In a few short years, Tanika Charles has transformed from a talented emerging artist into a commanding performer and band leader, now a staple of the Canadian soul scene. Following in the footsteps of impactful musicians like Sharon Jones and Mavis Staples, the Edmonton native takes an honest approach to writing music that not only touches on heartbreak and vulnerability, but also on resiliency and the spirit of overcoming adversity. Her art is inherently autobiographical. If Tanika’s singing it, she’s lived it.
Praised as “one of the big hitters of 2017″ (Craig Charles, BBC Radio 6 Music) and as “the most buzzed-about soul singer in Toronto” (CBC Music), this Polaris Prize-nominated artist has spent the last decade lighting up stages near and far – from Pop Montreal to the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Charles and her band The Wonderfuls create infectious rhythms and hooks, reeling in listeners with unbridled instrumentation and vocal prowess.
Tanika’s first full-length album, “Soul Run,” was released in 2016 (with international distribution in 2017). The overarching sound is classic soul and heavy drums, without the need for retro crutches. “Soul Run” received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with Now Magazine giving it an NNNN rating and Exclaim! declaring it an 8/10. It also earned a JUNO nomination for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.
Tanika has also appeared on television, both as a reoccurring guest on CBC Kids and as a lounge singer on Global TV’s Bomb Girls drama series. Her music has been featured on HBO’s Less Than Kind, ABC’s Rookie Blue, The CW’s Seed and CTV’s Saving Hope. In 2017, she made her theatrical debut in the touring production “Freedom Singer”.