Eugene Taylor Brand presents singer-songwriter Tasha in their new Side x Side collection. Eugene Taylor is a Chicago-based street-wear inspired, contemporary unisex brand created by Letesha Renee in 2014. Letesha called upon photographer Hannah Siegfried and stylist Hannah Black to create a creative collaboration exclusively with women from Chicago. The Side x Side collection uses color blocking to incorporate ideas about gender and race equality, a unique mix of activism and art which pairs perfectly with Tasha, whose sunny and powerful spirit bounces brightly against the primary color palette. We were also luckily enough to have the opportunity to interview Tasha and you can read the questions and her answers below.
During the shoot you mentioned the first song you learned to play on the guitar was “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer. What other songs do you remember as being influential early in creating your own music?
I really only started “seriously” playing and writing music a little over a year ago, but at the time when I began writing and practicing intensely, I definitely had Lauryn Hill, Empress Of, Angel Olsen, Hiatus Kaiyote, & Amy Winehouse on heavy rotation (among so many others).
When did you realize music was something you wanted to pursue?
It was the summer after I graduated from college and moved back to Chicago. Growing up I was always too nervous to sing in front of anyone and devoted myself to all of my other creative interests (dance, poetry, theater). It wasn’t until I started to freestyle with my friends and listen to more music in my vocal range and genre style that I realized this might be something I wanted to focus more energy on.
What is a an average day in your life like? do you have to balance music with a day job?
Yes! And it’s so hard! I work full-time for the amazing organization BYP100 which I’ve been doing for over a year and half now. I love it, but it definitely leaves me with a pretty stacked schedule. After getting off work around 5 or 6 Monday through Friday, I either commute the 1.5 hours back home to make dinner, practice, write, and maybe relax a little bit, or meet up with a friend for dinner, or go to a session to work on some new tunes or record. My nights almost never end before midnight and then I’m up again at 7 am to do it all again the next day! It’s a grind, but it’s worth it.