We love nzgirl and Opensouls diva Tyra Hammond! This year has been a busy one for this gorgeous girl. Not only is she full on with Opensouls, but she’s also recently returned from a promo trip to London, New York and L.A with Scribe for their wicked single, ‘Say It Again’, which was released earlier this year.
Since August here at nzgirl is all about empowering, engaging and activating yourself, we decided to find out what inspires and motivates Tyra to be an Actionista!
Who do you look up to?
Musically, definitely Sharon Jones, Alice Russell and Beyonce. I love her. In general I have to say the boys in Opensouls are also like my role models. My cousins Malo(Scribe) and Ladi 6. Also my aunties and cousins. My whole family is quite musical.
If you were prime minister for a day – what would you change?
I would focus more on Women’s Refuge issues. I just feel like they’re not really addressed here in New Zealand. There is still a lot of abuse in homes that no one really focuses on – everyone focuses more on the economy.
What causes are you passionate about?
I’m really big about the Women’s Refuge. I also think we don’t focus enough on stamping out Class A drugs, which is turning in to quite a big issue.
What achievements are you most proud of?
The fact that Opensouls recorded and released our own album, and that it actually sold! I was like we’ll be lucky if we sell it to 50 people, but so far we’ve sold just over four thousand copies! That’s really awesome for a band that’s independent and not really in the public eye.
I’ve been really lucky that in the last year I haven’t had to take up any other work apart from music. Of course there’s the week s of struggle, but for the last year I’ve been playing my rent through my gigs. That to me is the best thing you can achieve. People always talk about how they want to live their life like their dream – that’s what I’m doing. I get paid to travel and do what I love.
What drives you to succeed?
I just feel like I’m really lucky to be doing music – it’s that passion that I have for music that really drives me.
How do you feel about being a role model?
I don’t really think of myself as a role model, I just try and lead by example in my life. Guess it helps having a strong mother like Beth Heke to help make sure that I know what kind of life I want and don’t want (laughs).
What are the main issues you think we face these days as nzgirls?
Of course there’s always that number one issue – finding good paying jobs that keep us happy and motivated.
One piece of advice you wish you knew when you were younger?
Don’t eat too much junk food because it catches up with you in your twenties (laughs). No, seriously it would be that life’s not as bad as it seems. At the time it hurts and is painful, but know that after a low there’s always a high.
What do you hope people get out of your music?
Want more Tyra action? Check her out live with the rest of the fabulous Opensouls crew at the Red Bull Soundclash on Friday August 22, as they duke it out against Elemeno P! Mark it in your diary – it’s sure to be a wicked night out. Tickets are available from Real Groovy and Ticketmaster…
VENUE: Shed 2, Halsey St, Viaduct Habour.
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