With her new EP "Worth" circulating beautifully Latin dance sensation Taina's notoriety continues to climb. A dual threat performer both singing and dancing Taina has credits which include a milestone performance at the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Her single, Haterz featuring China Mac and Chris Rivers has been charting tremendously for this multi-genre talent. Check out her exclusive interview below
Jason Bourne: You are a trained professional dancer as well as vocalist - which passion would you say Came first?
Taina: Singing definitely came first. I started in a dance school at around 6 years old, but I had a love for music way before that. There is a video somewhere in my house of me singing Whitney Houston at 2 years old.
Jason Bourne: Theater was your major as well correct? How did casting for music videos come about?
Taina: Yes, I was and still am a Dance/ Theater major. Some college acting programs don't let their students audition outside of school for fear of picking up bad habits. Luckily, my college allowed us to audition wherever we'd like; so I went for it. Part of it was my theater and dance background. The other part was that I really wanted to see what it felt like to be on set with an artist. If I got close enough, maybe I could work on my own singing career by picking up tips.
Jason Bourne: Talk to us about the chemistry and working relationship that developed between you and your management team Six Centz?
Taina: We have a great dynamic together. There is total honesty and openness when it comes to myself, Andre, and what we call our "team six". We call each other out when we need to, and we get stuff done by being straightforward. We've become quite the little family.
Jason Bourne: Out the gate you were afforded opportunities to work legends - like on your debut single with Mickey Garcia; did you feel any pressure?
Taina: Of course when you are first starting out there will always be that initial pressure for everything to look, sound, and be perfect. I think what helped me the most was my overwhelming excitement. I was simply so happy that I was finally getting noticed for my singing ability that all my nerves flew out the window.
Jason Bourne: You are accomplished in Latin music as well as pop - where would you say your true passion lies between the two?
Taina: I was performing and teaching Latin dance for a number of years, and I started singing pop music when I was recruited with Six Centz. I have a deep passion for the performing arts in general which is why this question has stumped me on numerous occasions. I love singing, acting, and dance equally. By pursuing my career as an artist I plan to implement all three to push my career forward. This way, I don't have to choose.
Jason Bourne: You have done a lot of shows as well as touring the last 3 years or so; what have been some of the highlights as well as some of the challenges?
Taina: Opening for 80s Freestyle concerts have been a rewarding experience. I was able to perform on platforms like the 5th Avenue Puerto Rican Day Parade where close to a million people were either there or watching on TV. The Central Park Bandshell Breast Cancer walk where about 55,000 people attended and the Glen Helen Amphitheater in California which seats 65,000. One of my bigger challenges is definitely the pressure to prove myself. If not kept in check, I can easily self sabotage my set which is why rehearsal is essential for me. I also had to learn the hard way that trusting people easily is not a smart move in the music industry. I am lucky enough to have my small, trusted group of people that I can rely on no matter what. I can't stress enough how important it is to have that.
Jason Bourne: Your new EP “Worth” has an all-star cast on it. One of the themes that have always been prevalent in your music is woman’s rights and empowerment; how did that principle find its way into the more recent music?
Taina: “Worth" had a strong classic "Girl Power" vibe complete with modesty and being slightly more conservative than I needed to be. I was afraid to push the envelope because I was new. With my newer tracks I feel like I have earned that right to mix it up a little. I am not afraid to curse anymore, and I'm not afraid to talk about more topics as a grown woman. I want to show my audience that I am growing with time.
Jason Bourne: With the melodies and variety that we get in Hip Hop today do you find excitement in doing shows in that genre and collaborating?
Taina: I never like to put myself in a box so I was definitely excited when talk of expanding my genre range came up. The underground NYC hip hop scene is full of talented people, and they have a distinct sound that I've been really feeling lately.
Jason Bourne: Talk to us about the opportunity to collaborate with Chris Rivers
Taina: That guy is amazing! He is a Powerhouse when it comes to lyricism, yet he is approachable and humble. He recorded his feature verse for "Run Away" in one take, and asked ME of all people if it "sounded okay"! I have another song collaboration with him and China Mac called "Haterz," which was just released for all streaming platforms on New Year’s Day. I can't wait to start filming the video!
Jason Bourne: You are highly regarded on the independent scene of the Big Apple - is there any advice u can give to some of the others who are seeking to evolve in their careers?
Taina: Your worst obstacle is yourself. If you're anything like me, keeping that at bay is a day to day challenge. Always keep BOTH insecurities and narcissism in check. That way, you can keep a healthy balance between humility and confidence.