Tanika Charles

Considered to be the 'next big thing' among the Canadian soul community, in a few short years Tanika Charles has transformed from an emerging solo artist to a commanding performer and bandleader, a staple in the Canadian soul scene both on stage and off.

Main photograph by Taha Muharuma

For people who don’t know you in the UK, who is Tanika Charles?
Singer/songwriter, beat junkie from Toronto

Where are you from/based?
Born in Toronto to Trinidadian parents, raised in Edmonton… moved back to Toronto.

Have you always wanted to be a singer?
I love singing, buuuuut always thought I’d be a comedienne.

What genre of music would you be on the iTunes library?

Do you write your own material?
Yes, but I’m also a huge fan of collaborating.

Who would you love to duet with?
Frank Ocean, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote) D’Angelo

Who chooses your stage outfits?
Myself. Often I have an idea of a look that I’d like to achieve. If it isn’t already in my closet, I’ll source out designers.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Oh my gosh… Where do I start?! Being nominated alongside The Weeknd, DVSN & Partnextdoor for the 2017 R&B/Soul Juno Award.

Locced since 2009. Photography by Zahra Siddiqui

We love your locs, how long have you had them
Thank you! Since 2009..I think.

Have you always been a natural girl?
My hair journey, my goodness. No, I straightened my hair for years, weaves occasionally (for a change, ha!) Just decided, enough! Put in extensions and left them in for WAY TOO LONG! When my stylist took them out she said, “Welp, you can start locs if you want to..”  she cleaned them up and here we are!

What do you think of the natural hair movement?
Natural hair gives one a sense of empowerment. We grow up our entire black lives believing straight, long, shiny hair is better. So we do whatever is necessary to manipulate the kink in our hair. However, if you can rock a wig/weave/braids/faux locs etc… Go forth with confidence! At the end of the day, I’m not here to judge.

Who does your hair?
I twist my hair. No interlocking. Every 2 weeks or so, I’ll see my barber for the side shave and get a design. When performing, I love putting my hair in Petal locs (also a great protective hairstyle) or a side victory roll with a braid up the back.

Describe your haircare regime (shampoos, etc)
Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner. I re-twist my Locs with Royall 4-N-1 Hair treatment!

You’ve got an undercut (shaved off one side), was it a daunting/scary/liberating/bad idea?
I shaved the one side because I felt my hair was thinning out, to be completely honest. Let me tell you, I had to fight with myself to not want to shave the whole thing. It felt so good.

What’s your favourite loc style?
Petal locs!

Favourite style – loc petals

Fave hair products?
Shea Moisture!

Do you have a locstar crush?

Claire Sulmers

On the desert island, which three items couldn’t you be without?
Coconut oil, water and funny reading material.

Designer or chain store?
Chain all day!

Heels or flats?

Fave perfume?
Omg. I’m obsessed with scents to begin with! I wear Angel or I scour cities for the now discontinued Dolce & Gabbana (the one in the red velvet box)

Where can we find you?
tanikacharles.com Has everything you need, truly.

Tanika’s album ‘Soul Run’ is coming out on April 7th via Record Kicks






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