Memphis, Tenn. — Tikyra, drummer and backing vocalist from 2020 Grammy nominee Southern Avenue, is releasing her debut single via Purple Kactus Records (Symphonic Distribution) on August 14, 2020. Written after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the protests against racism that consumed the country afterwards, “No More Fear” is Tikyra’s first solo effort and speaks her truth in volumes through raw funk and soul.
Tikyra plays every instrument (guitar, bass, drums, keys) as well as sings on the track, which was produced by Grammy nominee Kurt “KC” Clayton (Three 6 Mafia, Luther Allison) and mixed by Kevin Houston (North Mississippi Allstars, Samantha Fish, Southern Avenue). “No More Fear” is a triumph of righteous anger, a call to action set to a danceable beat and the next step in Tikyra’s spiritual and musical evolution.
“To say we’re living in a crazy time is an understatement,” says Tikyra. “Living in a global pandemic and experiencing the murders of our fellow human beings, unjustly killed for simply being Black, it’s all soul-jarring. ‘No More Fear’ is a reflection of today’s time and the social justice movement. I’m speaking my truth through music in the hopes more will listen and make a change.”
The sixth of seven children, 25 year old Tikyra was born to Southern ministers and raised in the musical traditions of the church in Memphis, Tenn., a city steeped in blues, soul and rock and roll. Although she played drums in her high school’s marching and pep bands, modern music was not allowed in the Jackson household. Still, the music of Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and most profoundly, Beyoncé, found its way into her heart and psyche. Tikyra got her hands on a performance video of Beyoncé backed by her all female band and that changed everything. “Ever since I watched it, I knew this was what I wanted to do – perform and play drums.”
Since 2015, Tikyra has been living her dream by becoming a founding member of Southern Avenue. The first Memphis band signed to the legendary Stax Records (Concord Music) in over 40 years, Tikyra and Southern Avenue recently received their first Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. “Getting nominated was such an honor,” recalls Tikyra. “After touring practically non-stop for the past few years, playing festivals from coast-to-coast and in 15 countries to be recognized by our peers…it’s something I appreciate fully.”
Born and raised in Memphis, Tikyra is no stranger to understanding the history of the Civil Rights struggle. “I think in general I would like to believe that the world can be saved through love. But obviously it’s not always about daisies and roses. Sometimes you have to speak the tone that you feel. Sometimes you have to grind or get a couple of scars. That’s what ‘No More Fear’ is about. The most you can do is follow your heart, and follow your purpose. That’s what we need in this world and hopefully that will make a change in society for the better.”
Instagram: @tikyradrums , @southernavenuemusic
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