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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's 6 Questions With...Taniq!

"Ever since the first moment I spoke your name, from then on I knew that by you being in my life, things were destined to change..."  Musiq Soulchild - Love

I have not had a 6 Questions entry in the longest time, but that is all on me really.  This week, I am extremely happy to have the pleasure of sharing an amazingly talented duo with you.  The artist that I am able to bring to you is a husband and wife duo from Chicago and Houston via Los Angeles, CA.  Miko and Carolyn are the r&b soul combination of Taniq.   Taniq, a combination of "talented and unique," are newlyweds, and their love and emotions radiate from their debut disk The Life & Times Of Love.  The album is a solid disc from beginning to end, with tracks delving into the nature of love.  Love in marriage, friendship and life brought to you by the sexy sounds of soul, jazz and r&b.  My favorite track on the album is the sexy, scatting "Breaking The Rules" along with the mellow yet groovy "Everything About You."  You know I only cover artists with unspeakable talent on my page, so we already know what they bring to the table.  However, you need to see Taniq in action on stage.  Both Miko and Caroyln have experience in theatre and they know how to put on an enjoyable, energetic and engaging show.  And yes, they are just as sweet, genteel and personable as they look!  You can find out if Taniq will be in a city near you, more about the duo and other information on their MySpace page and on their website.  Please, check it out!  Tha Connoisseur would never steer you wrong!

Here is 6 Questions With...Taniq!

1) You and Carolyn have so much energy during your performances engaging your fans in serious grooves throughout your show.  Both of you have been exposed to theatre and performing for a long time now and it's obvious that you enjoy and love what you do on stage together as Taniq.  What is another passion that you and Carolyn have (individually) that we your fans, do not know about?

Miko: I love Asian martial arts movies.  Bruce Lee was an all around true genius and what young boy didn't want to be like him growing up...My honey brought me Bruce Lee's book recently and a birthday or two ago she surprised me with an Asian theme and we did moves together from an instructional marital arts video.  I have a collection of movies on DVD and VHS.  I can even use nunchucks (Karate sticks) without knocking myself out :-o)

Carolyn: I love bridges and waterfalls.  I have an unwritten list of them that I want to experience around the world.  I feel they are an illustration of who I am and I want to be.  Both of them symbolize the endless possibilities in life.

2) Thinking back, is there a song that you can think of that made you realize that singing was the path for you?  Which song and why?

Miko: When I was heavy into Hip-Hop back in the day, a classmate who was a DJ, asked me to write a Rap for him to perform.  I had never written a song before, but I was up for the challenge.  It was called "Hitting Harder Than Steele" and he thought it would be better if I performed the song and so writing and performing that song is what gave me the bug.

Carolyn: "What A Friend We Have In Jesus."  I had always sang in church, but this song was one of those that went with me even after I'd stopped regularly singing in church.  One day, this song came to me and comforted me and I felt God telling me that I would be singing again, and though at the time I had no way of supporting a career in music, this song helped me realize that I have a friend who will be with me on this journey.

3) I noticed on your website that you have the lyrics to your songs available.  Do you remember when lyrics were an important part of purchasing an artist's album?  Next to the music itself, it was the second best thing!  I miss liner notes!  it was almost like a connection between the fan and the artist-with the artist sharing more of their creativity process.  With the insurgence of iTunes and mp3 downloads, do you feel that as an artist, it is important to continue with that tradition?

Miko: I was always the one who looked forward to reading lyrics and credits.  I believe the artists or the songwriters really had something to say back in those days so it was worth it to read the lyrics.  Reading the lyrics to "Songs In The Key Of Life" is like reading a book of poetry.  Seeing the lyrics were also helpful for those songs we didn't quite know what the artist was saying but thought we did...I remember back in the day my cousin mistaken Prince's song "Controversy" for him saying "Count Your Blessings" until we read the lyrics from the album.  Kirk Franklin don't get any ideas :-o)  So yes I would like to see that tradition continue, but only if artists continue in the same tradition of making good quality lyrics and music once again.  I certainly wouldn't want to read the lyrics of an artist who didn't have much to say and lyrics were masked by the focus on an overproduced track or vocals.

Carolyn:  Of course lyrics are important, out of the abundance of the heart does a man speak...and if we're making Soul music, we have to come correct lyrically to really touch people's lives.  If melody and music was all we cared about–we'd rather scat or do an all instrumental album, than write a song that didn't relate a message, or share an honest emotion.

4) There are strong underlying jazz melodies in Taniq's music.  Seeing that Carolyn's favorite vocalist hands down is jazz great Ella Fitzgerald, is there a chance that we could  be graced with a full on jazz album in the future from Taniq?

Miko: We've definitely talked about making a full Jazz album down the line.  I would like to give the album a variety as Jazz music has and have songs touching on sub-genres like Dixie, Swing/Big Band, fun songs like Louis Jordan would do, Latin Jazz, Straight Head, maybe cover a standard or two.

5) There are not that many married soul couples around doing their thing and it's a damn shame!  It's easy to see that there is a unified flow between the two of you on and off stage, together or apart.  It's just a presence that Taniq has.  Being newlyweds, how do you two balance it all out in work and play?

Miko: By having the foundation of a true friendship and trusting and believing in God.  As simple as it sounds, the flow of our life revolves around those key things.  Keeping the open communication knowing that our intentions are always to help not harm and believing that when we get centered on God, all thinks will balance themselves out.

Carolyn: Well, in response to your statement that there aren't many married soul couples around, the truth is people have a misconception about marriage.  Our life and music stands as an example of real-life love and marriage.  We don't focus just on romance and sex, but rather on emotional intimacy, healing and expressing our appreciation for on another.  That's the Life & Times of Love ...and that's what we strive to do every day.  There's a time for everything, but romance and sex is not the only gratification to be found in marriage.  We travel, have date nights, and take time when we don't work on music for days at a time.  We also disagree, compromise and heal.

6) My last proverbial question.  Name one album you keep close on a:

a) Melancholy day: Kim Burrell Live In Concert - Kim Burrell
b) Night to set the mood right: 
Theraputic: Extension Of A Man-Donny Hathaway 
Romantic Mood: Brian McKnight - Brian McKnight
Sexy Mood: A collection of slow jams by Prince I put together
c) Funk down soiree: Fresh - Sly & The Family Stone

a) Melancholy day: Testimony: Volume 1 Life & Relationships - India.Arie
b) Night to set the mood right: Nightmoves - Kurt Elling
c) Funk down soiree: Fresh - Sly & The Family Stone...gotta go with my honey on this one, can't get too much funkier than "If You Want Me To Stay."

Flashback of the day:  I will have to go with Brian McKnight on this one.  His best album for me is and forever will be his first.  

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 


Vivrant Thang said...

VERY interesting questions. I felt like I really got to know this couple. I really like the husband/wife duo (LOVE Kindred) so more of that is welcome. Thanks for introducing these artists.

Tha Connoisseur said...

Ms Thang: Thanks lovely...do check out their website and Soul Commune site (if you get a chance to, cause I know you don't get there as much). If you love Kindred, you will love Taniq too. I know you will! ;)