It was at this age, TJ started taking formal lessons for the clarinet. Though she found pleasure in learning the instrument she soon realized that her passion for the keys was far greater and thus started teaching herself how to play the piano. As time passed TJ’s musical gift started to take shape. Attending Hazelwood East High School, Teresajenee was an active member of the school’s fine arts program; singing and dancing in theatrical productions, playing piano in the jazz band, and clarinet in the symphonic and marching bands. It was around this time that she discovered the sounds of rock, soul, and r&b, genres that went against the grain of her strict Pentecostal church roots.
Teresajenee’s musical influence diversified, and artists such as Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Erykah Badu, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Oasis, and The Clark Sisters became her muse. Even the songwriting began to reflect elements of all the music that she had absorbed, and in it, one could hear the influences of everything from Gospel to Jazz, Soul and Rock. After high school, it was off to Tennessee State University, where she majored in Mass Communications. While at T.S.U., she’s played leading roles in university and independent theatre productions , operated as the musical director over the school’s gospel choir band and sang as a lead first soprano with the University Chorus. TJ eventually became an alumna of the Tennessee State and found herself back in St.
Louis trying to figure out what it was she should do with her newly earned degree. Feeling her opportunity to break into the industry slowly fading away, TJ made plans to attend graduate school and pursue her master’s degree. From day one mama always taught her to finish what she had started. This philosophy coupled with the sacrifices that TJ had gone through to develop her artistry, solidified in her mind that she had to keep moving forward with her music career. In just a few short years, Teresajenee has built a grassroots fan-base at Tennessee State (with students representing cities nationwide) and St.
Louis, performed several live shows, and has grabbed the attention of major record label A&R’s. Unwilling to conform to compose music for the sole purpose of corporate radio play, Teresajenee chose to do things her way. When asked what “her way” is she describes it as, “music that is soulful, introspective, and refreshing". Miss TJ feels that it is not her duty to let the artistry suffer for the sake of a get rich quick, one hit wonder kind of career. She instead chooses to create thought provoking, well written music that will reach the masses worldwide.
She aspires to create songs that lyrically, vocally, and musically challenge the crassness of mainstream music today. Teresajenee has accepted the lifestyle of being a true artist and in hindsight understands that she did not choose music as her medium, but rather music has chosen her to make a difference in this world. -written by M. Woodard Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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