Short Form Bio:
Raised in the nation’s capital, Tarica June was reared under the musical influence of her father, a jazz aficionado, her mother, a political scientist who played Bob Marley daily, and her generation’s chosen mode of fearless expression: hip hop. She begun writing songs at the tender age of 8, using poetry and song as a way to express the things she was too fearful of sharing any other way. Away from home in high school, Tarica June was exposed to a new musical vernacular as she found her hip hop heroes juxtaposed with the music of her dorm mates in the form of Tracy Chapman, Alanis Morrisette, and U2. She began to further expand on her musical tastes in college. “I ended up writing more songs,” she says of her collegiate experience. Away from familiar environs yet again, the culture shock played an important role in her artistic development. “At that point, I was still pretty much keeping my songs to myself. But it did turn me into more of an artist, because I felt like I had even more to write about.”
Upon graduation, Tarica June relocated back to DC where she found a burgeoning community of Black artists in the midst of a renaissance aptly dubbed The Movement. It presented Tarica June an opportunity to become acclimated with other artists. While working on songs and honing her talents (learning guitar), she worked as a fashion stylist for other artists involved in the burgeoning scene. “I had all this stuff that I’d written, but I would never share it with anybody,” she reveals. “But I would make clothes for other performers, and that’s how I started linking with musicians and producers in the area and started recording.” After one of these musicians used a song that she had written without crediting her, Tarica decided to attend law school. “I figured that as a creative person I should learn my rights because I saw how easy it is to get taken advantage of if you don’t know the law” she explains. She enrolled at Howard University School of Law, where she focused on intellectual property and civil rights.
While in law school she continued to work on her music, and in 2010 Tarica June bowed with the release of her bold debut mixtape Moonlight Revolution. Waxing poetic over a diverse array of instrumentals from top 40 hits by artists such as Common, 50 Cent, and U2, Moonlight Revolution found Tarica June firmly establishing herself as a formidable solo artist wielding her dynamic lyrical torch to illuminate a bleak space. “It was at a time when hip hop was very dark,” she recalls. “I felt like there needed to be some light injected into that space.” Embroidered with nods and references to lauded writer Ntozake Shange as well as trailblazing recording artists Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman, Moonlight Revolution is a bold proclamation of fortitude from agile mind of a new, independent, Black female hip-hop artist. Tarica June followed Moonlight with Stream of Consciousness, an introspective commentary on hip-hop and on post-collegiate life in Washington DC. The self-directed video for her politically-charged hit “But Anyway” went viral in Spring of 2016, garnering over a million views on Facebook in less than 3 days. This sparked coverage from numerous national outlets including NPR and ELLE.com, bringing national attention to issues related to the gentrification of her hometown.
Tarica has performed around the country, incorporating elements of traditional hip-hop, folk music, and spoken-word/poetry into her live shows. She has been featured at numerous festivals and conferences including SXSW (TX), Can-A-Sista-Rock-A-Mic Festival (DC), the DOPE (Dialogue on Progressive Enlightenment) Conference (North Carolina A&T University), the S.A.M.I. (Students Against Mass Incarceration) National Conference (Howard University), and the B-Girl-Be Hip-Hop Festival (Minneapolis). Tarica also conducted a concert series dedicated to raising funds for community-centered organizations. Benefiting organizations included DC Jobs with Justice, Empower DC, Words Beats & Life, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and KayNou.