Tanerélle’s music is the perfect summer makeout soundtrack
Unfiltered and real af, Tanerélle is definitely one to watch. Formerly based in Atlanta, she moved to Los Angeles five years ago to pursue her ambitions to become a musician. Thanks to her sick beats and silky voice, her breakout single “Siren” has gotten over a million plays even though she’s unsigned.
“Siren” is the perfect track to the balmy summer nights when you and your boo are making out, and her new album 11:11 shouldn’t be missed.
We chat about her album, how music heals her and why lip plumpers are a no-no dates.
Congrats on releasing 11:11! People always say that you make a wish at that hour, but what are your thoughts on it?
Thank you so much!! I for sure always make a wish at 11:11. It’s like my digital shooting star, but I also feel it’s one of my personal lucky numbers. Every time I look at my phone, a clock, a timer or even when I pause whatever show I’m watching and come back, it’s on 11:11. It’s absolutely insane how much these numbers pop up in my day to day.
You once said that your music is all about healing, feeling and celebrating. How did you get to this revelation?
Since I was younger, there wasn’t a time then and isn’t a time now where I would pick up a pen or spill out my heart without the intent to express some part of my human experience in words. When I was writing 11:11, there were so many different emotions coming to the surface, pain, love, wonder, pride, desire, hope, euphoria etc. I was putting all of this on paper and then recording it throughout the span of nine months.
I was allowing myself to feel everything and to grow through it and heal and the outcome was the album. I literally was a different person after creating 11:11. It was like a rebirth and I celebrated that, and when I was done and the album was released, it dawned on me that that’s exactly what my music is about, healing, feeling and celebrating. I’m going through what I’m going through and telling my story, so that maybe my words can light the path for someone else going through the same or similar experience and encourage them to celebrate it all.
Solange, Megan James from Purity Ring and Sade count as your muses. Why are you inspired by them?
There’s nothing that compares to witnessing a metamorphosis and I feel so lucky to have witnessed Solange’s. “A Seat at the Table” is my scripture — everything I ever wanted to express about my experience as a black woman, but could never find the words to say.
She inspired a song on my album by making me unafraid to speak up and I will forever appreciate her for that. As far as Megan James goes, she is such a phenomenal writer. I’ve been admiring her lyricism since I was a teenager. I would sing along to all the Purity Ring songs and then look up the lyrics and be completely blown away by what she was actually saying and how she was saying it. She really knows how to shape a freaking world.
And Sade… she is just a classic within herself. My mother and godfather would always play her music while I was growing up. Thank God, because she, along with Anita Baker and Toni Braxton, made me comfortable having a unique, lower voice. I also want to note that Sade doesn’t have ONE bad song in her entire discography. It’s all so beautiful and she’s 1000% her when she’s giving her heart to us. What’s not to love?
“Clyde,” “Ripe” and “Dalí” are my favorite songs off of 11:11! Which songs on 11:11 will you marry, eff or kill?
I’m so happy you have favorites!! I would marry “Ripe”, eff “Dalí” anddddddd… I don’t think I could kill any. Does that disqualify me from the game?
What was it like to make 11:11?
Raw. The entire experience was raw, unfiltered and beautiful. I lived so much life while creating the album, which kept me inspired. On top of that, I was able to work with one of my closest friends, Neon Phoenix and that was such a surreal experience because I had someone who themselves had witnessed my metamorphosis, from being an 18-year-old baby, new to LA, with no music out whatsoever, about to start college, to this young woman who’s like “yo, lets take over the world.”
He pushed me to be the best version of myself and he never let me get down on me. That encouragement along with the phenomenal support system I have in my life is the reason the album is what it is. My gratitude for their love knows no bounds.
“Siren” is your most-played song on Spotify and Soundcloud. How does it feel to have at least a million plays in total?
Unreal. I’ve said it a billion times and I’ll say it forever, I absolutely can not believe there are people playing my music in places other than my mother’s car!! I remember logging into my Spotify for Artists account and seeing that there were people listening to my music on almost every continent.That is freaking surreal. And people used to not see me, you know, so knowing that my music is making someone else out there feel empowered and beautiful, knowing my music is making anyone feel anything at all is so next level. It literally makes my body buzz.
Five years ago, you moved out to Los Angeles from Atlanta. What differences have you felt since you moved to L.A.?
Atlanta is home and it feels like that, comfy and authentic. L.A. honestly feels like crabs in a bucket. Everyone is out here for almost the same thing and so many are willing to step on whoever to get it. It’s like the real life “Hunger Games,” but less gory.
If you were to go on tour with an artist (dead or alive), who would it be?
I would’ve loved to tour with Michael Jackson. That being out of the question is something that will always tear me up inside.
What was the most embarrassing moment on a date?
I went on a date with this girl (I’m bisexual) and we closed the night with a kiss, and it was freaking beautiful and all that jazz. BUT, on the way home my tongue started tingling, my throated started to feel like it was closing and my bottom lip started to swell up. I could barely speak because of how big my lip was. I texted her asking if she kisses her cats (I’m terribly allergic to cats) and she goes, “If your lips are tingling it mighttttt be my lipgloss”. She sends me pictures of the lip gloss, I google it and sure enough it’s a lip plumper… I am also terribly allergic to lip plumpers. I was mortified but it was hilarious.
What is the top priority on your bucket list?
Right now one of my top goals as an independent artist is to get on some Spotify playlists. Sounds silly to some but it’s a huge deal for me.
Photography by Migella Accorsi