Singer-songwriter Tanya Nolan arrived on the national stage with the release of her 2019 single "No Pressure" that landed on TOP 40 radio stations across America including Music Choice and iHeartRadio. Since then, she released her self-titled debut album in 2020 which features the single "Smile on My Face" that made its debut on national commercial radio in 2021. The song rose up the charts in less than 2 1/2 weeks from No. 120 to No. 43. Follow-up single "Good Woman" also charted on Billboard's Top 20 R&B charts and multiple R&B stations across America. Nolan's 2022 release "My Best" became a top 25 on Billboard's R&B charts and was followed by a remix featuring five-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist CeeLo Green.
RnBJunkieOfficial caught up with Tanya Nolan for an exclusive interview to discuss her most recent single "Pace Yourself" featuring Raheem DeVaughn, Upcoming projects and much more. "Pace Yourself" is available on all streaming and digital music platforms.
TERRANCE: In three words describe your personality.
TANYA NOLAN: Oh my God, you're the first person to ever ask me that and you're about to make me think. *Laughs*. I will tell you, I know that I am full of magic and some people may not understand what that means, but the right people know exactly what I mean by that. That's one thing. I know that I'm different. I'm a go-getter and a hustler. It's like I don't want to disappoint myself, so it's important for me to achieve my goal. And I love people who love me back and I love them even moreso. You know how you have so many people in this industry and in this world that just don't have any sense of integrity and they just simply don't give a f&#%. They're not concerned about the consequences. I'm concerned about the consequences, so I try to be fair and treat people with love, especially the ones that are deserving of it. That's how I can describe myself and I know that I'm talented and a businesswoman. I'm about my business. I'm loving and I try to keep my circle really, really small because of my kindness. People will try to take advantage of that and see it as being gullible and it's not. It's just part of who I am and part of my DNA, so I have to be cautious and very careful of that. So, that's why my circle is really, really small. That's me.
TERRANCE: Talk about where you're from and when you realized your gift for music.
TANYA NOLAN: Absolutely. So, I'm from Galveston, TX. It's an island in Texas. Basically when it comes to just how I fell upon music, I was 15 and I wanted to make some extra money. I asked my mom if I could get a job and she quickly said, yes. She handed me the Galveston newspaper. There was an ad in the newspaper looking for a female vocalist. I called the number and I auditioned over the phone and he was like, okay how old are you? And I was like, I'm 15 sir, and he was like, well I need to speak to your guardian. So, he got on the phone with my mom and she brought me to a rehearsal and that's how it started. So, music pretty much found me. I had no idea that I could sing. Most people would be like, did you start in the Church? I'm like, no I didn't start in the Church. So, that's how that happened. It still blows my mind like, am I really doing this? Is this really real? I'll pinch myself every once in a while and I'm like, this is real. It's magical to me that it found me and I'm thankful that it did.
TERRANCE: Growing up, who were your musical influences?
TANYA NOLAN: Well, some of the individuals that I admire are Minnie Riperton. I did a cover of "Lovin' You" and I named it "The Bird Song" and it's on spotify and youtube. But Minnie Riperton, Teddy Pendergrass, The Bee Gee's, Earth Wind & Fire, Anita Baker, ConFunkShun, The Brothers Johnson, Phil Collins, George Michael, Michael Jackson, Prince. I love real music when you can hear real instruments and not just a beat. It takes more than just a beat.
TERRANCE: What's the inspiration behind your latest single "Pace Yourself" with Raheem DeVaughn?
TANYA NOLAN: The song is pretty much about, they love one another and they show it by intimacy and things like that. It's pretty much a love song. So, if you listen to the lyrics, it basically tells you exactly what it's about, but when it was brought to my attention about the record, I instantly was like, man I gotta get up on that. I was honored and we went with it. Raheem is super talented and it's actually one of my favorites. I definitely have it on my playlist on spotify and a few other areas and it's doing pretty well right now. Radio has some good news. Pandora and Shazam are pretty awesome, so I'm liking the movement.
TERRANCE: Can we expect a visual for that song anytime soon?
TANYA NOLAN: Absolutely. The visual treatment is done and we've shot the video. I had some hands on when it came to that treatment, so it's going to be spicy, sensuous but tasteful with an edge. It's definitely gonna make you use your imagination.
TERRANCE: What was it like hooking up with CeeLo Green for the "My Best" Remix?
TANYA NOLAN: Oh God. CeeLo. That dude is funny. OMG. It was rewarding and I learned quite a bit from him. We keep in touch like he'll send me a text every once in a while and I'm like, is this CeeLo? And so, one time he called and I missed his call and he called back and I finally answered and he was like, girl you better be excited to hear from me. *Laughs*. He's someone to know and he guided me in some ways when it comes to how to deal in this industry because being in this industry is not for the weak.
TERRANCE: Will there be a follow-up album, EP or singles your focus at the moment?
TANYA NOLAN: Oh absolutely. Me and my team are planning on putting out an EP real soon. We're definitely going to be putting out singles for the DSP's, but I do have an album that's coming out this year and I'm hoping for the first quarter. I just got about six or eight more tunes to get in the studio and record, so I can go ahead and have a listening party or something like that, because at first I was like, I'm gonna pick out my own stuff, but my team convinced me not to do that and they told me why. I really have about 100, but there are 50 strong one's I know for sure and out of that, we're gonna pick out maybe 12 to 15 tunes.
TERRANCE: The current climate of R&B music, what are your thoughts?
TANYA NOLAN: R&B never left. It's been there. It's just that, you know how when it comes to TV, how certain people control the media. Controls what you watch, what you see, what you hear. Now people are like, I'm tired of hearing this riff-raff, like what happened? Like Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak came out with ConFunkShun's "Love's Train". Like I told you, I'm a big fan of ConFunkShun. So, it's here and I'm here. I know that I'm not just R&B, but I know what real R&B is and that's the lane I'm driving in right now and I'm in control of the wheel. R&B is here and it's needed. It's soulful and it's real. Just like they're talking about this Alternative or whatever it is when it comes to music. It doesn't have a soul, so it's not going to be real R&B. I'm curious to know what that's going to be about, but one thing I do know is that it doesn't have a soul. Where's the feeling? R&B is here, it's not going anywhere and I know when it comes to this genre of music, in some people's eyes it's looked down on and think about why, because it's black. Period.
TERRANCE: When you're not working in the world of entertainment, what do you enjoy the most?
TANYA NOLAN: Ooh, that's easy. I enjoy a nice book with something hot to drink. I like watching TV and I'm mindful of what I watch. I like to do that and relax and have my phone where it's just not ringing and ringing and ringing without any disturbance or simply sitting on my porch with my feet kicked up and just being in tune with nature. I'm very country and I like the Earth and being bare feet. I'll put my feet in the dirt real quick and just get in tune and talk to my creator often, because I'm grateful. But, those are some of the things I do. I actually love me and take time with myself and I talk to Tanya and I answer myself back to. Some people may think that it's crazy, but it is not. It's very healthy. Think about it, you are everywhere you go. Don't you think it's in your best interest to know yourself and to love yourself and to love who you are and to fix the things you don't like. I choose to write my own story and I look forward to it. I want to see it manifest. I challenge myself, even sometimes when I go to bed at night, I'm like, damn what am I going to dream about tonight? That's me.
TERRANCE: What advice would you give to those who aspire to do what you do?
TANYA NOLAN: Know who you are. Believe that you can do it. Don't expect anyone to invest in you if you're not willing to invest in yourself. And keep it pushing. Be disciplined. Know what you want and be clear on that. But most importantly, mind your damn business, because you got things to do. Focus on you and stay out of other people's business and be careful about your surroundings and the people that you associate with. You want team members that want to see you win. Pay attention to the signs and get your proper rest. Don't let nobody tell you, man I'mma sleep when I'm dead. Naw, if you don't get your rest, you're gonna be dead sooner than you expected. So, you gotta have your rest so you can be more productive, because you're not your best when you're sleepy and tired. That makes no sense. And here's one more thing, use your damn common sense. If you feel you're lacking in common sense, ask the creator to give you some mercy and give it to you because you need it to be in this industry. Again, keep it pushing. Straight tunnel. Straight ahead. Focus on you and your craft. How bad do you want it? That is my advice.
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