“I didn’t Know they sang!” is about known celebrities in specific entertainment categories like acting, modeling, dancers, & socialites who’ve dabbled in music in 1 way or another but it’s not what they’re known for. My purpose for this is to let you all in on a little information on maybe some of your favorite stars from various outlets who maybe released that 1 album that nobody knows about, but hey, you do now so you can support them, or it can just be something new you learn.
Our 1st star is among my favorites, actress Tisha Campbell-Martin. To be clear & fair, Tisha has NEVER hidden not only that she can sing but that she’s very much a proud & respectable triple threat, she’s also a great dancer. She’s a subject because most people you say the name Tisha Campbell to their thought goes to maybe 1 of or all of the following 5. Little Shop Of Horrors (film), 4. House Party (film), 3. School Dayz(Film), 2. My Wife & Kids (TV-series), 1. Martin (TV-series). And she’s my 1st subject of this topic because she’s in my opinion 1 of very few people who’s a legitimate force of a triple threat, multitalented actress, great dancer, and a dynamic powerhouse vocalist.
Tisha is from a musical family, both of her parents are singers, and her mother among other things was a vocal coach, which if you’ve heard Tisha sing makes sense, in my opinion she always represents having very good vocal technique. She started her career out at a very young age doing Musial stage plays & talent shows, and as we know in time she went to a very successful film & TV career spanning for over 3 decades now.
To know Tisha is to know that most of the well-known projects of her career featured her singing every now & then, in fact the only big project she was apart of that she didn’t sing in was the House Party trilogy (though it’s worth noting that the series does feature her talent as a dancer best). Her breakout role in Little Shop Of Horrors (1986) Tisha, Tichina Arnold (A good friend of hers who she’d later co-star with with on Martin & Everybody Hates Chris) & Michelle Meeks all played Greek Chorus girls mostly singing throughout the movie. Immediately after that she did a short-lived musical TV series called Rags To Riches for 2 seasons. The show took place in the early 60’s and Tisha was among a group of girls adopted by a millionare, and in every episode they did musical numbers for hit songs of the 50’s & 60’s. In 1988 we saw her in her 1st major role as a leading lady on the big screen, as Jane Troussaint in the critically acclaimed Spike Lee drama School Daze that featured 2 very memorable excellently performed musical numbers by Tisha, such as Good & Bad Hair, and what’s credited as her very 1st radio single Be Alone Tonight. In 1992 she went on to play her most famous & notable role to date, as Gina Waters opposite Martin Lawrence on the hit Fox sitcom Martin, which in her 5 seasons featured really great & comedic singing moments between herself & Tichina Arnold. The next 2 series she starred in (My Wife & Kids & the short lived Rita Rocks) also featured great music moments from Tisha.
But in 1992 Tisha released her debut & to date her only album, Tisha. She herself joked about in a interview that in went “double wood’ or “Triple Plastic”, aka it flopped. And she says it’s because she wasn’t in it, she did the album because she felt pressured to do an album, and she actually was against it. She promoted it a little bit, released 3 singles & 2 videos, but it’s not a very known project and had very little success.
Years later in 1997 Tisha released a song with Tichina Arnold, a remake of R&B girl group The Emotions classic song “Don’t Ask My Neighbor” that really showed off her range & she & Tichina’s perfect harmony. And in 2014 she teamed up with her former co-stars in the 1st 2 House Party Movies, the R&B group Full Force, to remake their classic song All Cried out, previously recorded by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam.
It’s unknown today whether or not Tisha Campbell-Martin will ever release a 2nd album. I’ve met her myself back in 2012 and asked her about the possibility and well she didn’t seem very anxious to talk about it then. Today she has a cocktail lounge in Studio City California called “The Xen Lounge”, where she does make a habbit of performing for the audience. When she’ll do another album on her terms or whether she will at all, we don’t know right now. But what we do know, and anyone who follows her on social media knows music is still very much apart of her life and it likely always will, maybe not as much in the front lines as her acting career (she’ll be apart of comedian Ken Jeong’s new show due to premiere in the fall) but she’s always involved in music. And if you like what you hear with the montage of her musical career, how about you show Tisha some love by paying for her album on Itunes or Amazon (currently unavailable on Spotify), if that’s not enough maybe if you’re in the L.A. area sometime drop by the Xen Lounge you might get treated to a little concert by Ms. Tisha herself. And feel free to drop by her fansite SimplyTisha.com to check out more information on Tisha Campbell
My personal thoughts on Tisha’s music: She had what it took talent wise to really be competition to Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson & Whitney Houston among other singers. And though you can tell what she said about her album is true that the people on it were followers and not leaders and she felt forced to do 1, and they were following trends instead of setting them basically, I do think that had a lot to do with why the album wasn’t a success, but based on the material, I REALLY think there are standout songs and she has a standout voice to where she could’ve had some real hits on that LP. But I’m very curious to what she would’ve went on to do musically, and if she was all in & with the right team , the right vision, & at the right time. I think she could’ve come with some really great timeless music. I’m also very curious to what a career as a duo between her & Tichina Arnold would’ve been like.
Here’s my personal recommended standout tracks of her music catalog
1. Be Alone Tonight -5/5 Stars
2. Push It – 4/5 Stars
3. Love Me Down – 3/5 Stars
4. Why Don’t You Love Me – 4/5 Stars
5. All Good Things Come In Time – 3/5
6. Broken Hearted – 5/5
7. Loves Got A Hold On Me 3/5
8. Why Won’t You Love Me – 5/5
9. Don’t Ask My Neighbor (W/Tichina Arnold)-4/5
10. All Cried Out (w/Full Force) – 4/5