The Southern singer-songwriter Tanya Gallagher has a great past, challenging herself with the right education, and work experience but also live music performances, which were, at the beginning, a way to express herself, and also for paying her own obligations later on.
She is a Florida native where, near the Golf Coast, she started her studies in environmental science but when NASA accepted her, as a summer intern, she couldn’t resist their proposition, and without any delay, she went to Norfolk, Virginia (where the job was based) and started her life from the beginning. During that time in Norfolk, she used to perform in a restaurant called The Pagoda in her free time and felt generally comfortable and cozy with her life there.
When the summer was over, she moved back to her home town in Florida, where she continued her music journey, performing across the state to help her parents pay for her Master’s Degree. She was and still is close to her family and wanted to help them, so while contributing to the family’s budget that way, she also had the opportunity once again to flourish her music resume and expand her music experience further.
During that time, her university adviser asked her if she could take his place in a study he did for the Science of Tree Rings in Virginia, so it was her second time of moving to Virginia for a little while, and this time, it was a more mature decision. She mixed work and music performances, making her time worth spending by also playing to some gigs in the greater area there.
When the following Spring arrived, she decided to take a year off her studies and just have time to develop her music further. It was the right timing for her because by listening to her friends inviting her to a festival in Virginia she had a really meaningful and exciting time, and that was when her music career began to take off.
In 2013, she had already released a debut album titled Oh My Love and it was full of romantic, organic, folk sounds, and by having very sentimental lyrics, a velvety voice and a more soulful approach to her music, she already had the music wisdom she needed to definitely move forward in the music industry. Her dreams were just starting to become true and she had also expanded her fanbase.
Later that year, she decided to start her PhD in Landscape Ecology in Vancouver, so she left Pensacola and moved to Canada. At the beginning, she didn’t have many acquaintances there, so she focused on her studies and also on her music, having time to write some lyrics and melodies that soon became songs so she once again had creativity in her life.
As time passed, she found her first really good friend there and spend most of her time with him. His name was Brendon Hoffman and eventually he became the producer for her Virginia EP that is going to be released in September 30.
In fact, around that time, she and Hoffman recorded all the songs on this latest record in his living room! But it wasn’t until she revisited her family for Christmas that she wrote all the lyrics to her “Virginia” song, saved it to her iPhone and send it to Hoffman. However, it wasn’t until she went to her family the next Christmas, that she connected all the pieces to her music album, and finally completed, it took her 3 years, but it was finally ready!
So after many festivals attending as an open act for many folk singers across Canada and America among others, and having the experience now in her stage performance like a true professional, she then went on a spring tour to Virginia, the place that she decided to name her new album after.
She has a close connection to that place in her heart and even though she wasn’t born and raised there, she was raised musically and mentally there, discovering her own identity step by step, and having a personal growth through out her stay there. This town is as she quotes “home away from home”, and she is very blessed for all her friends, family but also Virginia that are a part of her life.
Tanya Gallagher is now still living in Vancouver at least that’s her base and she still creates beautiful songs for beautiful people. As her new EP is due to come in September, she is looking forward to sharing her thoughts and feelings with people who love emotive, soulful, folk music. So if you don’t know her already, now is the time to be introduced to her colourful appealing music world and enjoy an early autumn evening getting your mood ready for why not? A great restart into your life!
Pre-order Tanya Gallagher’s Virginia EP on iTunes here.
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Words by Nancy Chalkopoulou