[dropcap]H[/dropcap]er voice spawns with conviction – like dark angels are being released and flourishing into the purity of all things.
It is more than just a song being sung by a beautiful voice; it brings emotion and takes the performer and listener to a mental place where vulnerability is present. All that you were fighting to hide or simply unaware of, appear and in that moment you discover that you can deal and make it through. Most importantly, you are not alone.
As the season six winner of BET’s Sunday Best gospel competition with 1.6 million votes, Tasha Page Lockhart’s talent and testimony is illuminating.
“It’s such a humbling experience because you never forget where you came from and you know … nobody knows you like you. Nobody knows your thoughts and the intent of your heart but God,” she shares via phone. “So when you get into these moments when people are congratulating you on social media and saying ‘Oh my God, you’re my idol’, it’s so humbling. My life has totally changed.”
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]aindrops of Sun
A rainbow is formed when half of the sky is still dark with raining clouds, there are water drops in the air, and the observer is at a spot where clear sky is in the direction of the sun.
Tasha Page Lockhart is a reflection of these measures. Though, these days the light is soaring first-class, behind every success lays a story of struggle and challenge.
The daughter of famed and respected gospel songstress, Lisa Page Brooks, a founding member of Witness and Michael Brooks, a producer and founder of groups Witness and Commissioned and with music and the church running steep in the family lineage, music has surrounded Tasha’s existence since childhood.
Early on, music played background to running wild and a building drug habit in the streets of Detroit. The essence of song was there, but Tasha never thought of it as a tangible career – she was focused on sports and doing her own thing.
“When I was on drugs and in the streets, I was a very selfish person. Members of my family and close family friends molested me from the age of 7 to 14, so I grew up very promiscuous. I didn’t understand that it was wrong. I thought it was normal,” says Tasha. “Mentally, once I understood, ‘ok that was wrong’ I was like in a whirlwind.”
The whirlwind was mixed with feelings of abandonment due to her parents leading a church and pursuing their careers in music, anger caused by a knee injury that cut short aspirations of making it to the WNBA and becoming pregnant at 17 and dropping out of school.
Rebellion parades itself as a taste of paradise and false freedom. It wasn’t that thought of “freedom” that triggered Tasha’s choices during her pre-teen through teenage years. It was the pain that haunted her.
“I was so selfish and I didn’t care. I wanted everyone around me to feel as much pain I had felt all of my life. I would do things out of spite. I was very bitter … an emotional rollercoaster.”
Through it all music was always with her – playing what ever role she placed it in.
“No matter what I was doing or where I was in the country, when I was a part of the gospel group with my mom, turning up before turning up was even poppin’; I always made sure that I was at somebody’s church on Sunday morning singing. I always made sure I kept my foundation and roots in the church, even though I was living crazy; I still found my way to church. That was my center.”
In addition to music being a savior, another change agent in Tasha’s life was her husband, Clifton Lockhart, a musician, and motherhood – though the latter still took a bit of time to get used to because she was in an unhealthy mental state, when the addiction was kicked and love prevailed, an undying love of self resurfaced and redirected Tasha’s life allowing music to crusade to the forefront.
“The more I began to focus and get more involved in my local community and church and withdraw from [the drinking and drugs], once my mind and system was clear and free from all of that stuff, I began to love my child and love myself. I began to allow God to make me be the best Tasha I could be.”
She now offers her testimony through song for a living, which has blessed her with a signed contract with Kirk Franklin’s label Fo Yo Soul Recording under the RCA umbrella, $20, 000 and new ride all complements of winning Sunday Best.
Currently fulfilling performance dates around the world, Tasha is also busy in the studio working on her album in which Kirk Franklin serves as a writer and producer.
She dished, “I am 80 percent done with the album. I have two more songs to do. It’s been an amazing experience. I’ve experienced growth as an artist; [Kirk Franklin] stretched me and challenged me to the max.
She adds, “I just took my time and he coached me through it. He has a great way of helping me get into this mental state to communicate the song. He’s not so much caught up on runs and riffs; he’s more about ‘how are you going to communicate this song to get the listener’s attention?’ You want them to hear what you’re saying.”
Tasha Page Lockhart brings the rhythm of a complicated melody with a story in every note. Past defiance has made her being stronger and her artistry real to the core.
“I’m so motivated and so inspired right now. The momentum is just super high and I’m riding this wave and I don’t know what’s to come. I never want to feel like I’ve made it because I want to be rooted and grounded in humility. I’m open to what God has for me.”
Sometimes it takes going through darkness to gain understanding of your purpose and walk in life. The outcome breeds firmer power. It is then we can illuminate with strength and confidence and discover our own pieces of the rainbow.
Follow Tasha Page Lockhart: @TashaLockhart