The daughter of a pastor who began singing in her father’s church, Tanya has been singing for as long as she can remember. “I was forced to sing a solo at church when I was 5 years old,” she says with a laugh. “I was scared to sing in front of people – and my mom just pushed me out there. I had no say in the matter.” Just about everyone in Tanya’s family sang, and music was everywhere in her home, even though secular music was not allowed in the house, although artists like Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder were exceptions to the rule.
From those beginnings, Tanya began to recognize her own gift as a singer and the power of the human voice. She says, “In my teens, I really began to take music seriously, and I loved it so much. I still do. I love the intimacy of it. When you sing from your soul, there’s a certain transparency there – and people know when it’s real. I try to not take that for granted.” With her sister and another childhood friend, Tanya formed a trio and began singing everywhere – family affairs, high school (“We were the Herndon High Supremes,” says Tanya), and then, Amateur Night at the Apollo, which the trio won!
From there, it has been a steady stream of performances and appearances amidst her successful career as an on-air reporter for the Ion Network [formerly the Pax Network] in Washington D.C.: Tanya has performed for the Congressional Black Caucus and sung the National Anthem for an audience including Jesse Jackson. She’s shared a stage with artists like Tremaine Hawkins, Vickie Winans and Richard Smallwood, Kenny Lattimore, Jeff Majors and more. She’s appeared on three gospel CD’s and has sung for the U.S. Army, B.E.T. and the National Negro Council of Black Women. The voice travels.
As a Gospel singer/songwriter, Tanya has always sung about matters of spirit and faith and the need to persevere through even the toughest times. That is the subtext of her new single, “Something About A Miracle,” written by James Austin, a striking and bracing ballad that explodes into an inspirational anthem. It’s a song that perfectly fits the moment – times are tough for many, but the hopes of the nation, buoyed by the arrival of President Obama, are open to a new possibility. Over its shimmering strings and resonant keyboards, Tanya sings of the hope, the faith, and finally, the assertion that miracles do come true. It’s inspirational in the best way – it acknowledges the hardships while creating the possibility of triumph.
A family woman, with a husband and two young boys, Tanya calls herself a “down home girl,” albeit with a twist. “I’m rebellious,” she declares. “I was the goody two shoes when I was a girl, but when it comes to conformity, I rebel.” She adds with a knowing laugh, “In choir, they know I can be a pain in the butt because of how unapologetic I am about how I sing. But I’m always hamming it up and laughing a lot and that keeps me from taking myself too seriously.”
Tanya is currently planning a new album, an inspirational one, with grand intentions. “People need each other,” she declares. “We were never meant to go through life alone – I’m committed that people get that through my music.” She continues, “I want people to know that God is know-able, that you can experience Him and that He is there for them! As a young girl I came to know Him and He has become my dearest Friend. Oh how sweet to trust Him and rest in Him. When I sing from my soul—- I can feel His presence, and my desire is that when people listen to my music, they will feel Him, too.”
With that voice – that stirring voice, Tanya Dallas-Lewis is sure to raise the spirits of all that hear “Something About A Miracle,” and let them know that there is hope for a brand new day – for themselves, and for the world.
Edited by sing2believe on 26 May 2009, 17:40
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