Hard work, determination, and a strong belief in self are very important attributes to enter the highly competitive, dog-eat-dog world of the entertainment industry. Some artists simply entertain audiences to make them feel good and important for a special evening. Others take their talents deeper by sharing personal experiences to encourage and edify others to get through insurmountable situations. Song stylist and actress Tia Dae has chosen both routes for her career path.
As an accomplished actress in both film and stage, Dae plays a small bit part in the recent independent film, "Jazz In The Diamond District," about a young lady chasing her dream to become a successful vocalist. Through her own burning desire for music while paying the obligatory dues, Dae's dream is to be recognized as a positive impact, especially for a younger generation. In 1994, she was validated with a WAMA nomination (Washington (D.C.) Area Music Awards) in the Urban Contemporary category amongst nationally known musicians Me'Shell Ndegeocello and Toni Braxton. Despite that respectable company, Tia yearns to sing a duet one day with R&B diva Mary J. Blige because of their similar storylines of connecting with their audiences about overcoming their personal struggles.
It's A Nu Dae draws upon Dae's personal journey in her adult years, both painful and joyful, set to a hybrid of jazz, R&B, and dance, while also drawing upon Neo-Soul heroes Jill Scott and Erykah Badu, shades of Anita Baker's jazzy sultriness, and Mary J's tenacious passion. This debut six-song EP shines best on "I Remember," reminiscing about pleasurable romantic moments; "A Quiz Called Life," an insightful look at life's observations; and the most intriguing piece, "I'm Tryin," about the intense frustration in leaving a hopeless relationship: "I'm tryin' to get past the lies." Even though "Dance Wit' Me" does not rate as highly amongst the aforementioned selections, Dae flexes her entertainment skills with a soft but sassy vocal on top of eighties' disco throwback beats. "It's A Nu Dae" is a decent first start, but with bonafide vocal abilities and an unrelenting drive to stay motivated and positive in a sometimes jaded business, Dae will return to the studio with an increased vengeance.
By Peggy Oliver