False ME236 Tarralyn Ramsey There is an old adage that says “ good things come in small packages.” If you were to describe Tarralyn Ramsey, you would make note of her small stature, but the sound that bursts forth from her soul scintillates every ear and makes her seem larger than life. The Jacksonville, Florida native has blessed a multitude of people yearning to hear a voice that captures their imagination. From her self- titled debut in 2000 to her highly regarded sophomore release in 2004, Tarralyn began carving out a name for herself amongst the most statuesque and renowned artists of our time. Then, without warning, she disappeared. The year is 2008, and Tarralyn is back with a vision of total control in her sights. A new album, Beyond The Darkness, is in the final stages of completion and the dawn of a new beginning is here. With her newly formed record label and those same multitudes of people supporting her every move, the phoenix that is her captivating voice and earth- shattering charisma has risen once again. In a candid interview with MEME2, Tarralyn takes us back to her musical beginnings and gives us a foretaste of the growth and persistent progress that she has experienced. MEME2: Let’s get into your career and the direction that it has been going in. What have you have been up to lately? Tarralyn Ramsey: I don’t want to say not much of anything, but kind of a lot. I started Tarprincel Entertainment Group, which is an independent record company. I started working on my new gospel album. It’s funny, though, because all of my fans, whether they [ are] gospel or secular, have been asking for a new gospel album. So, I went hard to work on it, and I’m finishing it right now. MEME2: A couple of songs from the album were sent out, and your voice is just as beautiful and anointed as when you first stepped on the scene eight years ago. Tarralyn Ramsey: Thank you! It’s funny that you would say that. I did a benefit concert for [ gospel legend] Daryl Coley because he was sick. So, just to hear you say that brings back to my memory Listen Up!
False ME237 what the MC’s at the program said. They said “ you still got it!” What is really funny about that is they made it sound [ as if] I left Jesus and I didn’t have it anymore. It was hilarious, but it was cute, too. MEME2: What is the title of the album that you are in the process of finishing? Tarralyn Ramsey: The album is entitled Beyond The Darkness. MEME2: With a title such as that, there has to be some meaning or intent behind it. Tarralyn Ramsey: Well, when we called it Beyond The Darkness, it was kind of like “ I’m beyond the dark days.” [ The days of] controlling me and people telling me what to do and how to do it are over. I am coming into my own, so that’s why we titled it Beyond The Darkness. The album itself, along with the song titles, tells a story. It kind of follows a storyline of a lot of my past experiences. Technically speaking, it means you are no longer walking in darkness, but you are walking into the light. When you are being lead, you are in the dark. But, when you take control, you are walking into the light. For me, that encompasses the Tarprincel Entertainment Group and all of that. MEME2: Is there a tentative release date for the album? Tarralyn Ramsey: We haven’t set a physical release date for the album yet. I have a distribution deal with CSD, and we were originally supposed to put the album out in May. Since we haven’t come up with a release date as of yet, I am trying to finish recording the album very soon. I am thinking that the album will be released before the third quarter of this year. We do have dual singles out, called “ God Handle It,” and “ Feel Your Presence Again.” We have them online, and people can purchase them and receive a free gift. You can order them from http:// www. tarralynramsey. com or http:// www. myspace. com/ tarralynramsey. You can also purchase any other music that I have ever made. MEME2: Personally, I have noticed a lot of gospel artists vacillate between the secular world and the gospel world, or in this particular case, the darkness and the light. Is that something that you have ever had to struggle with in the past? Tarralyn Ramsey: This may sound cliché, but as much as my voice has been a blessing, in many ways it has been a curse. Big music executives and big people will hear my voice and say, “ oh my god, we’re going to do this with it!” But, they never sit down and try to figure out what it is that I want to do with it. You can only sell that which is real. But, if you look at the most successful artists, they are the ones that encompasses being 100% real with their music. We buy their albums because we feel what they feel. Let’s take Alicia Keys as an example. When Alicia Keys writes songs, those songs are real to her. She plays the piano and she writes those songs. For me, I’ve always been the girl that has this big voice and all people would say was “ sing this,” or “ sing that.” Whether or not it was right or wrong, they wanted me to sing that. I can be your Whitney Houston type of an artist, but I can also take you straight to church! My story [ has not] changed. I can still stand in a coliseum and sing you a beautiful ballad, but I’m also the same girl that you can put in a good ol’ country church. MEME2: Explain some of the benefits of owning your record label, as opposed to just being an artist and jumping through the hoops that being an artist sometimes requires.