'Writing and singing my music is my greatest joy and how I express myself the best. This record is just the beginning of so much that I have to say.' ____ Tanisha Taitt wrote her first song at 15, and a floodgate opened. Now possessing a repertoire of nearly 600 self-penned compositions, she says that for her, writing songs is akin to 'taking breaths. I don't think about it, but if I stop, I'm dead.' While a student in the Recording Arts Management programme at Toronto's Harris Institute for the Arts, she was the winner of the CMPA's annual Songwriters Award & Scholarship. That, Tanisha says, turned an already blazing fire into an inferno. 'Winning that award just cemented my belief in what I already knew, that I was supposed to be writing and singing my songs for the rest of my life.' She released the cassette EP Praylude in 1999. Recounting her emotional journey back from a harrowing assault years earlier at age 19, the 9-song collection heralded a new maturity as a songwriter. The songs were intensely personal and often disturbing, but equally poignant and deeply moving. The planned followup, Forgiving February, was scrapped when Tanisha says she woke up one morning 'over it'. 'The pain that I'd gotten so used to writing about had healed, but I was still wallowing in it in my music. I knew that that wasn't healthy, so I nixed the album more than halfway through it.' Now, five years after Praylude, comes Overflow. The 12-song disc, co-produced by Taitt and bassist Jordan O'Connor, showcases a wide range of musical moods from stirring, ethereal ballads to funky, soulful upbeat tunes. A variety of themes abound. The lead track, Tale Of The A&R Man, recounts the story of a meeting with a record executive that took a strange turn. Two embraces the newfound sexual discovery of womanhood, and Morphine is inspired by the struggle of a close friend with whom Taitt was collaborating at the time of his death. Comfortable and unapologetic about what she considers her purpose, Tanisha readily admits to being a songwriting addict. 'If I did anything else this much, I'd probably be in treatment for it somewhere', she smirks. 'There were 30 songs considered for this album; my next one is already partially recorded and the one after that is halfway written. Give me a pen & paper, a guitar or piano, and some solitude, and the emotional well is filled to the brim in a heartbeat. I overflow.'