7 Questions With Tafari Anthony - The JUNO Awards

Get to know 2022 Adult Contemporary Album of the Year nominee, Tafari Anthony in our “7 Questions With” series where we speak with first-time JUNO Award nominees from all genres.

Tafari (pronounced Ta-far-eye) Anthony is a Toronto-based artist whose music blends R&B, pop, and soul. Known for his sleek vocal tones, sultry melodies and music which oozes with personality, Tafari leaves listeners in awe – somewhat apt considering his name means “He who inspires awe”.

Tafari has seen success with his music garnering acclaim from the likes of PAPER Magazine, Billboard, Gay Times, Earmilk and MTV to name a few. He receives regular airplay on CBC Radio, with one of his singles being named one of CBC’s Most Influential Songs of 2016. The singer has also written for Canada’s Drag Race inaugural winner, Priyanka & Juno nominated Soul singer Tanika Charles. His latest EP “The Way You See Me” was released to critical acclaim from PAPER Magazine & Billboard in November 2020.

1. How did it feel to be nominated for a JUNO? 

I was in complete shock! Even though I personally submitted for consideration I really didn’t think I would actually secure a nomination. It’s been over a month now and I’m still pinching myself daily over this acknowledgment. 

2. Which album made you want to become a working musician?

The first album I can recall being absolutely obsessed with was Brandy’s “Never Say Never”. I think it was probably the first time I really took in the vocal production and was mesmerized by that coupled with just the unapologetic influence of so many genres on that album… I feel it’s still a blueprint for me to this day.

3. What are 3 items you require when you’re on-tour? 

My Macbook Pro because the work never stops as an independent artist. Headphones (Bluetooth and wired) because I need to be able to create space for myself. Throat Coat tea because we gotta keep those vocals in tip-top shape!

4. What do you think is the best song you’ve ever released? What’s the story behind it?

Oh this is a tough question… Can’t believe ya’ll are making me choose this right now.

I’m gonna have to go with “Centerfold”. This was my first release after a 2-year hiatus from releasing music at the top of 2020. Not only was it one of my favourite songs I had written at the time and felt like it encapsulated everything I had been trying to do for years, but also the response to it was so great. 

I wrote the song on a trip to Edmonton where I decided to have a session with a bunch of people I had never met before. I went into the session not knowing Kelly Alaina, Brandon Unis & OBLYVN and really just connected instantly. In that first session we wrote and produced the song from scratch, and even all the vocals on it were done in that same session. 

The song was written from sheer frustration of trying to let an ex down gently and realizing that he just refused to acknowledge that he only thought about himself.


5. Which artist would you like to collaborate with most?

I have to say Brandy and/or Kelly Clarkson would very much be at the top of this list for me.

6. What has been your favorite performance of your career?

Having the opportunity to travel to and perform in South Korea is an experience I will never forget. It was just one of those moments that was never on my radar as something I would ever get to do. It  was also by far the biggest audience I had ever performed in front of which didn’t come without its nerves but was such a great moment!

7. What’s next for you?

Winning a JUNO, obviously! Oh, and working on my debut full length album which I cannot wait to start rolling out!

Tickets for The 2022 JUNO Awards are on sale now! Don’t miss out on an unforgettable night of Canadian music hosted by Simu Liu on May 15th.