My Name Is Támar

September 3, 2010

In an age of gimmicks and over processed sounds, the nostalgic idea of authentic vocals and magnetic stage presence seems un-imaginable. But there’s power in experiencing Grammy-nominated artist Támar Davis: reminiscent of funk, soul, rock and R & B. She evinces passion meeting entertainment through her authentic, high-energy performances that makes her “Prince’s favorite singer” ~ Washington Post.

Unlike the vast majority of post-Whitney/ Mariah Carey soul singers, Támar Davis is a true entertainer with a fully developed stage presence. She’s sassy and sexy but also able to laugh at herself, a trait solely missing from a genre filled with dour, overly serious women ~ Pioneer Press

This GRAMMY- NOMINATED songbird discovered her gift at age three.  By nine, the Houston native was a lead vocalist in a group of six singing, dancing, rapping preteens called Girls Tyme. After losing on Star Search, the budding stars continued on separate paths. Támar opted to pursue a solo career. (Three of her former girl friends–Beyonce’ Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Latavia Robertson—would eventually form powerhouse Destiny’s Child.) A few years later, Támar’s demo caught the attention of music royalty: Prince. Támar was invited to his Paisley Park studio and offered a production contract. Though she didn’t get to meet his royal badness and a deal wasn’t sealed, a seed was planted.

Támar cultivated her talent at Houston’s Fame equivalent—The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts—and was among 20 honorees selected from a field of 8000 international applicants for the Presidential Scholar for the Arts award. Intent on furthering her career and her education, Támar headed to Los Angeles to study music at the University of Southern California.  She graduated not only with classical training and a Bachelor of Music degree, but also with the ability to sing in French, Italian, German, and Swahili.

Támar returned to the Star Search stage in 2004 for the “Battle of Champions.” Despite praise from judges like Naomi Judd—“ You have an amazing voice”–and show host Arsenio Hall—“It’s so unique. It has a Stephanie Mills/Whitney Houston vibe…”— she didn’t prevail in the competition. She also auditioned for the fourth season of American Idol; but didn’t make it in front of the three charismatic judges.  A producer’s critique: Támar was too polished.  She advanced to working with Joe Sample, Lee Ritenour, and Tamia.

In 2005, Támar was re-introduced to Prince by famed choreographer Fatima Robinson.  Támar not only joined his band but also performed at his renowned house parties, joined him on stage for a solo at the NAACP Image Awards, and contributed background vocals on Prince’s 3121 album.  By the end of the year, the student and teacher were both signed to Universal Republic Records.  Now, Prince was ready to introduce his “favorite singer” to the world.

In 2006, the dynamic duo set off on a cross-country, 11-city tour. At the electrifying, sold-out shows reminiscent of old soul revues, the leading lady’s performances were the talk of the town.  Commanding the stage, Támar won over legions of Prince fans across the world and gave music critics something to talk about.  A veritable knockout with voluminous hair, desirable curves and feisty moves, Támar was by Prince’s side on “Saturday Night Live,” “Good Morning America,” and both the 2006 BET and Brit Awards.  And yes, that’s Támar working it in his Fury video.  With the introduction made, new fans yearned for more. Yet, the world wouldn’t get to know Támar as quickly as planned; Universal decided not to release her album due to a departed relationship with her mentor and the record company. But you can’t keep good music down. One of the many songs Támar and Prince co-wrote and recorded, the forcefully inspirational duet “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed” was recently nominated for a GRAMMY.

Remarkably, she is now one of the first unsigned R&B artists to have been nominated for music’s highest honor and was just named Houston’s Rising Star 2007 (Ensemble Theatre). Honoring her rising star, Támar Davis continues to climb both onstage and in the studio, currently cast in Tyler Perry’s new stage-play “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” completing his short-run tour of “Laugh to Keep from Crying” and previously showcased as the nuanced lead in Perry’s hit stage play “The Marriage Counselor” (New York Times). Finding favor with the television/movie mogul, Támar then showcased a tear jerking “To Dream the Impossible Dream” for the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios. The question of the evening became “who was that singer?”

The answer can be found on her second studio, yet first released self-titled album “My Name is Támar…” (2010) It displays her distinctive sound, a result of a steady diet of artists as varied as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Yolanda Adams, Barbara Streisand, Janet Jackson, Prince, Chaka Khan and AC/DC. It is a genuine collection of anticipated songs resonating the importance of lyric to melody and passion to performance. It blazes her bold, golden pipes with incisive tone and timbre through lyrical magic. With infectious party songs and soul ripping ballads, Támar redefines an era where Rock and R & B were still kissing cousins. It’s a gathering of fresh sounds from a veteran artist dedicated to the communication of music and audience. Being true to the relationship of artist and song, Támar delivers honesty and compassion both on record and live.

Támar is now ready for the world to hear her story through song…