GreenTaRA

GreenTaRA

 Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN
SoloR&BSinger/Songwriter

Armed with a rare voice, a red guitar and bass-heavy beats, GreenTaRA launches "sonic-shrapnel bombs of positivity."

Biography

As a soloist or front woman for her trio, GreenTaRA delivers sassy, jazz-laced lyrics over funk and reggae riffs as diverse as her heritage. 

Described by tastemakers as a cocktail of "equal parts Ursula Rucker, N'Dea Davenport and Bahamadia," GreenTaRA serves modern soul music with spicy lyrics and a refreshing taste of reality.

Heard across her home country of Canada, she has toured through North America - from Austin to Miami to NYC - France, Germany and the UK, releasing albums internationally from Canada to Japan.

Named "Best of the Fest" at the Austin Woman's Film, Music & Literary Festival and listed among the top buzz bands at Canadian Music Week, GreenTaRA's latest recording, Global Baby, garnered a Western Canadian Music Award nomination for Outstanding Urban Recording.

She has shared the bill with Spearhead's Michael Franti, K-os, K'naan, Kelis, Bahamadia, Ursula Rucker and Big Sugar among others, and has warmed crowds for acts ranging from the legendary De La Soul to Little Richard.

Prior to her current projects, GreenTaRA led the Florida-based band Honeyspot with David Pastorius, an 8-piece acid-jazz group called Off the Record, and female-fronted hip hop ensemble Triple 3 in Vancouver. 


Lyrics

Life Can Be Sweeter

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

Chorus:
Oh, oh, oh, you better believe it
Life can be sweeter - sweetened
Oh, oh, oh, are you ready to ride it
Got to get inside it - life

Verse 1:
I been workin all my life to make it better
I been searchin' for paradise,
I been through some stormy weather
And I refuse to change the way
that I see fit for livin'
I'd be a fool to be excused for what I have been given

Chorus Repeat

Verse 2:
I will be all that I choose to be
I can be anything
Been stopped short, laid up, held back
Smacked down and got right back up again
I got a recipe for life, the spice is in the makin'
I can't help but get caught up in your conversation

Chorus

Bridge:
There’s a light it’s in sight at the tunnel’s end
Lay down the bags and keep shufflin’
Don’t stop if it feels like you’re strugglin’
The sweetest victories of all are the toughest wins
You’re only limit is your mind’s eye
Break the locks, eat, sleep and breathe outside the box
Make the best of the gifts that you’ve got
Don’t listen to the way that they talk
Cuz if you want what you can’t have so forget it
But if you know what you want I say you can get it
And if you know who you are I say you can bet it
Stay true to yourself you’ll be copasetic
Keep your eyes on the prize never be indebted
It’s easy to trip easy to slip give me a little credit
Put the pedal to the medal never settle
Make it sweet cuz the milk and the honey are within reach

Chorus

Figure It Out

Written By: TN.Donald/C.Onyejikwe

We are gonna figure it out this time / If we just keep on tryin, oh baby we’ll be fine /
We are gonna figure it out this time / I’ll lay it on the line, you’re always on my mind /

From the day I met you, you were no good for me /
I was no good for you, it all comes down to chemistry /
I remember the time when, no one ever could fool me /
You said goodbye and then turned right round and skooled me /

We are gonna figure it out this time / I’m here for you all right, just keep on holdin tight /
We are gonna figure it out this time / And if you treat me right, I’ll keep you up all night /

We been back and forth for years, I been run through all my gears /
But the way you love me baby, I just can’t stay away /
Know we had our problems, but together we solved ‘em /
That’s why I’m running back, running back today /

We are gonna figure it out this time / If we just keep on tryin, oh baby we’ll be fine /
We are gonna figure it out this time / I’ll lay it on the line, you’re always on my mind /

Real love needs give and take and everyone in love gonna make mistakes and / Look at me what I strive to be Cascade tryin to figure out my destiny see / You and me so heavenly roll hard like the waves in the stormy sea / I’m beach-wrecked but I need respect make sparks in the heart when we do connect, yeah / I’ll try to open my eyes, I’m rollin the dice, we’re closing the blinds I’m tired of wastin my time / I’m almost certain that things will be fine but til then mistakes gotta mend / I just can’t pretend, we just gotta blend so come now we just start again / Keep on walking the path with no end /

We are gonna figure it out this time / I’m here for you all right, just keep on holdin tight /
We are gonna figure it out this time / And if you treat me right, I’ll keep you up all night /

Never remember my birthday, never our anniversary /
But the way you love me baby, I just can’t stay away /
Though we had our problems, together we solved ‘em /
That’s why I’m running back, running back to you today /

We are gonna figure it out this time / If we just keep on tryin, oh baby we’ll be fine /
We are gonna figure it out this time / I’ll lay it on the line, you’re always on my mind /
We are gonna figure it out this time / I’m here for you all right, just keep on holdin tight /
We are gonna figure it out this time / And if you treat me right, I’ll keep you up all night /

Still Can't Live (Without You)

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

Ooh woah woah oh / (X3)
These are the days of brazen sunlight /
Fading hard on those sleepless nights /
It’s my right to tell you so /
It’s my fight to let you go /
And I still can’t live without you /
Ooh woah woah oh / Without you /
I won’t survive without you /
Ooh woah woah oh / Without You

Don’t be afraid when you talk to me /
But please forgive me if I’m emotion free /
You’re outa my life and right back in /
How can I let you forget me again?
And it’s my right to tell you so /
It’s my fight to let you go /
Hold on tight and don’t ask why /
It’s alright, I’m gonna let you try /
And if only for tonight, I can’t live without ya /
No, I still can’t live without you /
Ooh woah woah oh / Without you /
No woah woah oh / Without you /
Ooh woah woah oh / Without you /

I rationalize my life with metaphors /
But even with the power of words what’s it for?
Will I ever be satisfied? Will you ever by my side?
And it’s my right to tell you so /
It’s my fight to let you go /
Hold on tight, don’t ask why /
It’s alright, I’m gonna let you try /
And if only for tonight, I can’t live without ya /
No, I still can’t live without you /
Ooh woah woah oh / Without you /
I can’t survive without ya / Without you /
Ooh woah woah oh / Without you /

I can’t get by without you /
I won’t survive without you /
I can’t get by without you in my life by my side /
No I still can’t live, I can’t live without you /
Ooh woah woah woah / Without you /
No woah woah oh oh oh oh oh / Without you /
No I still can’t live, I can’t live without you /

Get Up

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

Get Up!
Gotta get up to get down you gotta get up
Gotta get up to get down down down
Gotta get up to get down you gotta get up
Gotta get up to get - down

I ain’t in no hurry
The good things they take time
I ain’t got no cause to worry in my mind
I know our love is like a jury
You gotta prove without a doubt
When things get tough
You gonna stay and work it out
Hold on tight / Hold on tight to me
Feels so right / Feels so right to me

Gotta get up to get down you gotta get up
Gotta get up to get down down down
Gotta get up to get down you gotta get up
Gotta get up to get - down

Little steps are easy
You gotta make each one worth while
When you’re looking back to see
You’ve walked more than a mile
So when you get your chance
To stand up for romance
Do what you know is right and
State your case and take your stand
Hold on tight / Hold on tight to me
Feels so right / Feels so right to me

Gotta get up to get down you gotta get up
Gotta get up to get down down down
Gotta get up to get down you gotta get up
Gotta get up to get - down (X2)
Hold on tight to me / Feels so right to be

Ain’t no time for bizness
Ain’t no coin or change
But you can bet that we gonna get
Our shine on in this place
Ain’t no time for dissin
Ain’t no droppin names
But you can bet that we gonna get
Uplifted all the way
(X2 with ad-libs)

Gotta get up to get down you gotta get up
Gotta get up to get down down down
Gotta get up to get down you gotta get up
Gotta get up to get - down (X2)

Oh, Feels so right to me
Just hold on tight to me, oh tight to me
Feels so, feels so good to be
Hold on tight, hold on tight
Hold on tight to me

Doin' It

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Been doin’ it like this my whole damn life
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it like this - all night
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right

Wicked world
Sensuous dreams of the miracle that
Ceases to be in the wonder of it all
Wicked world
We can survive the storm
Alone and aloof we are strong
A penny for your thoughts
Nickel for a bag
Quarter for a piece of your precious time

Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Been doin’ it like this my whole damn life
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it like this - all night
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right

Doin’ it wrong or doin it right?
Sax & Scratch Solo

Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Been doin’ it like this my whole damn life
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it like this - all night
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right

My indiscretions
Impressions of the oppressed
To be blessed is my intention
Obsessed with what I’m given
This mess – a test
A request to beat the sins of livin
God bless my stress
Life without strife / It ain’t really livin
Hope tryin to cope is the advice I’m giving
Happiness – a state of total bliss
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to this

Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Been doin’ it like this my whole damn life
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it like this - all night
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right

Doin’ it wrong or doin it right?
Sax & Scratch Solo

Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Been doin’ it like this my whole damn life
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it like this - all night
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right
Doin’ it wrong, doin’ it right

Not Far

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

I’m an average woman in my abnormality
That’s why the wonders of the world
Are no mystery
My hedonistic ways lead me to my goals
As my DNA has told / Not Far
Perfection’s never far
From where you came from
You are a child until you die / Not Far
Why seek protection
From the things you have done?
If there’s a reason in your crimes

Ba dup bup bup bup ba da…

My geneology reflects my fate
I’m trying to achieve an altered state
In which profound confusion is not near
And modest inspiration
Honesty appear / Not Far
Perfection’s never far
From where you came from
You are a child until you die / Not Far
Why seek protection
From the things you have done?
If there’s a reason in your crimes

Ba dup bup bup bup ba da…

My mother used to sing and play guitar
Father was an African
Slave to his own heart
How many times? 1973
Gave me life and my identity / Not Far
Perfection’s never far
From where you came from
You are a child until you die / Not Far
Why seek protection
From the things you have done?
If there’s a reason / Not Far
Perfection’s never far
From where you came from
You are a child until you die / Not Far
Why seek protection
From the things you have done?

If there’s a reason in your crimes
Ba dup bup bup ba da…
If there’s a reason in your crimes
Ba dup bup bup ba da…

All the Same

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

So many years gone by since
I left you in the aftermath of red
Ain’t got the feelings left no more
To tell you what I never said
It don’t make a difference anyhow
I’m free from the emotional hell
You spread a web of wrong insights
Enough to put my head on ice
You said you never deserved me
I should’ve known
You were bound to hurt me

All the Same
No matter what’s your name
If I don’t like how you play
I’m gonna sit this one out cuz
I ain't searchin for fame
All the same
No matter what’s your game
If I don’t like how you act
I’ll tell you matter of fact
You know I ain’t playin

No I ain’t no no
Have you ever taken a one-way ride
From the highest of heights
To the end of the evening
Giving in to getting more outa life
Opening doors and keep on breathin in
Breathin out

I dream of a Sovereign Nation
A holy place where
People can relate as One
Free from the bonds we’ve made
Let’s celebrate our reasons to move on
A war is a war / A lie is a lie
And there just ain’t a way to justify
You gotta look within instead of without

We’re all the same
No matter what’s your name
If I don’t like how you play
I’m gonna sit this one out cuz
I ain’t searchin for fame
All the same
No matter what’s your game
If I don’t like how you act
Well matter of fact
You know I ain’t playin

No I ain’t no no
Have you ever taken a one-way ride
From the highest of heights
To the end of an evening
Giving in to getting more outa life
Opening doors and keep on breathing
Losing time I’m losin my mind
And there ain’t any other way
To say it its easy / Believe me
If you understand what I’m sayin

We’re all the same
No matter what’s your name
If I don’t like how you play
I’m gonna sit this one out cuz
I ain’t searchin for fame
All the same
No matter what’s your game
If I don’t like how you act
I’ll tell you matter of fact
You know I ain’t playin

Break Out (the Zoo II)

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald/Kia Kadiri

Infinite number of monkeys theory…

As a primate I am forward-steppin bi-pedal motion
I'm walkin the earth swimming the ocean
Can you relate to me? My manifesto
Behold it's my soliloquay on moral injustice
We gotta discuss this - we gotta beware
Be aware like a bird of prey
Keep your eyes fixed - get your mind in the mix
Don't be lookin the wrong way
Now if you flatter yourself you scatter yourself thin
Wake up to yourself - fight your battles within
Put your feet up - take a load off
Slip your coat off – c’mon just step outa the ring
And though I prefer the finer side of things in life
That don't mean I'm going under the knife
Plastic surgery seems absurd to me
The doctors keep hackin - the bank account$ stackin

We got to break out - break out / Gotta break outa the zoo
We got to break out - break out / Gotta break outa the zoo
We got to break out - break out / Gotta break outa the zoo
We got to break out of the zoo / Gotta break outa the zoo

Wake up with make-up what the sign in the window says
Straight outa bed but my eyes never lookin red
It makes no sense what ladies do for convenience
What’s relevant is twisted by laws that are too lenient
And the media propels what sells all that matters
A generation fueled by lies while truth is scattered
Like mice in a maze we get injected not protected
By diseases of the future and we wonder why life’s hectic
Chromosomes get twisted turning people into projects
No longer just apartments for the poor where is the logic yo
I gotta laugh cuz shit is outa control
Too many people locked out and it’s killin my soul yo
We need to break out of the zoo like the animals do
Procreate the earth and yeah I’m talking to you

We got to break out - break out / Gotta break outa the zoo
We got to break out - break out / Gotta break outa the zoo
We got to break out - break out / Gotta break outa the zoo
We got to break out of the zoo / Gotta break outa the zoo

Like a plague negativity becomes an epidemic
Play it safe and avoid being infected
Whatever animal - mammal - marsupial - stay protected
Like Noah's Ark, we gotta pair of every species
Waitin for the flood to start, you don't believe me?
Didn't you read the scriptures? Nah - I saw the movie starring
Charlton Heston cuz I like the pictures / Say what?
I been cloned, I'm seein two of me
Ready prepared for the new gene therapy
My chromosomes have been genetically modified
Freshly squeezed - surgically spliced
I don't know - like old Saint Nick I'm makin a list
I patent patterns of my DNA - I know the copyright's mine
I battle Darwin's theory stayin stable over time

We got to break out - break out / Gotta break outa the zoo
We got to break out - break out / Gotta break outa the zoo
We got to break out - break out / It’s like a zoo in here
Gotta break outa the zoo / We got to break out of the zoo
It’s like a zoo in here / Gotta break outa the zoo

Communication Altar

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

I was meditating on you
What you gonna do about it?
Staring through me with those eyes
Vision 20/20 and connecting
Through the line in your house
What you gonna do about it?
Like a stranger in your mouth
What you gonna do
To get the words out right?

Oh oh we may be
Far from each other
Communication altar
Is bringing us together, oh
Oh oh we may be
Far from the answer
Always moving closer
To the here and after, oh oh

When you hide me deep inside
What am I gonna do about it?
No more reasons left to hide
What am I gonna do to ease
This worried heavy mind?
What am I gonna do about it?
Receive this invitation to turn the
Page and read it one last time

Oh oh we may be
Far from each other
Communication altar
Is bringing us together, oh
Oh oh we may be
Far from the answer
But always moving closer
To the here and after, oh oh

Tell me –
What you gonna do
About it this time?
What you gonna do about it
Oh, today yeah
What you gonna do
About it this time?
If you don’t get your way?

Metaphysical high
On another level
Let your body rewind
Like a soul rebel
Look into the divine
When you feel the struggle
Communicate your mind
Do it on the double
Inhibition dissolves
If ya make it hotter
Resolution find me
When I’m at my altar
Premonition evolved
Now I know the answer
Let your life desire
Be all that matters

Oh oh we may be
Far from each other
Communication altar
Is bringing us together
Oh oh we may be
Far from the answer
But always coming closer
To the here and after, oh oh

Oh oh oh –
What you gonna do
About it this time?
What you gonna do about it
Oh, today yeah
What you gonna do
About it this time?
If you don’t get your way?

Metaphysical high
Let your body rewind
Look into the divine
Communicate your mind

Controller

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

Sittin at the depot
Waitin on that train
The freedom railroad
Coming round again
From the heat down south
Headed northern way / Born a slave
It ain’t easy and nothing comes for free
I know my Queendom is waiting for me

Controller - You don’t know me oh no
Controller - You don’t own me no more
Controller - You won’t show me oh no
Controller - You don’t control me

Spent my days-a-working
Spent my nights awake
Ain’t no turning back now
Life begins today
Just like Harriet Tubman
In 1838 / I’m on my way
It ain’t easy and nothing comes for free
I know my Queendom is waiting for me

Controller - You don’t know me oh no
Controller - You don’t own me no more
Controller - You won’t show me no no
Controller - You won’t control me no

Ain’t no catchers coming
Round here since last fall
Cousin shot the last one
Up there on that hill
Right between the eyes
Just one shot sufficed / So they say
It ain’t easy and nothing comes for free
I know my Queendom is waiting for me
Keep on livin positively / Cuz Freedom
It just don’t come for some oh no no no

Controller - You don’t know me oh no
Controller - You don’t own me no more
Controller - You won’t show me no no no
Controller - You don’t control me
Controller - From the days of colonization
Controller – Liberation
Controller - From the days of colonization
Controller – We fight for Liberation

From the Moment We Drop

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald/Chi Turner

From the moment we drop
From the moment we drop
From the moment we drop from the womb
We’re headed towards the tomb, boy (X2)

Some people know love
They know it takes time
Some people refuse love
Because it hurts inside
But if you don’t use love
Oh, you’re living inside a bubble

From the moment we drop
From the moment we drop
From the moment we drop from the womb
We’re headed towards the tomb, boy (X2)

We could live and die
By the pen or the sword
Cut for blood or with words and still
Still we don’t do this
Never knowing why
For the good of the cause
Or for pain or applause
We’ve got the right to choose
And still we don’t use this

From the moment we drop
From the moment we drop
From the moment we drop from the womb
We’re headed towards the tomb, boy (X2)

Living inside a bubble
Oh-oh-woah
(X4 with ad-libs)

From the moment we drop
From the moment we drop
From the moment we drop from the womb
We’re headed towards the tomb, boy (X2)

Who

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

I had a psychic experience telling me
One day it would come to this and that
Don’t tell me where it’s at
I’m already there - already there
Earthquake emanating from my heart
Give me shivers until the tremors stop
Don’t stop grooving on your body talk
Improving the aftershock
Give me all you got

Take my spirit sailing on the colour
Sailing on the colour of the sea
So blue your eyes so green
Like a foreign sea

Could’ve been all the high force hurricanes
Could’ve been all the booze on my brain
That put the rhythm right into my veins
And when I hear the rain in my head
I think of who can read my thoughts
Before I speak I put a message - out
Send one back to me
Everyday I’m playin with reality
The only way I know how be
Is gonna set me free

Take my spirit sailing on the colour
Sailing on the colour of the sea
So blue your eyes so green
Like a foreign sea

Listen to the particulars of my plight
I got a view in my head I can’t see it right
Lay alone at home each and every night
Dreamin of you I think I’m gonna lose my
Mind over matter works every time
Think you got a problem
Try to deal with mine
Don’t know what to do with my blues
And so I’m leavin it up to you
To get the message through

Take my spirit sailing on the colour
Sailing on the colour of the sea
So blue your eyes so green
Like a foreign sea
Sailing on the colour of those eyes
Oh oh oh

Revolution Time

Written By: Tara Nicole Donald

I keep believing – ooh, yeah
I know those footprints
Always walking in a straight line
I hear those voices
Stolen conversations in my mind
I know you’re out there
Just waiting to be free
Like me, like me

Oh / I keep believing
It’s revolution time
Oh / My body’s weak and
I know I’m still alive
Oh / Gonna keep receiving
This message, it won’t die
Oh / History repeating – no lie

I’ve seen it coming
Four centuries or more
Why are people dying
Time and time again
For a senseless war?
Gonna keep on marching
Onward to a higher plane
And I know, I know it’s not in vain

Oh / I keep believing
It’s revolution time
Oh / My body’s weak and
I know I’m still alive
Oh / Gonna keep receiving
This message, it won’t die
Oh / History repeating – no lie

Oh / I keep believing
It’s revolution time
Oh / My body’s weak and
I know I’m still alive
Oh / Gonna keep receiving
This message, it won’t die
Oh / History repeating – no lie
(X2)

Discography

Music Against Racism (Music BC, CD: 2008)
Sounds of Sistahood (Working Arts Society, CD: 2008)
Any Random Six (M.A.L.I., CD: 2008)
Global Baby (Easy Bake/GTM, CD: 2007)
Rhymekeepers (Native Earth, CD/LP: 2007)
Grrrls With Guitars Volume 3 (Maximum/Universal, CD: 2005)
Music for a Mixed Nation (Easy Bake/GTM, CD/LP: 2004)
Hands Up (Kia Kadiri, Maximum/Universal: 2004)
Le Concert au Bar Basque (GreenTaRA Music, CD: 2002)
GreenTaRA (GreenTaRA Music, EP: 2001)
Acoustic Trax (GreenTaRA Music, EP: 2000)
Off the Record (GreenTaRA Music, EP: 1999)
Live in Key West (Honeyspot, CD: 1998)
Spread (Honeyspot, CD: 1996)

Set List

Original songs:
Life Can Be Sweeter
Figure It Out
All the Same
Get Up
Revolution Time
From the Moment We Drop
Who

The Zoo
Still Can't Live (Without You)
Controller
Doin' It
Communication Altar
Not Far
Perception
Sexual Reality

Babylon Bye-Bye
The Cycle
Deadly Til U Die
Revolution of the Senses
Border Crossings
Freaking Out
Time and Space
The Frontline

Sample of covers:
Video (India.Arie)
Apple Tree (Erykah Badu)
Zion (Lauryn Hill)
Golden (Jill Scott)
Summertime (Ira Gershwin)

Sets are approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour long, with one, two or three sets, depending on the venue.