Tadia Toussaint as rebranded herself TADIA ‘Turning All Dreams Into Adventures. The former contributor to The Haitian Times has in fact begun to actualize her childhood aspirations of becoming an entertainer and connecting with an audience. The Juilliard-alumna returned to music full-time after obtaining both her bachelor’s and a masters’ degrees in journalism. She decided to pursue a career as a singer, media maker/ personality, and entrepreneur. TADIA’s vibrant and unique sound is a reflection of the many cultures that surrounded her including soul, electronic, konpa, afro beats, and pop. The Haitian-American songstress has remained connected and true to her Haitian roots in her creative endeavors. As this dynamic young entertainer ascends, she is certainly one to keep tabs on. We spoke with her recently
HT: You began singing as a very young child, how did you start and as a youngster who encouraged and pushed you forward?
TADIA: My mother and my uncle Guy pushed me forward the most. They gave me the tools I needed in seasons of transition and always gave me their insight but didn’t force decisions on me.
HT: How has Haitian Kompa influenced your music?
TADIA: The catchy melodies and full sounds instrumentation definitely has influenced my music creation process. I love creating multi-layered tracks with moving elements whether it be vocals or musical sounds.
HT: Your first single ‘Down Low’ was a great hit which led to your opening for Davido, how was that connection made?
TADIA: My tribe, which is the community of people who support me, comes out in numbers which has been proven true in the many shows I performed at last year. The promoters of the tour heard of me from local events and the Afrobeat events I had been making appearances at. The point of booking was confirmed because they liked my music, my energy, my work ethic and knew I could attract a dynamic crowd.
HT: You have a new single coming out soon “Worth It”, what is the inspiration?
TADIA: The song is an anthem encouraging people, more specifically women, to fight for what they believe in and who they believe in. It’s an acknowledgement of knowing your worth and demanding to be treated accordingly.
HT: You have been signed with Wonda Music and are working with fellow Haitian Grammy-award winning producer Jerry ‘Wonda’ Duplessis, what is that like?
TADIA: I’ve been building a relationship with him for the past 2 years and just recently officially signed a production deal. I’m learning everyday more and more what it means to be signed. It’s definitely not what people think it is. I still have to work really hard especially on the brand building and the business side of music. Jerry is definitely accessible to assist in navigating and building my music arsenal. He’s a talented music architect and sessions with him are magical. Truly inspiring to watch him in action. I’ve learned more about the music creation process and have been in studio sessions and written songs for other artists like Rotimi, because they come to Jerry’s studio, Platinum Sounds.
HT: How did you find out that Tony Bennett had taken an interest in you and your music?
TADIA: In 2008, I had a solo performance at Stuyvesant High School, where I was a part of an intensive program called Summer Arts Institute with other talented young people of the New York City area, including R&B singer Ella Mai. He waited to find me after the show and came to tell me how much my voice was special and that I would go far. He said that my vocal tone was unique.
HT: How has what’s been going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, and other recent social and political issues affected your music?
TADIA: I was scheduled to open up for DAVIDO, that’s since been postponed. I also had other major tours and festivals confirmed. I wanted to perform more this year and continue to build my tribe but Covid has definitely led me to reevaluate how I can use my craft and brand to reach the masses remotely. Even through ‘Worth It’ focuses on celebrating the royal worth of women, I’ve started my own sub-movement promoting to my audience that Black Lives are worth it. Initially it was difficult for me to create and be productive but I shifted gears and propelled by putting out music with a valuable message. It’s my job as an artist to use my music to tell stories.
HT: What are your feelings on the Black Lives Matter movement?
TADIA: Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop. I’m so thrilled to see the movement, the pressure, the ‘You Gone Lose YO Job’. What a time to be alive. It gets draining but we have to do the work. We have to do the research. We have to Vote. We have to share the stories. We have to support black owned businesses and artists. It’s time we shift our focus and really advance, FOR REAL! I feel good about what’s happening.
HT: How do you remain connected to your Haitian roots, have you ever visited Haiti?
TADIA: I’ve visited Haiti several times and attended festivals and summits there. I even stayed for 2 months once to work. I remain connected by being in tuned with my community, I keep up with the artists, the media platforms, the news, and the music. I speak the language with my peers and family. I cook the food, I learn new recipes. I ask the questions via my elders. The culture is a part of me, I am a part of it.
HT: Growing up in a Haitian household, many staple dishes were served at the dinner table, what are some of your favorite dishes?
TADIA: I love kabrit, banan peze, pwasson, and beregen. Goat, fried plaintains, fish and eggplant