CONCERT REVIEW – Tinashe and Taya Marquis at Tattoo Queen West


It’s been quite a buzzing year for the L.A. singer Tinashe. After taking her career to new heights with her single, “2 On” earlier this year, the singer-songwriter has garnered herself a loving fanbase and earned herself spots on tracks with Usher, Calvin Harris, Nick Jonas, DJ Mustard, and a feature song on the recently released Hunger Games soundtrack.


With the success of her debut album, Aquarius, the singer decides to take her talents on the road for her North American tour. After travelling to L.A, Rochester, and Detroit , the songbird’s next stop-over was in the snowy city of Toronto.


Setting the mood for the upcoming acts was DJ Kicks on the one’s and two’s. The DJ, along with his hype man, mixed and transitioned into tracks, which had the crowd fuelled up. The set was quite impressive. Bravo to rising DJ.


Before the main event, Canadian singer Taya Marquis hit the stage to showcase her talents to the eager fans. To lay down some background, the young singer grew up in Mississauga and can be dubbed as a “hidden gem.” She moved down to L.A. to pursue her dreams in music and worked with platinum selling artists like Ke$ha [“A La Discotheque”] and songwriters like Robert Allen [Rihanna‘s “Disturbia” and Chris Brown‘s “Forever”]. She even wrote the theme song for Sony’s video game “The Agency”, which earned her a nomination for Best Original Song in Video Game back in 09. Since then she has returned back to the city of Toronto to work on her herself and her brand as an artist with assistance from the Metal Works Institute.



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To start things off, Taya performed a solo cut, which immediately caught the crowd’s attention. It’s a rare to see artists who could capture the crowd in an instant. Her empowering yet flavorful vocals and melody of the song was quite the sight to see. Moving to her next song, she placed a sturdy chair on the stage and made a move to pull a man out of the crowd, which had everyone’s eyebrows raised in anticipation. She performed her seductive single called, “Obsession“, which showcased her dance moves with the young gentlemen, who turned out to be one of her dancers. Touché, Taya Marquis!


She then rallied the rest of dancers for her bouncy single, “Fiesta“, which earned her cheers from the crowd. From what I’ve gathered, she’s been making all the right moves. She’s talented, there’s no doubt about that. If she keeps her consistency and appearances going, I have no doubts, she will definitely be the talk of the town.


Recently, Taya has been gearing up for her own EP. To bring in the buzz, she decided to release the official visuals to “Obsession”, which was directed by 8 Figure Productions. Her single can be purchased via iTunes.






While walking around, I bumped into Toronto’s hitmaker Boi-1da, who was in attendance to watch the show. The humble producer has been behind numerous tracks from Eminem‘s “Not Afraid” to a few notable Tinashe tracks and his most recent release, “Schemin Up” with OB O’Brien, Drake & P. Reign.






With the mood set and the vibe right, Tinashe steps to the stage rocking a bedazzled Kanye-esque face mask as she performed her Boi-1da produced cut, “Vulnerable“. The crowd roared and the room lit up with cameras at the sight of her. The one thing you can immediately take away from her performance was her passion – the way she looked into the crowd, how she clutched the mic, the way she closed her eyes and sang. It really resonated even after the show was complete.


She performed tracks like, “Bet On It,” which she named as her next single; the title track for her album “Aquarius,” and “Cold Sweat,” which reminisces on those who doubted her success. It is also another track produced by Boi-1da. Between songs, the L.A. singer would be joined by her dancers or let her dancers take the stage to show off some wild moves. Personally, the dance interludes were a great touch to the performance. Nowadays, it’s common practice among artists to start and finish a performance with a generic run-through of their songs. It’s great to see someone throw curve ball once in a while.






Nearing the conclusion of the show, Tinashe decided to take it back to her mixtape release days and share some unofficial releases such as her Nic-Nac produced cut, “Watch Me Work”, which had her seductively rolling her waist and her Calvin Harris produced track “Dollar Signs” which led to her dancers raining confetti into the crowd. With fans hung-strung and fired up, the young singer decided it was time to performance her more well-known singles. She made a move and sang her very so popular “Pretend” and her chart-topping DJ Mustard single “2 On“, which has fans chanting every words of the song.



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On stage, Tinashe’s ambiance is all about the sex appeal, but off-stage she works above and beyond. Since the age of 4, she’s been working on her music career. She started off as part of a teen pop group, The Stunners, which didn’t take off as expected. With that, she turned her attention to writing, producing and singing her own material.


She self-released three highly acclaimed mixtapes, which was produced in her bedroom studio, along with three track which currently live on her debut studio album, Aquarius. Because of this, she was able to attract a fan-base and catch the attention of executives from RCA Records, who immediately signed her. Since then, she’s been studio hopping with notable producers like Boi-1da, Staurt Matthewman, Dev Hynes, Evian Christ, DJ Dahi and StarGate to help establish her goals and vision. To say the least, Tinashe has come a long way. The story of her come-up should set the stage on the effort and energy she puts into what she’s given. It goes without saying that it was very evident in today’s performance. She gave us the whole nine-yards with a raw and passionate vocal performance to fun and entertaining dance interludes. It felt satisfying.


The ‘Aquarius’ tour will continue to New York, Washington, Baltimore and Orlando before heading overseas to Australia and New Zealand. For those who want a bang for their buck or want to experience a flawless concert experience. Make sure you head over to Live Nation for tickets.


P.S. –  *Royce Da 5’9 voice* HI, TINASHE……BYE TINASHE


All photos were taken by Jonathan Joseph.



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