ADA -- Chickasaw singer Tabitha Fair grew up in Oklahoma. Her roots run deep in the state even though she now calls New York City home.
But returning to Chickasaw Country to help celebrate the tribe’s annual festival through song, she has found a new emotional connection to the state and people she says she will always be proud to call her own.
Fair was part of this year’s Annual Meeting and Chickasaw Festival in a very special way. She recorded a special song marking the occasion and returned to Oklahoma this summer to shoot a video for the festival. The video premiered at the Annual Meeting, which was held Sept. 28-Oct. 5.
“If I can lend my gifts and talents to the Chickasaw Nation, I will do it at the drop of a hat,” she said. “It’s amazing to come back and feel that belonging to something.”
The theme of the song connected to the theme of this year’s event – Coming Home.
“I think you can say the music has a country flair to it,” she said. “It takes you through the journey of growing up and moving away, and longing for your home and family. It’s about experiencing the joy of coming back to your roots, your family and your homeland.”
Fair said it was as if the song was written specifically for her. She wondered if the songwriters knew her personal story as they wrote it.
“It did ring true,” she said. “I felt as I was singing it, that it was my story.”
She said all her family was from Oklahoma and many family members still reside throughout the state.
“When I come back to Oklahoma, it is like coming home,” she said. “It’s like breathing fresh air. It smells so good here.”
Fair’s music is grounded in Oklahoma church music. She said learning to sing in the church from a very young age helped her learn how to connect to God and to an audience.
The singer said while living in New York was hard for anyone wanting a career in music, she has had the opportunity to perform with some of the world’s most famous stars – Sting, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Amy Grant to name just a few.
“I’ve had some amazing opportunities,” she said. “I think those things were preparing me for something greater. I believe this is going to be part of that. There’s a reason I was given this opportunity. I hold my heritage. I honor it, and I want to honor this music.”
Fair speculated performing the song at the Annual Meeting and Festival could be the beginning of doing more musically with her Chickasaw heritage.
“I’m one-fourth Chickasaw and I’m proud of that,” she said. “I want to put something in popular culture that could translate our heritage in a positive and unique way. I think people want to know more about native culture. I would love to be a vessel and sing something that means something to help the planet and the world.”
A Chickasaw renaissance is happening, she said, and she wants to be part of it musically and for the world.
“I look at us now and see what we are doing for our state and country,” she said. “We have risen above. It’s amazing for our people and makes me so proud. I want to be part of that.”
Fair enjoys all kinds of music, but her heart is in gospel music. She is currently working with a New York gospel group on a project. The new venture will feature music that has soul and country roots.
To view the Coming Home video starring Fair, visit www.chickasaw.net.