to really play and experiment and see how far I can push it with this one.”
Manchester M1 7HE