Behind The Scenes With…Tahirah Elizabeth

Jamaican artist Tahirah Elizabeth fuses reggae beats with Neo-soul, and is part of the movement that is ushering in a new era for Jamaican contemporary music. As a marine conservationist by day and musician by night, Tahirah is not short of ambition – having launched her own non-profit “Conservation Through Education Jamaica (CTEJ), toured with the ASHE (Performing Arts) Company and started a YouTube channel. We caught up with Tahirah Elizabeth to learn more about her career so far and Jamaica’s underground music scene.

Tahirah elizabeth

What are some of your earliest musical memories?

My earliest musical memories are good and bad, haha. I remember making up dance routines with my cousins in my backyard and singing to the Cheetah Girls, or going solo as Ciara or Brittney Spears. 

I remember being in the choir in prep school and getting a solo often for Christmas, and getting sick, every Christmas, so I couldn’t sing, or struggled to. I remember doing my first musical in high school and how thrilling it was, and how much I loved being able to sing and dance at once, as well as doing some supporting acting! I knew back then that I could do rehearsals every day for the rest of my life once it meant I could perform.

Who inspires you?

Many people in different creative industries inspire me but they all have one thing in common and that is they pursue their craft with everything in them and, despite the odds. Anyone who does that is an inspiration to me. 

If I had to name names, of course Rihanna, as a fellow Caribbean Island girl, she is definitely an inspiration and a testament to there being no limit to what you can achieve, regardless of where you’re from. Teyana Taylor is a top G for me, jack of all trades, she is involved in so many different creative spaces and is a boss in them all. Finally, Ms. Lauryn Hill is a timeless icon whose longevity and impact in the industry I aspire to achieve.

Who is your dream collaborator?

My dream collaboration would be with Jorja Smith, hands down, easy. I love the sound of her voice, her style, her vibe… YUP! 

Highlight of your career so far?

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Marcia Griffiths in 2023 and I was able to show her a recording of a performance I did and I will never forget her saying I did a great job and how lovely it was that I was a beautiful black girl singing the song, and so well.  The song was a cover of Black Woman by Judy Mowatt. I performed the song during Reggae Month in February 2021 during one of their weekly Wednesday night shows for the month; Reggae Wednesdays: Reggaelution, where we honoured reggae icons. It was particularly special because they were both members of Bob Marley and the Wailers and the I Threes. 

Chronixx and Kabaka Pyramid were the headliners for the same show, so you could say I opened for them, but I don’t think it counts because it wasn’t in front of an in-person audience, haha. Thanks Covid!

Who else should we listen to from your local scene?

I mostly listen to the less mainstream artists in Jamaica. So! Some people I would encourage you to check out are Tori Lattore, Courtni, Llyell, D’yani, Vivo GreyLordd & SanityDSane1. Also anything produced by EchoBeats, Mari The Producer or JingoHolOnDeh!

If you had to change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

How little artists get paid from streaming platforms. Duh.

Any projects in the pipeline that you’d like to share with us?

Right now, I’m in the collection phase. I’m really trying to gather a solid number of songs and have them fully recorded before I think about releasing anything. In the past I’ve put all my eggs in one basket and when the basket fell, all the eggs broke, and there was nothing for me to do. So, the plan is to have many eggs in multiple baskets. Then, I will time them right so I am able to provide my audience with a consistent supply of music. So, the short answer is, nothing to share right now BUT I’ll be coming for you later in the year!


Janelle knows a thing or two about the music industry. Having been involved in the industry since the age of 13, she's now involved in a variety of music-related projects and is always keen to share industry tips 'n' tricks with fellow musicians.