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Take Five With Tiffany Apan

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Tiffany Apan:

Tiffany Apan is a vocalist/songwriter with a background in classical music (voice and piano) and musical theatre. She had a musical turning point when she portrayed a free style jazz singer in Marta Effinger's Whispers Want to Holler, where she was coached by Billy Harper. This opened the door to her expanding to different styles of music as well as her approach to writing and performing music.

She released her debut album, Poet, in 2008 to enthusiastic response from music fans and garnered some critical acclaim. In 2009, her a capella song "Lost Little Girl" was an American Country Finalist in The Best New Song in the World contest.


Vocals, keyboards, piano.

Teachers and/or influences?

I studied classical voice for years with opera and musical theater veteran, Eileen Hannish, throughout high school. In college, I studied voice with Lynne Williams and currently study with Sofia Sunseri. My influences include Sarah Brightman, Lea Salonga, The Andrews Sisters, The Rat Pack (Sinatra, Martin, Davis Jr, Bishop), Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Beethoven, Chopin, Judy Garland, Pat Benatar, Tori Amos, Heart, Lacuna Coil, Led Zepplin, Loreena McKennitt, Michael Jackson, Celtic Woman, and Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few. I was also greatly influenced by my musician grandparents and Billy Harper, who helped shape my approach to songwriting and performing more than he'll ever know.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

For as long as I can remember.

Your sound and approach to music:

I bare my soul, my heart, and my mind. It's interesting because I used to be a very private and closed person. I've moved past that though.

Your dream band:

I'm currently working with musicians from the progressive rock band, Persephone's Dream. They've been an absolute dream to work with (pun not intended).

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Well, halfway to a gig in Ohio, (on the Poet Tour), I realized that I had forgotten all my makeup at home. We had to make a rush stop at a Walgreens off of the exit. And very recently on the 2009 half of Poet Tour, we were involved in a three-car collision, (as a result of a hit and run drunk driver), while on our way back to the hotel from the film festival/convention we played. Thankfully, no one was hurt and all three vehicles had very minimal damage. Also, being 'painted' black and silver for my "Scarborough Fair" music video was an interesting experience.

Favorite venue:

We always enjoy playing festivals and conventions. The fans are there to be entertained and are always wonderfully receptive.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

I don't know if these particular songs are my favorite, but "A Prayer" and "Ashes to Dust" are the most cathartic songs for me to do.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I've had many people tell me how they relate to my songs and that they find the songs very inspirational. I've even had a few tell me that my songs have helped them get through difficult times or that they listen to my CD when they want to relax. I think all those are important contributions for a musician to give to his/her listeners.

Did you know...

I'm into holistic medicine. I collect Hello Kitty/Sanrio memorabilia. I'm also an old school Nintendo nut, (Super Mario Brothers anyone?). I guess that's three things!

CDs you are listening to now:

Right now, my CD player consists of Sade, Sarah Brightman, The Gathering, Patsy Cline, Enigma, Lea Salonga, and Queensryche.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Keep experimenting, collaborating with different styles, instruments, sounds. Continuing to educate others on the roots and history of the genre and how much it has contributed to music as a whole.

What is in the near future?

I'm currently working on my second album, titled Elements, and a few songs of mine have been selected for some upcoming indie films.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Tiffany Apan


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