HomeInterviewsQ&A: R&B singer-songwriter Tanya Nolan

Q&A: R&B singer-songwriter Tanya Nolan

360°Sound recently caught up with rising R&B singer-songwriter Tanya Nolan. A native of Galveston, Texas, Nolan hit the scene when her 2019 single “No Pressure” received radio play throughout the United States. Nolan’s follow-up, “Smile On My Face,” made its debut on national commercial radio in March 2021. The song quickly climbed the Billboard R&B charts, peaking at #43.

“Good Woman” is currently charting in the top 40 of the R&B charts and is getting airplay on SiriusXM, Music Choice, and terrestrial stations throughout the nation. The latest offering from Nolan is the Cory Mo-produced feel-good single, “My Best,” which Nolan co-wrote with Keyiara Sallie.

In addition to her burgeoning music career, Nolan is an accomplished entrepreneur. She owns Aww Better Childcare Center, the largest upscale childcare learning facility in Galveston County, Texas. In this exclusive interview, Nolan discusses her songwriting process, album plans, and more.

360°Sound: Please start by giving our readers an introduction to Tanya Nolan.

I have a lot of tunes out. My latest is “My Best.” “Good Woman” is out as well. “Good Woman” is a song about a woman who has had heartbreak, she’s been cheated on, a major betrayal. The individual had a whole entire baby and she’s upset about it. She is me in the song, and it’s a real story.

“My Best” is produced by Cory Mo, and written by myself along with Keyiara Sallie, she’s incredible. “My Best” is about, ‘Hey, I’m in a good place now. I found my why.’ Why did this happen to me? In “Good Woman” the reason it happened to me was because I would not have met the individual that’s in my life. When it comes to my “My Best,” it’s a happy song, good vibes – it makes you wanna dance. It makes you wanna step if you’re stepper. It makes you wanna roller skate. It puts you in a great mood.

Some of your songs have gotten well over a million views on YouTube. What do you think is it about your music and message that resonates with people?

I’m not trying to be like anyone else. I’m not trying to sound like anyone else. I’m not trying to copy anyone else. I’m not trying to be influenced by anyone else. I get asked who influences me, and I try my best not to sound cocky [laughs].

I have a lot of people that I admire, but when it comes to my music, I try to influence myself because I want to give my audience me – no one else. It feels good that at least a million people got in touch with Tanya Nolan, and I hope that it moved them in a great, grand type of way that added some type of good feel in their life. I hope it put a smile on their face.

When asked about influences, you’ve listed Billie Holiday, Chaka Khan, and Minnie Riperton, among others. Do you find yourself connecting more with classic R&B and jazz vocalists than contemporary artists?

I gravitate more to soulful, timeless music, not a whole lot of contemporary. I love the ‘80s. Music to me is not just a beat. To me, that’s just boring. That’s just lazy. I want to hear the instruments. I want to feel it. I want to hear some trumpets, some saxophones, some xylophones.

That’s what I like when it comes to my material, and material back in the day that moved me and caught my attention. Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan, and some of the individuals of today like Jazmine Sullivan, Lalah Hathaway, Mary J. Blige. I love real authentic music that not only has a lyrical message, but actually has a feel.

Tell us a little about your songwriting process.

Sometimes I get my lyrics in a dream. My cell phone is next to me and I use the voice memo app. When that happens, I wake up, I record the melody, I record the lyrics if there’s words, so I won’t forget it. In the past I wouldn’t remember what I was blessed with when I woke up that morning [laughs].

When it comes to the beats that are sent to me from different producers, it has to instantly catch my attention. If it does, I’ll go with it, and I’ll write to it. It’s really that simple.

Do you have plans for a full-length album?

Absolutely. It will be out in February. I’m super excited about it. It’s not finished, but I have a whole lot of tunes to pick from. I know that I have more to record that I’ve already dedicated myself to, so I’m looking forward to how those are going to turn out. I’m going to make a decision on which tunes make the album. For this particular album, I will not be having a listening party. I will not be following the rules.

“My Best,” “Good Woman,” and “Smile On My Face” will definitely be on the album. I don’t have a title for the album yet, hopefully, it comes to me in a dream. That way I know it’s coming from the heavens.

What are your goals as an artist in the coming years?

My goal is to definitely warm individuals’ hearts. I’m hoping that my music is a true blessing to them. It’s a personal goal. I’m hoping it will reach millions of individuals. Even in today’s time, if it hit one or two people and they said, ‘Tanya, I checked out your songs and I was going through this, and it just enlightened me, and I thank you for that.’ That gives me a sense of joy. Pretty much I want to be a blessing to others by hearing my story through my music.

Keep up with Tanya Nolan at tanyanolan.net. You can also follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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