The music industry can be an incredibly tough nut to crack which many artists would be happy to do just once but songstress Tami Neilson has been fortunate and talented enough to do it twice.
Starting out her career as a child in Canada in her families band, The Neilson Family, Tami would be fortunate enough to tour the country and play alongside legendary acts such as Johnny Cash. When Tami looks back on those days she says, “I didn’t realise how incredible it was at the time, the way you grow up is what’s normal but then when you look back you realise ‘oh that wasn’t normal at all’.”
Whilst Tami never envisioned the band ever going their seperate ways obviously as time went by certain aspects of adulthood pulled everyone in their own directions. For Tami in particular it was love which pulled her towards New Zealand.
“I fell in love with my then future husband and moved across the world.”
Obviously being so close to her family, both as family and co-workers, making this monumental move was an incredibly difficult one for Tami personally.
“That first year was a really really hard one. It was a really big adjustment to leave that family nest and fly to the other side of the world where I didn’t know anybody besides my then future husband.”
Not only was it difficult from a personal level but also on a professional level because it now forced Tami to work as a solo artist for the very first time. “Growing up in a family band I’d never even auditioned or worked with musicians other than people that were related to me so that was very daunting.” Tami explained whilst also adding that this was combined with also having to “figure out who I was as a solo artists.”
Thankfully now though Tami feels she has been “embraced and accepted” by the New Zealand music industry as one of their own. Tami is incredibly grateful for this because now as she said “I get the best of both worlds, I have my New Zealand family and I get to tour Canada with my brother and see my Mum.”
Tragically though just two and half years ago Tami lost her father who was an incredible inspiration for her musically. To honour his memory and continue to carry on his legacy Tami continues to perform songs they wrote together, in particular the title track from her new album Don’t Be Affraid.
“Don’t Be Afraid is something I look forward to singing now because I feel like I am closer to him when I sing it since that was the last song he ever wrote in the hospital.”
Aug 20, The Basement, 7 Macquarie Place, Sydney. $45-$105+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.thebasement.com.au