Tichina Arnold sets sights on music career

Tichina Arnold's singing has never been a secret, but for the first time she's got her sights set on releasing an album...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Tichina Arnold’s singing has never been a secret, but for the first time, she’s got her sights set on releasing an album  … and it’s almost done, she told TheGrio.com.

“Music is what I started out doing first before acting even came around…I’ve never given music 200 percent of my time. I’ve always had to share my music time with acting,” said the former Martin actress, best known her role as the witty Pamela James on the popular TV comedy series.

But now, Arnold says she’s ready to show the world what she’s got as a singer.

“It’s just taken me a minute to write songs and to put an album together. My project consists of me, and I’m a little bit of everything,” said the 46-year-old Arnold, who notably flexed her vocal chops in the 1986 movie Little Shop of Horrors.

“Now, that I’m a mom and now that I’m a wife, again, and now that I’m older, I have a lot more to talk about and I have a lot more to express. And I think a lot of people will be able to understand it, men and women,” Arnold said, adding she hopes to release the project in the new year. “I’m almost done. I have two more songs to record.”

And to get fans familiar with her new music, Arnold will be performing two shows in Harlem this weekend.

“New York is always my home, will always be my home, and so for me it was a no-brainer,” the Queens, New York native said of the upcoming shows at intimate venues Gin Fizz Harlem and Minton’s.

In addition to performing her music, Arnold says she will pay homage to artists who have influenced her by performing musical medleys.

“I like doing medleys because it keeps the audience engaged, you don’t know what song i’m going to sing next, so it keeps you paying attention,” said Arnold. “The kind of show that I do is very interactive. I like talking to the audience, I like audience participation. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”

Arnold, who next year will return for a third season of Starz comedy series Survivor’s Remorse said she hopes to take her music show on the road.

“I’m coming to get some feedback on the songs that I’ve written,” she said of the New York shows. “This is a good way to get my music out there.”

For more information and to hear Arnold’s music, visit TichinaArnold.com. For tickets, visit Tichina.Eventbrite.com.

Michael J. Feeney is an award-winning journalist, public speaker and former New York Daily News reporter. Follow him on Twitter @mfeeney