My name is Tara Van and I am a Toronto-based singer-songwriter. I started writing little songs when I was the ripe old age of four. Art, music, and songwriting have been constants in my life through all the good and bad. I grew up in a very artistic, eccentric, multi-talented family, comprised of photographers, philosophers, models, actors, singers, visual artists, writers, marketers, musicians and filmmakers. Then there’s me.
I was born somehow missing the rhythm, dancing to my own beat. I had a lust for performance immediately and was always putting on shows and trying to entertain people. I showed aptitude in music and in elementary school performed three original Christmas carols, won the music award, and was selected for a special evening with Bobby McFerrin.
However, I always felt that I was different. Never fully fitting in, I quickly became the target of school bullies. Bullied from Grades 4-8, I became a bit of a shadow self, shying away from everything I loved. I decided to go to Rosedale Heights School of the Performing Arts and found my island of lost toys. There I started to break down some of the walls which I had built.
Bullying has life-long impacts and I found myself jumping from one toxic relationship to the next. With terrible self-worth, I chose partners who made me feel small and criticized me at every turn. Again, I shied away from the spotlight.
I went to the University of Toronto and quickly dropped out. In 2013, I decided to travel to Panama for six months and there my aunt, uncle, and I started writing a musical.
In 2017, I met my first real love and one song from my musical got into the New Musical Festival: From Page2stage in London, England. There I met the woman who would become my music producer, Malory Torr. In 2018, we finally put on a full scale run of Panama: The Musical, which was introduced by the vice president of the country.
Also in 2018, myself and my then-partner Ethan Smith of Union Duke started working on an album together. Sadly, the pandemic struck, wrecking havoc across the world, and everything got put on hold. In 2021, the two of us split and never finished the album that was three years in the works. I lost a love but through it, I found self-love.
In 2021, the seeds of a solo project were planted, and in 2022, Malory Torr and I got into the studio together to start working on my first album, Rise.
2022 was a big year in more than just one way. In July 2022, I discovered that I have ADHD and started making moves towards the complicated process of obtaining a diagnosis. I also came out as pansexual and finally started to embrace my queerness. It was a hard but powerful year of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and freedom.
Now here we are. On Jan 13th, 2023 my first single, “Kicks,” written and performed by me, produced by Malory Torr, and mastered by Patrick Cederberg, was released. My second single, “Back In Love,” is coming out on February 10th, 2023, and my third single, “Rise,” is set for release on March 10th. Rise is set to be released this April.
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