Only What I Know

Tanya Gillespie Music Only What I Know Cover

Tanya Gillespie is a west coast treasure. Voted 2006 winner of "Who Will Be Victoria’s Next Big Thing", and runner-up for Favorite Solo Artist of Monday magazine, this accomplished instrumentalist, lyricist and vocalist delivers a wealth of sincerity, soul and purpose through her music.

Published on 2007

Only What I Know Positive music evoking alot of heart with just a little bit of attitude. A creative blend of Pop/Rock/HipHop guaranteed to make you feel good.


After graduating with honours at the Royal Conservatory of Music in piano and harmony, Tanya voraciously expanded her musical knowledge and expertise. Her rich repertoire includes a preordained passion for singing, writing and composing, and a self-taught talent for guitar, drums and percussion.

Tanya’s unique sound ranges through jazz, progressive acoustic instrumentals and contemporary rhythms. Sometimes haunting and ethereal, sometimes sensually rhythmic, the music is infused with joy, passion, compassion and intelligence.

Tanya’s varied range of cds reflects her eclectic talent and unshakable belief in taking the risks necessary to fulfill one’s dreams. "Everyday Muzings", an emotionally appealing and thought-provoking debut album, was followed by the deeply restful improvisational piano instrumental "Impromptu". Her third album, "Only What I Know" produced by Juno nominated musician/producer Matthew James, is an infectious, beat-driven, Indie-pop journey that reverberates with optimism, energy and hope.

Tanya Gillespie may have been voted "Victoria's next big thing" in this years M awards, but the local singer-songwriter is anything but huge. The petite musician clocks in 4'9" (and three quarters), which made her chuckle about her newly bestowed title.

"It's funny, because my nickname is actually 'little t', " says Gillespie. " I wanted to tell people Monday's next little thing."

What she lacks in inches, Gillespie makes up for in bombast and talent and her new album, Only What I Know, shout's that from the rooftops. The record marks a departure from Gillespie's previous efforts; she's traded her voice-and-piano approach for a more rocking sound. In order to capture what Gillespie says in the spirit of her live performances, she decided to hire studio musicians and a producer for the first time. Enter Audio Garage's Matthew James.

"I got him because he's a rock guy, and I wanted someone who could bring out that side of me and what I'm like on stage," Gillespie says. " I just wanted to rock out a little more and try something new and call that out of myself...I felt I'd gotten as far as I could on my own. "

If so much has changed on the new album, than what's stayed the same? Gillespie says the heart of her music-it's positive message and upbeat lyrics-has remained intact.

" It's still pretty positive in terms of my writing. It's the songs offering the sunnier side of life," she says. " I don't want to depict something that really isn't important to me."

Spreading positive positive vibes through music is what gets Gillespie jazzed-her enthusiasm and passion about her music is obvious after spending only a few moments with her. What's even more apparent is that she feels she's finally captured her musical essence on the new record and is putting herself out there to promote it. She's trying to get a tour happening later this year, something she hasn't managed managed to pull off with previous albums.

" I have to hold down a regular job, I don't have a posse of band mates sharing the cost, " she says. " this time around I've gotten alot of support from friends and people who support what I'm doing in. "

Some of Gillespie's long time supporters are folks over at Demitasse, where Gillespie has been slinging coffee and waiting tables for years. Although launching a music career would mean eventually saying goodbye to the waitressing life ( you can only find her at the restaurant two mornings a week these days) her employers have hosted her concerts, sold her CD's and distributed tickets as a way of showing support.

" They're really supportive not only of me, but of lots of local artists.They're organic in terms of community," she says. " I love waitressing, but I definitely don't want to be doing it when I'm 80. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not what I'm suppose to be doing...I have the belief I'm doing what I'm suppose to be doing. That's really strong in me-it's really clear, like looking at my hand."

While Gillespie's confidence in herself might be interpreted on the page as egotistical, anyone who has ever crossed her path-whether it be at a concert, at a breakfast table at Demitasse, or while catching her eye walking down the street-knows that it is definitely not the case. For Gillespie, the important thing is the music and it's message, not the person making it.

"It's all about the heart, " she say's with a laugh. "I'm a real heart girl. Unabashed heart-and rock."

- Amanda Farrell