Do you know what happens when you hear a song that moves you before knowing anything about the artists? You want to learn all you can about them and are hungry for more. That was the case the first time my ears and heart took in the song Healing Tide on my favorite radio station, WXPN.
I couldn’t help but get up and dance in my living room. Later in the year, I was in the audience when they were performing at the XPoNential Music Festival. I dare you to keep your feet still. I was fascinated by the twists and turns that led them to life and musical partnership. A winning combination of dynamic diva and peaceful warrior is what you get with Tanya and Michael Trotter.
I had the joy of meeting and hugging them that day.
A bit of back story of how you met.
MICHAEL: I was poked to perform at this Love Festival in Laurel, MD. I saw Tanya standing in the distance talking with two other artists and I knew I had to meet her. So we were introduced to one another and the rest was history from there.
Was it love at first sight or did it take a while to blossom?
MICHAEL: ABSOLUTELY! At least for me, I went into instant daydream mode. One look at Tanya and of course you think of the best, then you hear her speak, and immediately your mind is whisked away to a place of ecstasy. Tanya is an experience all by herself.
Are your roles as musical partners as well as life partners melded together; in other words, are daily events fodder for your songwriting?
TANYA: I’d say yes and no. Believe it or not, I spend most of my leisure time painting and creating vintage designs for my She Loves Vintage community. However, while I’m working I hear our love song. I get so much vision for our future while I’m doing day to day things.
MICHAEL: Tanya is so much more than my musical partner…she is my life coach. We do everything together except her She Loves Vintage because that’s her intimate space where she develops her visions even further. But when we do sit down to intentionally write together it’s so beautiful and hopeful.
Where did the band name The War and Treaty originate?
TANYA: It actually came from arguing about changing the name of the band so many times.
MICHAEL: I wasn’t satisfied with our band name.
TANYA: He changed it six times and here we are getting ready to change it for the seventh time and I was fed up. Michael was getting frustrated, I was getting frustrated and we were getting nowhere fast arguing. Finally, I decided someone needed to calm the situation and I said to Michael “calm down and breathe! This isn’t the war so let’s come to some sort of treaty here.”
MICHAEL: I was like that’s it… The War And Treaty
Could you have imagined when the journey was beginning that you would reach the pinnacle of a story in Newsweek and a performance on The Late Show?
What does it take to remain humble and true to your messages in the face of such glowing publicity?
BOTH: Each other
Michael, I know you are a veteran. Can you share your experience and how it impacts your desire to support your brother and sister service people?
MICHAEL: I get asked this question so many times and I can imagine I will be asked a million times more. But I believe that one thing I learned more than anything in the military is how to serve my fellow man. I ain’t gonna ever stop serving and looking out for all my battle buddies
Tanya, as the spouse of a veteran, what would you like to say to others in your role?
TANYA: Be patient! Be understanding! Be intentional! Be available! And most importantly find the time to take care of yourself
I know that all of your songs offer powerful messages, but one, in particular, jumped out at me. Can you please explain the catalyst for Five More Minutes?
MICHAEL: Five More Minutes is my testimony. I almost quit life but my wife asked me for 5 more minutes to love me and I did and I’m still here.
We met at the XPoNential Music Fest a few years back and what you shared from the stage about unity really struck a chord. What message would you like to offer about the state of the world as it is now?
TANYA: The late and great Bill Withers said it best in the song Lean On Me. He said that we all need somebody to lean on.
MICHAEL: So please y’all find someone to lean on and if you cannot find someone just reach out to us.
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Photo Credit: David McClister