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Buy the CD 'A Brand New Me' online now
is an extraordinarily anointed talent and is also the only
full sister of rock legend Prince. Like
her older brother, she grew up surrounded by music. The
Minneapolis-based artist is the daughter of Jazz singer
Mattie Shaw and accomplished musician John L. Nelson. Growing
up Tyka listened to Mahalia Jackson records and began singing
at the age of 2. She wrote her first song at the ripe old
age of 10. Tyka plays 4 different instruments: piano, guitar,
bass and clarinet but defers, 'I don't consider myself a
musician. I play just well enough to put down my own musical
Leaving her Minneapolis roots
behind, Tyka moved to California to pursue her music career.
There she was guided into music and ministry by a host of
Apostolic Christian friends - one of which was Bethany Church's
late Bishop R.W. McMurray. She studied under his direction
and was soon baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Not
being one to let grass grow under her feet, Tyka moved back
to Minneapolis and continued her musical ambitions.
Tyka signed her first six-figure recording contract in 1986 with
the London-based Cool Tempo / Chrysalis label. 'Marc Anthony's
Tune,' released in 1988, and which Tyka wrote, quickly rose
to the Top 40 Urban Contemporary charts and also became
a summer hit in Holland that same year.
Life for Tyka has taken many
turns, but as the path twisted and bent, Tyka never forgot
the good news that was sown in her heart and happily she
declares, 'All of the streets I have ever walked down have
led back to God.' For the past 13 years, Tyka has written
and recorded gospel music. Rededicating her life to the
word of God, she now shares her message with the world.
Her latest CD 'A Brand New Me' is a 16-song compilation that inspires its listeners. Tyka wrote and sang lead and background vocals, produced, recorded and engineered each song which lifts up the name of Jesus in Tyka's own uncompromising style.
When people have commented if her older brother Prince had anything to
do with the production, Tyka simply admits, 'I sing whatever comes out
and if it sounds like him, I don't know it until someone tells me. Then
I think maybe I should change it, but since it's really me, why? It is
not my intent to sound like anyone else and I have strived to be
original in everything I do. Even though my brother is someone I greatly
love and respect, there can and will be only, one Prince.'
People have also asked why Tyka
is not seeking the help of her brother and she explains,
'If he helps me, then the songs would no longer be my own
artistic expression. And although I could have never asked
for a more wonderfully talented and helpful brother he is
the type that would take over and then my masterpiece would
become his. We already know Prince can make great music
that sells, the question is, can I?' The answer to that
question is yes - yes, Tyka can.
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