Nothing is more timely than a getaway with your close friends at the end of the season to celebrate and share your new year’s goals says, Tyeka Hayles. A fan of holidays, Hayles, affectionately called ‘TK’, the moniker the singer also uses as her stage name, was anxious to get together with friends.
No offence to her family. “We see them every day and every year and give them love for all 365 days, no matter where we are. So my friends and I have decided to start a new tradition, and it’s a way for us to relax,” Hayles said.
TK said this year, especially with today, Christmas Day, kickstarting the weekend, she and her friends have planned a getaway on the north coast.
“I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my friends, sort of an all-girls retreat. As I say in my song, Life, I live my life no matter the circumstance it may bring. This holiday I encourage people to live life no matter how hard it gets and find happiness in simple things, besides we need the Christmas spirit all year round,” she told Flair.
The singer said that getting into the Christmas spirit is easily ignited by carols and songs of the season, especially at this time when she is thinking of special people she has lost. It is also another reason she likes to be around friends for the holidays.
“My dad and my good friend Jason Crookshank passed within a year apart, and these are people who I share good times with. My friend died in a hit and run; hit by a drunk driver,” she said, adding that, “It’s the season where many persons consume alcohol and I want persons who plan to celebrate by having more than a few drinks to be mindful of others.” Speaking of the effects of alcohol consumption, she cautioned persons about the importance of having a designated driver. Though disappointed at how her friend died, TK expressed, “Life is too short to be bitter. I have some good memories of us going out to karaoke.”
Presently signed to New York-based EGF Media imprint, the singer is forging a career using the skills she honed over the years performing with the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company. The label is the driving force behind her latest production, a cover of Nat King Cole’s 1961 classic The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You). Although it has been sung, many times, many ways, the iconic jazz singer and musician’s popular Yuletide tune speaks volumes to the performer.
“It brings me back when I was younger, although the experience of snow or cold climate is not significant to Jamaica’s climate or culture it doesn’t matter; I listen to it, and I immediately remember as a child my mother would play Nat King Cole especially that classic song,” she said. Aside from songs being played inside her home, TK recalled childhood memories of Christmas time growing up in the Seaview Gardens community.
“From going to church, which was an outlet to express myself through singing, and attending the various treats that were being held in the community to walking through Grand Market and seeing the joy at the annual tree lighting. Oh … and the food, wow, we had lots of that. Cake, sorrel, ham, chicken, a lot of food, just sharing in that with family. Those are my fondest memories of Christmas time as a child,” she shared.