|Although it started with a
creative talent, it soon blossomed into the beginning of
an empire that offers music production, counseling,
consulting, and mentoring of a number of artists. Dr.
Tameka “Doc” Wright, also known as the ‘Queen of
Underground Gospel’, discovered she had a gift and has
leveraged it into a multi-faceted, family business.
After starting as a singer at a very young age, she
later became an author, motivational speaker, song
writer, producer, mentor, entrepreneur, and has a
doctorate degree in both pastoral counseling and
ministry. As a mother, her children have grown up in
this environment and are following in her creative
Lil Tahj is a song writer, rapper and producer and
Raymond Woods, Jr. is a fashion photographer.
ROLL STUDENT BUILDING MUSIC CAREER
everyone is fortunate enough to know their passion or
their gifts at a young age. Most young people are quite
content playing video games and hanging out with their
friends. Tahjae Woods aka LiL Tahj at 13 years old is
very clear about what she brings to the table, however.
The multi-talented teen is an instrumentalist playing
the keyboard, flute, acoustic and electric guitars; a
rapper; and a producer. She enjoys hanging out with
friends and family, but she also recognizes the
importance of time management and discipline. Her busy
life consists of juggling school maintaining all A’s,
playing basketball (point guard), and building her music
an interview with Dr. Tameka "Doc" Wright
My arrival at a local coffee shop in the area had me
begging for forgiveness from Dr. Woods. I was stuck in
traffic, rushing trying to make it to interview her. Dr.
Woods is a new gospel artist and my first assignment for
this magazine was to interview her.
I quickly learned that church folk are very forgiving
and patient. Being on time is my practice, however I
have shown up late to other interviews give or take five
minutes to an uninviting attitude. I was trying to shake
the chill off of me after being subject to the elements
on a January afternoon. I took my coat off still jittery
and nervous while Dr. Woods sat and watched probably
assuming I was novice. She grabbed the spoon that was in
the cup and stirred it around, "take your time," she
said. I thanked her and asked if I could buy her another
cup of what she was drinking. She declined smiled and
shooed me away to the counter.
I ordered a vanilla chi tea and returned back to my
seat. We sat across from each other at a table that sat
four. I pulled out my laptop preparing for the interview
still apologizing over and over again promising that the
interview was moments from beginning.
She had an earthy self-assured attitude that was
calming. Her brown, lightly freckled inviting smile was
angelic. I shook my head as the goose bumps on my arm
rose. She didn‟t say a word as her eyes danced following
my un-prepared movements.
Dr. Tameka Woods was what people said she was, poised
and professional. She had a girlish look like she could
have blended in with a class at a local high school.
However, life and wisdom surrounded her medium frame as
she sat with her legs crossed in blue jeans, a brown
sweater, dangling her UGG brown boots.
"I love your hair cut. A lot of women couldn't pull
it off or be brave enough to wear it that close." I
She smiled and thanked me. I noticed her silver
jewelry bangle bracelets and hooped earrings that put me
in the mind of a Jill Scott or Erica Badu. I respected
her demeanor which was the opposite of the tracks I
heard her sing on.
When I got the call to interview Dr. Woods, I wasn‟t
sure who she was although I was aware of the buzz that
was starting to build. I Googled her name
and found that she was an author for a book of poetry.
That interested me on many levels because I am a fan of
poetry and to get the opportunity to interview an
author, songwriter, poet, singer, producer, former rap
artist, and Doctor I knew I had my work cut out for me.
Truly this woman of God has been busy, and I wanted to
go deeper to bring her uniqueness to the surface.
"Dr. Woods. It‟s a pleasure to meet you; I am Garvin
Hamilton staff writer for Paideia Magazine." I said
re-introducing my self.
"Please call me Tameka. It‟s nice to meet you
Garvin," she said followed with a warm smile.
I asked her if this was her first formal interview,
she took a sip of her drink and said no. I was glad she
said it wasn‟t her first time; it made me relax a little
"Has the interview started?" She asked
"Yes," I said.
Garvin: What does the Doctor in front of your
name stand for?
I have a
Doctorate degree in Pastoral Counseling and a Doctorate
degree in Ministry.
I did a
little research and from my understanding you use to be
a rap artist. I was able to listen to an old track you
did in the early 90‟s called „The Meek Shall‟. That
sounds like a pre cursor to where you are now. Tell me
about that song?
done your home work. The song was thought provoking. It
made you think about what was going on around you. I
adopted that term The Meek Shall from the bible.
about some of your influences in gospel music?
so many but my favorite of all time will be Karen Clark
Sheard. I just love her voice. I like to describe her
voice as verbal gymnastics, flipping for the Lord. No
one sounds like her. Her voice is so definitive and bold
it commands you to listen.
with you. Even when she sang with her sisters, "The
Clark Sisters," she stood out to me and all of them are
great singers, so respect to the rest of the Clark
sisters. My mother would play their music all the time.
you are a fan, tell me why you listen to it. What does
it say to your soul?
music is a timeless. God is timeless. As long as the
message is there, people will listen. People will listen
even if the artist doesn‟t have a record deal. To me as
an artist, it‟s great to be recognized in that respect.
You can virtually go to any church U.S.A. and hear great
singers and choirs. Gospel music is real soul music.
Gospel music is all about saving souls. It‟s a message
that God is here for you. That‟s why I really do it.
It‟s what God says to my soul and I convey it in another
medium for the masses to enjoy.
choirs just a moment ago. Have you ever sung in a choir?
haven‟t. However, I directed a youth choir at a church I
use to go to. To me that was one of the greatest
experiences I had. The children were so eager to
participate including my own children. But to answer
your question, I was in a gospel group before, but not a
know you were a mother. How old are your children?
Yes. I have
a 19 year old son and a 12 year old daughter.
How do they
feel about mommy embarking on a solo career in gospel
excited. They help whenever possible, and they are very
supportive. It‟s always great to do something in the
name of the Lord and show them they have options in
life. I teach them to be independent but don‟t get to
high up and think you will never need the Lord. That‟s
an important and profound statement. God is there
always. Lean on Him for all things. So far they are
doing that. As P.K.‟s they‟ve really done a great job.
They‟ve never been in any trouble, so I thank God for
(Blank look on my face)
Tameka: Yes, preacher kids.
new one for me. Im gonna use that. (We both laugh)
shocked that you have all this stuff on the table, yet
you memorized all of your questions.
talent too. This is what I do. Tell me about your album.
excited about the album; it has a lot of different songs
on it. There is a song on there that everyone can relate
single that will be out will be called „Rescue‟, and it
will be out in December 2010 or January 2011.
write the songs on the album?
wrote and produced the entire album.
when an artist writes their own material. I am amazed at
how well rounded you are.
yourself with three words?
I would say
obedient, humble and loyal.
Tell me the
best compliment you have received thus far?
compliment I received was that my voice sounds angelic.
Nothing compares to an angel. I was totally humbled by
I bet you
were. Wow. That was so profound. I am digging that.
this will conclude the interview. Is there anything you
want to say to the readers of Paideia Magazine?
would like to thank you for the opportunity to sit and
talk with you. My focus is to always get God‟s word out
to His people. To me it‟s not a job; it‟s a mission that
I am on. I am grateful for this moment in time.
Dr. Tameka Woods. I look forward to hearing your music
this winter. I appreciate your time.
one of the most positive interviews I ever had. I was
deeply moved by the sound of her powerful voice as she
talked. When the interview was over, we stayed for a few
more moments to talk. Dr. Woods began to cry and I
couldn‟t understand why, so I asked her was she all
right. She conveyed to me that she was thinking about
her late mother, grandmother, great aunt and her mother
sister. She stated to me that they‟re all in heaven
rooting for her to take the lessons she learned as a
little girl and go forward and represent God.
contact Dr. Woods @ firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/drtamekawoods