"A quantum leap in heartfelt emotion and sonic texture." -- Jeffrey Morgan, CREEM Magazine
Born and raised in a cedar cabin on a remote gulf island and daughter of a legendary west coast one man band, T. Nile has blended the best of a traditional folk upbringing with vintage and modern electronics, creating a sound at the leading edge of the electro-folk movement.
Tamara’s father, sidewalk entertainer Dan the One Man Band, built a rig equipped with an accordion, tuba, harmonica, duck calls, trombone, cymbals, Onmichord and foot-pedal bass. On school holidays, she accompanied her father as he toured Vancouver, Victoria, Venice Beach, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Australia. At the age of 11, she joined him, entertaining children in an over-sized clown costume, twisting balloons and talking with a horn. Eventually she would trade the wig and red nose for a banjo, guitar, synth and drum machine.
At 19, Nile moved to Vancouver and enrolled in music school where she studied voice, composition, electronic music and world percussion. She continued to expand her musical experience and creativity by traveling and playing internationally between school semesters; she met and collaborated with musicians and producers in Ibiza, Tokyo, Hamburg, Berlin, and London.
When back in Vancouver she took to hanging out at the Railway Club, getting to know people, swapping songs and ideas. Eventually she began hosting a monthly showcase at the Railway called "Connect," (a tradition that carries on to this day). Meanwhile, she was working on her songwriting, putting together everything she had learned at home, and on the road.
In spring of 2006 she recorded and launched At My Table. It was rooted in the woodsy music she first heard as a child, but her diverse tastes and signature hybrid-style set her music apart. While many of the musical influences came from south of here, the lyrics were very much about Tamara's life on Galiano and in Vancouver. Reviewers and listeners hailed the CD and its songs. Outside Distribution picked it up and CBC and campus radio fell in love with it. Among the many accolades, T. Nile was named "Critic's Favourite New Discovery" by Penguin Eggs Magazine.
While At My Table was garnering rave reviews, Tamara toured her songs through Canada and Europe. Word spread fast, and she would arrive in a new city or town to play for packed venues. She was soon awarded “Best New/Emerging Artist” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards and nominated for “Best Vocalist” the following year, along side Bruce Cockburn. The festival circuit quickly picked her up and ever since she's been a main-stay at Canadian Folk Festivals.
Her follow up EP, "Cabin Song" was released in June 2009. Vue Weekly described the album as “a coherent set of seven songs that give way to one another with the easy fluidity of a richly episodic summer getaway novel, nestled in an aural landscape of bluesy back-country rock.” Jeffrey Morgan of CREEM Magazine declared Cabin Song “a quantum leap in heartfelt emotion and sonic texture.”
Between tours and festivals, Tamara has often found inspiration on her island of birth, Galiano. The calm seclusion lends itself to pushing creative boundaries, and in the past couple years she has gone back to experimenting with analog synths, loops and samples, integrating acoustic and electronic elements into her compositions and live performances.
Inspired by such artists as Blondie, Beck, Feist, and The Knife, her new record "When You Wake Up" demonstrates the thrilling results of her exploration and expansion. This collection of songs is already garnering interest from industry heavyweights, and by all accounts T. Nile stands poised to reach a new and expanded audience with her third release.
Now that she is finished recording her third album, inspiration is flowing again.
In the past few months, Tamara has begun dreaming up ideas, concepts and writing songs for her fourth full-length record, which will bring her back to her roots. This time her inspirations are the outlaw country and vintage blues artists from her parents record collection. Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and Leadbelly to name a few, as well as contemporary songwriters such as the brilliant Daniel Romano. “Being a songwriter is a very exciting occupation in the sense that you essentially create new worlds and dimensions with melody and lyrics, and the stories you tell have the potential to bypass the mind and go straight to the heart”.