Singer-Songwriter • Activist • Writer

Mailing List

If your email inbox looks anything like mine, you’re probably nervous about signing up for one more mailing list.

Don’t worry, this one is different.

DestinationFREE3-4/yearReleases & Tour Dates
Journey$5/month*~ monthlyMusic, Photos, Writing
*All previous crowdfunding backers get permanent access to the paid tier.

Hitting the “subscribe” button opts you into the “destination” tier. You can customize how often you hear from me from there.

A natural-born storyteller with the polish of an accomplished actress and the authentic edge of a seasoned blues musician.

Seattle Weekly


Featured Track: “I wanna see you be brave.”

Music is the art form we turn to when we need to build bridges and make ourselves plainly understood.

In January 2020, the United States was in crisis. The president was holding vital defense support to Ukraine hostage as a means of coercing their government into investigating the son of a political rival.

My civil disobedience action inside the Senate’s Russell Rotunda – performing Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” in an area where protest is strictly forbidden – was a call on Republican Senators to join Democrats in voting to remove that corrupt president from office.

More Music

Everyone You’ll Be EP • Studio Album Release Date: Feb 2024
Home demos…

Tae Phoenix · The Girls You'll Be Demos
Deep Cuts

Tour Dates

Boston8/7/23TBABerklee Performance Center*
Boston8/8/233:30pmCafe 939
New York8/14/236pmRockwood Music Hall
Washington, DC8/17/232-4pmWOWD Radio
Reston, VA8/18/236pmLake Anne Plaza
* I am a backup singer as part of a larger ensemble.

Bio / Artist Statement

My name is Tae Phoenix and my favorite party game is “two truths and a lie.” See if you can guess which is which:

The answer is in the footer of the website.

My work is about themes that everyone can relate to on some level: rejecting conformity, embracing authenticity, and finding the connections between healing ourselves and building the world we want.

Sometimes, when I’m stuck on where a musical idea belongs, I’ll write lyrics from the perspective of a fictional character and see where that takes me. I love this approach because I tend to obsess over stories: telling them, absorbing them, analyzing them. It doesn’t really matter as long as I’m immersed. I’ve written songs that started out as screenplays and the beginnings of musicals that I originally thought were novels. It all makes me ridiculously happy.

My favorite thing about using music as a storytelling vehicle is that a well-timed and well-written song can convey a tremendous amount of information just with the placement of a quarter note rest. I learned this the first time I performed in a Sondheim show. (“Into the Woods.”) I looked at the score, thought, “wow! It’s turtles all the way down, “and never looked back.

The performing arts world is a wonderful place for many reasons, but it’s also not an easy space for me to enter. As an Autistic, I get easily overwhelmed by loud, chaotic environments like music clubs. In a people-oriented business, missing a social cue, facial expression, or change in tone of voice can have implications that aren’t always obvious in the moment. One of my goals as I work in this space is to build more inclusive and accessible spaces for “neuro-spicy” artists and our supporters.



Music & Lyric Videos

We Shall Not Be Moved

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ collapsed=”off” next_background_color=”#000000″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.0.106″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_code _builder_version=”3.0.106″]<iframe width=”1020″ height=”600″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/4xih8JiMsYc&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.0.106″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.106″]

We shall not, we shall not be moved We shall not, we shall not be moved Just like a tree that’s standing in the waters We shall not be moved

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row custom_margin=”|||” _builder_version=”3.0.105″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.106″] I did not write “We Shall Not Be Moved.” It’s been around since at least the mid-1800’s. While the copyright was granted to two white male gospel composers in the early 1900’s, the standard line is that “nobody knows” exactly how long it has been around. To my ear, “nobody knows” sounds an awful lot like, “this song was written by an enslaved person, but in America we don’t talk about slavery unless there’s no way to avoid it, so we’re just gonna leave it mysterious.” Barring the discovery of new original documents or the invention of time travel, the name of the original composer is lost to us; but we do know that the lyrics are inspired by Jeremiah 17:8:

They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

When I think of the composer, I imagine a black woman sustaining her spirit in the face of the sadistic and dehumanizing conditions of slavery by drawing on the certainty of her immanent human value; just like a tree whose taproot draws on pure, nourishing water from deep beneath the earth. Her voice spread that nourishment to anyone who could hear her. The magic she spun has sustained generations. While I will never know the horrors she faced, I have often turned to music to save my own soul when faced with dehumanization and objectification, both as a young girl and as an adult woman. I honor the memory of this ancestral songwriter and express gratitude for the gift she gave us in the spirit of human survivorship and commitment to overcoming all forms of oppression. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.0.105″ collapsed=”on” prev_background_color=”#000000″][et_pb_row custom_margin=”20px|||” _builder_version=”3.0.105″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.105″ custom_margin=”40px|||”]



In August of 2017, a group of right-wing extremists held a rally in downtown Seattle. A diverse coalition of Seattleites mounted a several thousand-person counterprotest at a nearby park. Our plan was to march on the right-wing rally, overwhelm them with our numbers, and force them out of our city.

The police had other ideas. As we advanced on the extremist rally, officers began firing off flash bang grenades and threatening to arrest all of us if we didn’t clear the street and turn back. Instead of obeying, several hundred of us sat down in the street and began singing “We Shall Not Be Moved.” I was handed a microphone and asked to lead the singing.

It’s not easy to disobey a direct order from a phalanx of heavily armed riot cops, but the act of singing together transformed my fear into a feeling of profound fellowship and trust.

In the end, the police couldn’t arrest all of us and they couldn’t intimidate us into turning back. Instead, they had to disperse the extremist group because we had them so vastly outnumbered.

That protest was a microcosm of the political situation we face today. The vast majority of Americans want a more equitable, inclusive country; but a small group of right-wing extremists have seized power. We have the numbers, so we have to stand our ground – no matter the risks – and keep marching forward until we reclaim our government. As I thought about this parallel, the lyrics and melody of this adaptation began pouring out of me.

Knowing that the original “We Shall Not Be Moved” is an African American spiritual, it was important to me to build this song with a black-led production team that reflected the coalition we need to build to save the soul of our nation. I am deeply grateful for the leadership of my colleagues, Maurice Jones Jr. and Josephine Howell in crafting this piece of music.


[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.0.106″][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Maurice” name=”Maurice Jones Jr.” position=”producer • arranger • bass” image_url=”https://taephoenix.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/jones-maurice_headshot.jpg&#8221; _builder_version=”3.0.106″ custom_css_member_position=”font-size: 15px;”] Maurice has achieved a lifetime of professional experience as a music producer, filmmaker, recording engineer, musician, educator, performer, graphic artist, production facility designer and entrepreneur. He has worked along side of notable talent including the Neville Brothers, Peter Gabriel, Live and the SongCatchers. [/et_pb_team_member][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Josephine” name=”Josephine Howell” position=”featured performing artist • vocal director” image_url=”https://taephoenix.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/26647.jpg&#8221; _builder_version=”3.0.106″ custom_css_member_position=”font-size: 15px;”] Josephine first explored her interest and abilities for singing in the children’s choir at her childhood church, The True Right M. B. Church. Her range of talent extends from singing, dancing and acting to the very production and direction of the arts. The experiences of her performances reflect the spirituality, love, struggles and victories of one who tells a story of triumph where there was no hope. [/et_pb_team_member][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Lara” name=”Lara Lavi” position=”music video director” image_url=”https://taephoenix.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/laracrop.jpeg&#8221; _builder_version=”3.0.106″ header_level=”h5″ header_font=”||||||||” custom_css_member_position=”font-size: 15px;”] Called once by Bonnie Raitt as “one of the best kept secrets in the music world,” Lara is a media/tech/entertainment law attorney, an entrepreneur, an entertainment company executive, a business development specialist, a film and TV producer & writer, and a Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter. [/et_pb_team_member][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.0.106″][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_divider _builder_version=”3.0.106″ /][et_pb_divider _builder_version=”3.0.106″ /][et_pb_text admin_label=”Credits” _builder_version=”3.0.106″]

Album Credits
Vocals: Tae Phoenix, Josephine Howell, Chyée Howell, Tanisha Brooks, Lisa Allen, Maelu Strange, Gena Brooks Guitar: Jeffrey Carolus Piano: Tae Phoenix Organs / Synths: Mark Cardenas Bass: Maurice Jones Jr. Drums: Kai Evan Hill Producer: Maurice Jones Jr. Production Assistant: Audrey Lowell Mastering Engineer: Pete Stewart Recorded at Red Door Studios and Bobby Lang Studios in Seattle, WA. Album cover photo by Brian Wells. Cover art design by Tae Phoenix.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_divider _builder_version=”3.0.106″ /][et_pb_divider _builder_version=”3.0.106″ /][et_pb_text admin_label=”Appropriation” _builder_version=”3.0.106″]

Artist’s Statement on Cultural Appropriation


The original “We Shall Not Be Moved” is an African American spiritual and civil rights song. This is an adaptation.

All artists draw inspiration and influence from one another across cultures. Capitalism and white supremacy have perverted this natural artistic interplay, leading to a centuries-long pattern of white artists co-opting and monetizing the work of black and brown artists without recognizing, advocating for, adequately paying, or accepting leadership from the originators of the work.

“We Shall Not Be Moved,” is different. This project is a collaboration between artists from multiple intersecting backgrounds specifically designed to break through that pattern by:

1) Uplifting and honoring the history of the original song.
2) Presenting the work only in ways that promote the human and civil rights of marginalized people.
3) Funneling at least 50% of any profits derived from this work** and future works of this type to movements and organizations that are run by and for marginalized groups. (The other 50% will be used to make future work of this type economically sustainable.)

In am especially grateful to Allegra Searle-LeBel, Charles McDade, Dion Thomas, Dan Roach, Isiah Anderson Jr., Jen Moon, Josephine Howell, Maurice Jones Jr., Modessa Jacobs, Nikkita Oliver, and Rev. Harriett G. Walden for holding me accountable to approaching this material with the mindfulness and respect it deserves.

** From music and merchandise sales, downloads and streams, and ad monetization.