Tianna Esperanza is a singer, songwriter, and storyteller who embodies a depth of talent and heart well beyond her 21 years. With a sultry voice and flair for fashion, Esperanza creates compelling music inspired by legendary artists such as Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, and Gil Scott-Heron.
What does your music say about you?
I hope that my music says I am thoughtful and raw. I try to be as vulnerable and true to my stories as possible because I know I’m not alone in my experiences. I hope my fans can hear that when they listen.
Who first got you into music?
The first CD I probably ever saw was “In The Beginning” by The Slits. My grandma was the founder and drummer of the band and she had dozens of them in the closets and basement with her defiant face and armpit hair and all. I was starstruck and so my glamorization of the life of a musician began young.
How would you describe your music?
Chanteuse class with a punk attitude. I admire the class and sophistication of great vocalists such as Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, and Roberta Flack but I also embrace my wild roots in punk! I have adopted a more clean classic image than traditional punk but I like to think the strong women of punk are not so different from the fierce women of jazz, blues, and soul. They are outspoken figures of change and progress.
Has your musical journey had a deliberate direction or did it simply evolve into whatever direction it found?
My music evolved with the musicians I worked with and the music they introduced me to. I started singing with musicians who loved Guns’ N Roses and the Eagles for example, then with others in love with the Beatles or Snarky Puppy. I later played with seasoned musicians who taught me blues and jazz classics and about New York, in the 60s era of glam rock, folk, and punk, which I was able to connect with my grandmother’s stories of 60s and 70s London. They had great taste and soon I knew Curtis Mayfield, Solomon Burke, Gil Scott-Heron, Liz Phair, Cibo Matto, and Hoagy Charmichael, to name a range.
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At my core, I believe in quality music. I love songs that move me and I have found them in every genre.
What is your recent single “Lewis” about?
“Lewis” is about the late Lewis H. Michaux who was a civil rights activist and owner of the African American National Memorial Bookstore in Harlem from 1932-to 1974. He believed in the value of education to bridge perspectives and change lives. As a multiracial woman, I was empowered by his message and inspired to share it.
We have learned this is part of a longer form project releasing in the Summer, can you tell us more about this?
We’re working on something very special and there will be more music coming soon!
What are your musical plans for the next 12 months or so?
I’m working on my next record and doing a lot of behind the scenes work on acting and fashion projects! Sustainable fashion is very important to me, for example, so I work to style my photoshoots and music videos with local vintage and even my mom and grandma’s collected items!
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to stop lying to myself that I do yoga! hahaha.
Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?
I hold on to gifts and letters. I have some rocks that have quotes on them that help me feel grounded and positive. I like to keep them around the house or car or take one when I travel.
Do you have any superstitions?
I would say I am a spiritual person but not so much a superstitious one.
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
Are you staying grounded and focusing on who is important?
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Own your shine. Keep connected, kind, confident, and centered. Trust yourself. You’re smarter than you give yourself credit for.
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