TarsaVena is a talented singer/songwriter releasing her latest album Life is Not Gone and author of Diary of a Hurt & Confused Wife. She has used her personal struggles to help motivate her writings in hope of empowering and helping others along the way. We would like to thank TarsaVena for taking the time to speak with us.
Hallels: How has the reception been for your album Life is Not Gone?
TarsaVena: "The reception for my album has been wonderful. I was really blessed to have a publicist that placed me on several news interviews. From those interviews, I have gotten many shows, radio interviews, and saw an increase in online sells. After going with me to one of television interviews, my journalism and choir students are now like my super fan base. They have been promoting me to other students."
Hallels: You were incredibly open and honest about your personal pain on this record. What made you decide to share the details of broken marriage?
TarsaVena: "There were several reasons I decided to share the details of my life. After going through the separation, it took a while for me to want to go out in public, because I felt like everyone knew and would laugh and talk about me. When God gave me the strength to face the world, I realized that everyone did know. What I found out was a lot of people in my community loved the relationship my husband and I had. They were praying for us. I also found out that there were more women in my community that were going through the same brokenness I went through, and those women did not have the strength I had nor spiritual people in their lives to love them through their situations. Through all of this pain and destruction, God showed me how much He loved me and showed me my purpose. I come from a religious family, which I took for granted. Now, I realize God wanted me to help others through my pain. Also, He wanted me to talk about love, real love, and not that Love of Hip Hop love. Many of my students do not know the true meaning of love. They only know what they see on reality shows. Many of them are hurting and run to the first person who acts like they love them. This is how many of our young girls are persuaded into sex before marriage. Actually, I will be speaking on Love at my school's chapel services on Thursday."
Hallels: Do you feel being so open has helped you connect with your fans more?
TarsaVena: "I do feel that being open has helped me connect with my fans, family, friends, and more. God sent me through a series of tests, so I can have several testimonies. It is funny. When I was little, my brothers and I would to make fun of people in church that would stand up and give testimonies. Now, I am sharing my testimony of faith, strength, and love. Yet, God has given me a platform where I can give this testimony in places other than church. I always felt it was important that churches should reach outside the doors of the churches to help others see the love of Jesus. Many "sinners" say that do not go to church because they feel they will be judged. God has given me the ability to touch those who are not willing to go to church. Also, He has given me the ability to replenish the hearts of those who know Him but are broken. Through my testimonies, many of my listeners have told me how they were able to see through their tears. They were able to understand. I place my real telephone number on my CDs. Many people have called, and we have cried together."
Hallels: What is your favorite song on the new album?
TarsaVena: "Actually, I am working on a new album, Loving God, Myself & My Family. I already have some favorites on that one. My favorite songs on Life is Not Gone are I'm Calling, Like You, and Take Care of My Heart. I'm Calling is a song that speaks on calling on the name of Jesus when you are going through a storm, which is something that everyone goes through several times in their life. Like You is a song with a hip hop twist. Take Care of my Heart is a gospel love song. It is a song presented to a future mate, and it is asking will he take care of my heart like God does. Truthfully, I love all my songs, but these songs really touch me."
Hallels: If you could collaborate with one Secular Artist and one Christian Artist, who would you choose?
TarsaVena: "Actually, I am doing a collaboration with a secular artist on my new album. I do not view the artist as a famous secular artist, because he started in the church. Plus, his music is very family oriented. I would love to "let the cat of the bag," but I want it to be a surprise. As far as the Christian artist, I would love to do a collaboration with is the Clark Sisters. Their mother, Mattie Moss Clark, was from Selma, Alabama, which is where I grew up. I would be an honor to collaborate with these talent, spiritual ladies."
Hallels: Do you have a current scripture that has been speaking to you? If not, what are some personal favorite verses of yours?
TarsaVena: "Wow. Being a minister's daughter, my father has spoken so many to me, especially when he felt like I was going through something. Hebrews 6:17-20 stands out to me because it lets me know that God does not lie. Everything He said will come to pass. We must rely on His word to give use security through our storms that He will be by our sides, guidance through our storms that He will lead us through the best path if we allow Him, strength through our storms, and more. I have grown to know that God wants the best for us, but we have to be willing to allow God to give us the best."
Hallels: Over your career, you have switched from more R&B to inspirational music, what were the reasons for the change?
TarsaVena: "I actually call my music inspirational because it consists of life issues. The change came from God showing me it was time. It was told to my husband and me that we had a great ministry together in music. Through this broken marriage, I see that God wanted me to come back to singing about His love. As I stated early, so many people are losing the site of real love through reality television. Many children do not have the privilege as many of us did of having loving, two parent homes. All I see is hurt and despair in the faces of my students. After I went through my trials, I knew that singing about God's love was what He needed me to do."
Hallels: What are your touring plans for this Summer 2014?
TarsaVena: "I am performing at many city and county festivals, weddings, and churches. I have been approached by many social clubs to talk about my marital issues, to tell how I made it through, and to perform. I am calling my Summer 2014 touring plans, The I'm Calling on Your Name Tour. On several of these performances, Herve Owens, a comedian, E & B Mimes, and my background singers will be performing with me. I am really looking forward to performing at the dates I have booked and booking more dates."