TGJ Replay: Tamia’s Self-Titled Debut Album

Published: Sunday 7th Dec 2014 by Rashad


tamia-thatgrapejuice-debut album

After a lengthy break on the bench, ‘TGJ Replay’ is back!

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ features, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s newest retrospective segment – a written quest, if you will, to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of pop and Urban pop music hits.

As this month brings with it the 19th anniversary of ‘You Put a Move on My Heart’ – the triumphant debut single of one of R&B’s brightest unsung starlets, Tamia, we are going to ode the official LP that birthed it. From Quincy Jones compilation album ‘Q’s Jook Joint’ to ‘Tamia’ the album…read all about its delivery below:


By 1996, Canada had gifted the world some of its most beloved pop singers.  From Celine Dion to Shania Twain and Alanis Morissette, it seems 1996-1998’s pop charts saw no shortage of domination from “The Great White North’s” premier voices.  Unbeknownst to many, including the voice itself, the country was set to gift the music industry yet another gem, but this time to R&B.  Her name?  Tamia.

Hailing from Windsor, Ontario, the pint sized songstress – born Tamia Marilyn Washington – was undoubtedly being groomed for stardom from an early age.  After dominating local talent competitions through her teenage years, her greatest reward would come in 1994 when her manager, Brenda Ritchie, invited her to sing at a birthday party in honor of famed R&B crooner Luther Vandross.  Her performance reportedly wowed all in attendance, including legendary songwriter/producer Quincy Jones who immediately offered her the chance to appear on his then-forthcoming album ‘Q’s Jook Joint.’

Tapping a remake of British soul sensation Mica Paris’ 1993 hit ‘You Put a Move On My Heart’ as Tamia’s introductory single, what the two produced would skyrocket her name to the top of 1995’s “hotly anticipated newcomers list”…of any genre.

The warm reception of the tune was instant, as evidenced by its chart performance.  Though barely cracking the Hot 100 (#98 peak), the tune soared to #12 on the R&B charts.  A feat undoubtedly driven by the young singer’s awe-inspiring vocal performances, like that seen below:

The album would also see Tamia team with Babyface via the single ‘Slow Jams’ and later lead the singer to lend her vocals to ‘Missing You’ (featuring Chaka Khan, Brandy, and Gladys Knight) from the ‘Set If Off’ soundtrack.

The success of ‘Missing,’ ‘Jams,’ and ‘Move’ (which included a Grammy nomination per song) led Tamia’s label home, Qwest Records, to put a move on rushing her full length debut LP into stores.  Enlisting the assistance of a production superteam – Tricky Stewart, Jermain Dupri, Gordon Chambers, Tim & Bob, Stevie J, Mario Winans, and more – the result of their production coalescence would be the singer’s eponymous debut album.

With a trio of top R&B hits assisted by some well known names in the genre as a launching pad, the album would burst onto the scenes via its own trio of rhythmic gems ‘Imagination,’ ‘Loving You Still,’  and ‘So Into You.’  The latter was her first top 30 single on the Hot 100 as a solo act and her best-performing release before the arrival of signature hit ‘Stranger in My House’ (2000).

Peaking at #18 on the R&B charts, the album has since gone gold and known international success on the strength of its three singles and remake of George Michael classic ‘Careless Whisper’ (released only in Japan).  Showcasing an oft-overlooked voice cultured and tuned well beyond its years, Tamia’s debut album set into motion a nearly two decade long love affair with the Canadian siren.

Said love affair, one That Grape Juice is deeply invested in, has maintained a great sense of loyalty from fans across the globe over the last 20 years…mostly built on the backs of the singer’s independent releases over the noughties.  This is a report we hope will only see improvement once she releases her next album via the major label Def Jam (read more about that here).

While we await what the diva is cooking up, we still serve up regular spins of her debut album’s ‘This Time It’s Love.’ It’s our fave, but what’s yours?

Your thoughts?

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  1. Mark111 is a homosexual December 7, 2014


  2. BeyxMaraj December 7, 2014

    I really like, won’t you come to me I can’t explain it. I’m so into you.

  3. MusicLife December 7, 2014

    “Imagination” and “So Into You” were classic. I had the “Inagination” cd single back in the 90s

  4. MissMaam December 7, 2014

    “Is That You?” was and still is the one!!

  5. Julien December 7, 2014

    Great write-up! Classic debut album. Deborah C**’s classic debut and sophomore needs to be featured as well.

    • KurtisLeeSinger December 8, 2014

      Yessss I love Deborah C**
      Also underrated
      Her albums are always good
      Even her Jazz album

  6. BeyRihLiyah December 7, 2014

    tamia is so underrated

  7. KurtisLeeSinger December 8, 2014

    One of the most gifted singers on the planet
    And far too underrated

    Her tone alone Is unparalleled

    “You put a move on my heart”
    “This time it’s love”
    “loving you still”

    One of my fave artists by far

  8. Avi December 8, 2014

    Tamia is pretty and has a nice voice, but she is totally boring and easy to forget. You wanted to like her but she never had the much of an “It”-factor. In order for someone like her to be a pop star, she would have needed to be carefully groomed down to the letter, with everything meticulously plotted and set up perfectly. She needed a powerful and manipulative svengali like Clive Davis or a Tommy Motolla, but didn’t have that in Quincy Jones.

  9. Kevin December 8, 2014

    “Unbeknownst” “glo-calized” I can’t with these entries. No need to use those words if you don’t understand them. It’s jarring.

    Other than that, I appreciate the effort you put into this blog and always check it

    • King z December 8, 2014

      Lol it always makes me chuckle when people come to this site expecting 1) top quality writing and 2) them to change. tGJ has always done its on thing…good luck with expecting not to be “jarred” from what u read here.

      In other news….I love this album. Lord that woman’s tone literally sounds like a trumpet! It’s so clear and on “this time it’s love” she gives me my entire life every time

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