What do you get when you combine a half-Black, half-Irish Mom with a Guyanese-Indian Dad? A lovely Pinay woman named Thara, with an even lovelier voice, that’s what.
Blogger Cherez (thanks!) helpfully left a tip on our News Tab which inspired much googling and listening after my very late dinner. I had no expectations as I surfed and contemplated a possible post, but then I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard; this girl can sing. In fact, she can sing well enough that I’ve finally listened* to a Jay Sean joint! The duo collaborated on the single “Murder”.
The second time I hit play on the video above, for Thara’s “Jump on”, I focused on her voice vs. the video. I did that for two reasons:
1) The video doesn’t do the song justice
2) She really does look like one of those Sigma Omicron Pi princesses who inspired all the boys (Filipino or not) to go to MGA Kapatid meetings at Davis.
Hence my “pinay” joke. I know. She’s a quarter white, a quarter black and half-brown, but to me, she looks Asian. In fact, the first time I watched “Jump on”, I nearly jumped, because I swear I used to race this girl (and her white, ’92 GSR) to the last covered parking space across from Freeborn Hall at Davis, every other day. Couldn’t be Thara, though…she was six back in 1993.
If Thara, whose full name is Thara Natalie Prashad, looks familiar, here’s why:
…the savvy singer has done commercials for Verizon, Reebok, Finishline and American Eagle. Additionally, she took on minor roles in Guiding Light and One Life to Live – two daytime soaps – and has appeared in a recent Spike Lee special, Miracleâ€œs Boys.
Musically, the sassy yet classy songster has recorded â€œYou Want Itâ€ and â€œShake It,â€ and has collaborated with John Legend, Fabolous, Joe Budden and Fat Man Scoop.
Thara can also be seen in music videos, from Jay-Zâ€œs â€œExcuse Me Miss,â€ and Fabolousâ€œs â€œMake You Mine,â€ to Sean Paulâ€œs â€œEver Blazin,â€ in which she plays the leading video vixen. [link]
Considering some of the discussions we’ve had on SM over the years, I think some of us might be sympathetic to what Thara went through, while coming out to her parents (as someone who was not going to go to med or law school):
Well, I started at Fordham as a pre-med, bio major with a minor in theater. But I wasnâ€™t happy. So I kind of started doing stuff, and seeing where it was going to take me, and then I got my first production deal with Orange Factory. We started producing my demo, and doing all that stuff, and it just got to be too much. I was kind of doing school, and kind of pursuing music until I said, â€˜I need to be giving 100%.â€™ So I did.â€™…
(Laughs) My parents freaked out. I wrote them a four-paged letter. I wrote it because Iâ€™m an extremely emotional person. I knew that if I tried to talk to them, I wouldnâ€™t be able to express myself clearly. I literally stood in front of them, just reading this letter, tears falling down my face. But it was out there, you know? [Cherez]
Finally, her family “got” it, as she revealed in this excerpt from an interview she did with MoraFire.com:
You recently performed at the Bollywood Awards? How was that?
Thara:â€œYes. Oh my god, that was such a big deal, not so much for everyone else, but for my family! Cause it was the first time that they could get what I was doing. My grandma was able to come and my aunts and uncles and all my cousins. For them the Bollywood Awards were such a big deal because it was with all the stars they watch in their movies â€¦ and for me to perform on the stage with all of them was really big!â€
I must admit (bashfully) that the moment I read that, I wondered what Thara had worn to the event, because I had a flashback of Truth Hurts moaning her way through that awful “addictive” song on-stage, at some similar desi show, while sporting a pair of kundi-cutters which were painful to behold. Whatever. It’s wonderful that Thara’s loved ones support her, despite the fact that she doesn’t “come from a family that’s ever done this.â€
Thara was on DJ Clue’s label, Desert Storm, an honor she shared with Fabolous (holla back young’n, hoooo hoooo!), but according to her MySpace page, she’s no longer with them. I agree with a comment I saw on YouTube, under her “Jump on” video; she sounds just as good as, if not much better than what I’m subjected to when I masochistically turn on my radio (I hate DC stations). If Thara’s music doesn’t catch on, perhaps she should do an MTV reality show; it’s not like Heidi Spencer would have been able to writhe around on the beach in a bikini if she hadn’t been on The Hills. Oh, what passes for talent these days…
*I know a lot of people who think that writing for SM must make us super-brown, but at least in my case, I find that I’m ignorant of a lot of what constitutes “desi culture”. Jay Sean for example– I had never heard a single song of his until tonight. It’s an odd feeling, to be in the middle of the baddest, brownest blog of ‘em all and to not have exposure to what I “theoretically” should know all about…:)