This week, TiKA, one of Toronto's most progressive singer-songwriters, released Carry On, a four-track EP based on the foundation of doing just that: pushing on, plugging away, fighting adversity, and learning throughout the process.
Though brief, it's an authentic, emotional piece of work that embodies so many ideas in 16 minutes. And it's personal, too. On the day of release, TiKA published handwritten letters to friends, fam and listeners alike to share the driving concept of the album's content.
The EP begins with "LWY (Life Without You)" featuring Toronto duo, HMLT. It's a soulful, R&B-laden piece that sheds light on love and loss - layered with gorgeous keys, soft percussion and Taylor Wong's graceful vox compliment TiKA's range. Carry On was engineered by HMLT, and it's audible that the EP is collaborative to the core, as TiKA borrows local talent in friendship and sincerity, by highlighting each of their unique elements.
And this flows throughout the album, to one of the lead singles, "OHMYGOD" featuring our faves, Clairmont The Second, with production by Last Gang's young label leader, Harrison. Like a good gospel song, but with contemporary chord progression and lots of funk, it's an uplifting electro-infused track about unwavering faith and persevering through adversity. Clairmont delivers a wicked verse filled with gratitude and praise, while Harrison's keys flow to a bobbing-in-unison beat, making you nod "Amen" in agreement. Preach.
As we move closer into vulnerability, we get to the late night track, "11:21." Not quite midnight, but still left with enough time to mull things over. Not quite a ballad, but just the right amount of downtempo for a smooth transition, TiKA reflects on love, loss, and partnership. The track delves into universal emotions and thoughts, as TiKA softly asks questions with bold honesty.
Gratitude is present in every note on this EP. In the stream's description, it reads, "I thank God for this gift." TiKA has recognized her blessings, and is now sharing with us. The EP closes with the title track in powerful fashion. A testament to her journey, "Carry On" is TiKA's anthem for believing in yourself, sticking to your guns and shining your light. Dedicated to the "Indigos," with big dreams and unique vision, to exclaim, "fuck the haters," be free and "carry on."
TiKA is shining her light. She's glowing in her art. With a raw approach, it's evident that vulnerability is the key to understanding, and by sharing her journey with others, it offers insight and catharsis. We can't wait to see what's next for TiKA on her ever-progressive path.
Catch TiKA, Desire, McCallaman and Sydanie for an exclusive release show on Wednesday, November 2 at the Drake Hotel:
LISTEN TO CARRY ON: