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Meet Sharmond Tanner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharmond Tanner.

Sharmond, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, I got my start in music when I was very little. I was heavily involved in my school and church choir from a young age. I remember going to my aunt at the age of six or seven telling her I wanted to sing a solo in church. She asked me, “Well, can I hear you sing a little bit”? Being the shy little kid that I was, I told her “No, you have to come to church to hear”. She got so mad at me and said, “If you mess up my program, I’m dragging you right off that stage, you hear me”. Luckily, she didn’t have to. I sang my little heart out and from that day forward, I was always asked to sing at each service. From there, I ventured out to other avenues like writing songs, playing the piano, and dancing. I’ve always known what I wanted to be, even as a little kid, and that was to be an entertainer. Similar to Prince, Michael Jackson, and Beyonce, I wanted to show the world my talent and be on stages across the world doing the things that I loved most. However, life has a way of testing your dreams to see how bad you actually want them.

From a young age, I was bullied. I never really wanted to play football or even sports for that matter, I wanted to dance and sing. This led me to be bullied a lot by other kids based off of things that I would later figure out were rooted in societal standards of what people believed a little boy should be doing. That time of my life caused me to doubt myself and my dream. I continued playing the piano but gave up pursuing an actual career in music.

Fast-forwarding to college, I originally went to school for marketing, but by the time I finished up my freshman year, I came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted to pursue a career that I didn’t have a passion for. I remember calling my mom in the middle of the night and letting her know that I now wanted to pursue a career in music. Hesitantly, she told me she would rather see me do something that I’m happy with, rather than living a life with regret. So from there, I changed my major, got back into my music and began creating and recording every song that will be featured on my debut project that will be out sometime next year.

In my last semester of college, I got an internship here in Los Angeles. So my mom and I drove twenty-two hours to the sunny state to begin this new journey of mine. While here, I worked for a PR company, writing press releases, finding new talent, and writing bios. This taught me how to really manage myself as an independent artist. And with everything I’ve learned up until this point, I think I’m ready to finally put it all into my own career.

Has it been a smooth road?
During my sophomore year of college, my mother was laid off from her job, and two years later we lost our house. My mom and I were subsequently homeless. If it wasn’t for friends and family, I’m not sure where I would have been during this time. However, this experience taught me how to be resilient in the time of hardship. Regardless of what went on, my mother always encouraged me to stay in school and keep going. She and I have been through so much together. She is a powerful representation of a strong black single mother. I have so much respect and love for her. It amazes me at the countless sacrifices my mother has made to ensure that I had a stable upbringing.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I am a singer-songwriter that classifies myself mostly as a pop/r&b artist, but my music has a lot of other genre influences. I love experimenting with different sounds. For example, I grew up listening to a lot of alternative rock. Groups like Paramore, The Fray, and Daughtry. They all played a part in my musical development and I feel that you may hear a little of those influences in my music as well. I feel that my writing sets me apart from other artists mostly because of my vulnerability. My writing process always starts with my feelings, I draw from my anger, pain, and joy. However I’m feeling at the moment, I write it down and begin working on crafting it into a song. My goal when writing is to always be true to myself and create something people can relate to. I want to give people a glance into my life. The past, the present, and the future. It all just comes from my heart. My ultimate goal as an artist is to show society that men are multifaceted beings. We are not one dimensional, we are vulnerable, emotional, and sympathetic. We come in so many different shapes and forms and are capable of so many great things despite the rigid box society keeps putting us in.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years?  Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc? 
In the next 5-10 years, I see myself having solidified my place in the music industry by crafting a sound that I feel will be authentic to myself and different from any other artist. I also see myself having released a few more projects, performing on national stages, and hopefully accepting a few awards. However, I don’t see my career just stopping at music. I also see myself dabbling into acting and also I plan on writing my own book one day.

Regardless of any accolades that I may accomplish by this time, my journey will not feel complete until I go back to my home in Louisiana and give back to the city that helped me develop into the artist that I am today. I want to give back by sharing all the encouraging words that got me to where I am today and hopefully inspire someone to reach for their dreams as well.

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Image Credit:

Cameron Blake, Kim Reyes, Bailey Melancon, and Dario Tejada

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