Tiara Déshané Credit: ThoughtPoet

Becoming a new parent is an experience that can only be described as transformative. Especially for artists, parenthood can completely alter the trajectory of one’s career because it demands a reevaluation of priorities, goals, and even an entire artistic vision. 

Tiara Déshané’s parents sacrificed their aspirations as musicians in order to raise her, making a choice that any parent, especially those from marginalized backgrounds, can relate to. Now,  after becoming a mother in her own right two years ago, she intends to break that cycle by raising her daughter while blossoming more into herself as an artist.

“My transition into motherhood has been like dying and being reborn,” she says. “There’s a lot of fear that’s projected upon mothers, particularly about following your dream. Being a businesswoman and having children isn’t a role that we were always supposed to do, and I went through a dark time because I felt like no one’s listening to my music anymore because I’m a mom. And I’ve had to rewrite that internal dialogue.”

Déshané is a born-and-bred musician. Growing up, she was exposed to the worlds that music can create by her parents, aunts, uncles, and even next-door neighbors through regular jam sessions. She taught herself how to play guitar at 11 and was heavily involved in After School Matters’s Gallery 37 Program, which she describes as being the catalyst of her career.

Déshané started recording her music in 2015 and released the bulk of her projects prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specializing in neo-soul and R&B with subtle hip-hop influences, her music is warm and soothing as she gently guides the listener into a comfortable, relaxing state. She gained solid traction with her early releases, but after the George Floyd uprisings in the midst of a pandemic her priorities shifted. 

“There was a lot of Black businesses that were being trashed and as a result, a lot of our local grocery stores and pharmacies were being closed, and it was hard to get groceries. So I felt an internal need to try to do whatever I can, and one day I posted on Facebook my Cash App to help me get groceries to give out to the community,” she recalls. “What started out as this spur-of-the-moment decision ended up in a humongous turnout! I raised about $6,000 within like two weeks just to give away food. I wholeheartedly believe in fighting for justice for Black and Brown communities, period. Though I’m not necessarily trying to be the forefront, I will be a part of the gears to help.”

She named the project Feed The People 100. For the rest of that June, Feed the People 100 continued to hold grocery giveaways, highlighted by a massive Juneteenth celebration that more than 400 people attended. Shortly after that, she became pregnant with her daughter and had to pause her music career, and she says she struggled with feelings of inadequacy.

“I had all of these goals, all these aspirations as far as my music. I had to relearn what my purpose is, and it’s not a selfish purpose anymore, for lack of better words,” she says. “I used to look at my purpose and my passions as the same thing. I learned that, as a mom, I cannot be willing to sacrifice my livelihood because my livelihood affects my child. It’s been extremely humbling, transformative, painful, [and] beautiful.”

Credit: ThoughtPoet

After rediscovering herself, she’s finally ready to unveil the music she’s been working on for the last few years. This time she’s not just doing it for herself, but for her daughter, and also to honor the legacy of loved ones who passed away in recent years.

She will be rereleasing her debut EP, -ISM, which was previously only available on SoundCloud, on all streaming platforms this upcoming month. She also intends to drop a two-part musical project before the year is over. The focus of the projects is centered around her transition into motherhood and becoming a full-time artist/parent. While the release dates haven’t yet been determined, the plan is to drop the first part in the fall and the latter closer toward the end of the year.

“I owe it to myself. I owe it to my daughter. I owe it to [Ridley] Victoria, I owe it to Squeak and John Walt,” she says, referencing Chicago artists who have died in recent years. “I owe it all to these young souls who are not here who couldn’t see those accolades. We can see that purpose being fulfilled, and I owe it to them to not give up on my dreams. So yes, this really is a big part of my transformative process.”

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