by Tyreek Peppers

Ever since I was eight years old, I was considered to be a hyperactive child. It was also the time I started to sing. When I was eight, my mother played a lot of Dru Hill, Usher, Ne-Yo, Stevie Wonder, etc. As a child, I loved those songs; I remember singing those songs with my mother who was also a very good singer.

I rarely sang outside of my house. I kept my performances in my household—earshot of no one else—with the exception of my mother and family members of my household.

When I was a little older—around the age 10 or 12—I tried singing for other people besides my mother. The elementary school I attended threw a talent show that I signed up for and was supposed to perform at. The conflict was, I was super nervous and my mother got into a car accident. I ended up not going to the talent show, which later on give me horrible stage fright. And all throughout elementary school, I did not hit a single note.

When I attended Trenton High School, my old elementary teacher suggested that I attend the visual, performing, arts (VPA) department. The craziest thing about Trenton High School was that my aunt was the school principal and she was a well-known performer. My aunt was known for having a great voice and crazy acting skills. When I arrived at the school, I spent half the school year doing nothing but laying low and getting my work in on time. I worked out with the football team, wrote music and nothing else. At the end of the second semester, my aunt told me about the choir that the school had upstairs on the third floor. One day, when she felt I was just wasting my talent, she took me upstairs and introduced me to the choir director, Mr. Taylor. My first impression about him was that he was very loud—loud for no reason. I mean, the room was quiet and he was raising his voice.

Mr. Taylor conversed with my aunt for a moment and he looked over at me with the biggest simile on his face. After their conversation concluded, he walked over and asked if I wanted to join the TCHS choir. Out of nowhere, my aunt answered for me and I was a permanent member. I was so mad and could not comprehend why she did what she did, but I could never be mad at my aunt; I was mad at the choir director for asking the question. I later on got over it, of course. I’m not a person that holds grudges so I forgave him and forgot. After the fifth week, I started comfortably conversing with with the other members of the choir. A year passed and I adopted the choir members as my second family.

The choir and I went on performances and we killed every performance! Mr. Taylor one day put me up to a solo, which made me super nervous. I later on got comfortable enough to do it, but when I moved to Pittsburgh I stopped singing for a year. Even though I took a break from singing, I never stopped drinking tea with honey, so if I wanted to get back into singing I wouldn’t sound rusty.

I know that I’m still young and I can only get better with more practice. All I’m waiting for is the perfect chance to unleash my full potential.