Meet TORA | Arizona indie rock to X Factor and beyond, and no do-overs!
by Herb Sosa
Fans first saw Tora on X Factor this season. She opened the season by wowing all 4 judges with her rousing
rendition of the Jackson 5 song “I Want You Back”. She was one of 32 contestants put through to the “Judges
Homes” round where she continued to fine tune her skills and was mentored by Simon Cowell who called Tora
a “little rock star.” “It was an honor to be among the 8 best girls for the competition and now I’m looking forward
to getting on with my own music”, Tora says.
Where did your name TORA come from? What’s your
Tora originated when I was break dancing at 15. When I
used to go around and battle other break dancing crews,
one cleverly named “Circus Runaways,” the instructors
would give out nick names that fit the person. I was
bestowed the name TORA, which is Japanese for Tiger.
My last name "Woloshin" is Russian. My mother, Emily, is
Irish, German, French, and Russian. My biological father
is Egyptian, Thai, Creek, and Cherokee Indian.
Do you come from a musical/creative family?
My family is very creative, but not too musical. My mom is
extremely intelligent and knows talent when she sees it. My
mother at an early age played the flute is currently working
on writing a book. My biological father used to be a producer
of film for Universal and can hold a tune, but I wouldn't call
him a singer – unless if he’s in the car with the windows
Tucson, AZ is not the first place most think of as a musical
hub… How was the scene there, and what inspired you to
write & perform?
Even though I was born in Southern California, my actual
career for singing and music started in Tucson. Tucson is
more of a rock scene that has inspired some of my musical
genre with the acoustic songs, like Guns & Roses. Music
was instilled in me - in my blood and in my nature. My first
song I wrote when I was 5, entitled “I Love Guinea Pigs.”
I used to raise them, so I wrote a song about how much I
truly adored the, but I always loved expressing myself
through music: instruments, my voice, and on paper.
X Factor must have been huge for you. How did you get
involved? X Factor was astonishing! to be complimented
by the judges, LA Reid, Paula Abdul, and especially by
Simon Cowell. X Factor established me to be signed by
Fli Life Music, which is an indie label in Miami. My mom i
nitially found out about a recording booth in Phoenix where
you record a video audition of you signing and it gets
submitted to X Factor. Next thing I knew I received an email that the producers wanted me to sing in
front of the judges and the rest is history – here I am today!
What was the biggest surprise for you from performing in that arena? Where you prepared for
I'm always prepared for exposure, but the moment I received the standing ovation – I acknowledged
that spotlight would remain lite. The additional compliments by Kelly Rippa and Perez Hilton were
unexpected, but greatly appreciated! The biggest surprise from performing there was the crowd
standing and dancing, even Paula Abdul, with me by the time I sang my second word on Jackson 5’s
timeless classic, “I Want You Back.”
What would you do differently now, knowing what you know.
In life you don’t get the opportunity to have a do-over, but I’ve taken my negative experiences and
learned from them. I remind myself constantly when I'm writing lyrics that I can express all of my
moments, the highs and the lows, through my music to my fans and I believe they respect, support,
and share those moments with me in the end
Describe your sound and your writing voice/inspiration.
I would call my sound a pop rock with a hint of R&B. My mom listened to Mariah Carey when I was
still in the womb so I grew up to her music and taught myself how to sing by singing along
attempting to match her vocals. My other inspirations are Michael Jackson, One Republic,
Timbaland, Journey, Killswitch Engage, Josh Turner, and sooooo many more. I am inspired by, not
only musicians, but visual art as well, like Van Gogh, dancing and Salvador Dali.
You have a lot of gay followers. Why do you think that is? How are you with the LGBT community? I think that the gay community is
extremely accepting and open-minded. I hold a genre that is not too known yet and love to sing and write all different types of music, so
some people may disagree with this. But this is what I love and will change nothing of it. I am also bi sexual myself, I love who I love no
matter what gender.
Your look and sound is definitely not traditional. Where does that come from and how has it evolved?
Well, it comes from me, as my own individuality is applied. My sound and writing is who I am and my way of expressing just that. It comes
from my past, my love of millions of different things and my experiences. It has evolved skillfully in a way of growth and gain of perception
through what I have experienced in my life.
10 When will we see TORA performing in South Florida?
I will be performing at The Manor Complex in Wilton Manors,
Fort Lauderdale on the night of the 22nd of December.
What should your fans expect from you next? What’s in the
Currently, just released some Electro-Dance-Music (EDM)
Remixes to my single, “Guns & Roses.” Also, soon to be a music
video for “Guns & Roses” and then my second single this is to be
announced in the New Year. I am also in the studio with some
of the wonderful producers I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate
with like, The Fliptones and BetaControl in Los Angeles. Also,
my fan can follow me on Twitter and website at
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of all committed
|Gracias|Thank You Celebrating 6 Years of
If the love child of
Lady Gaga, Mariah
Carey and Pink
were to crash the
during a One
Blindside tribute to
Michael Jackson, it
might be close to
the vibe you’d get
when Tora takes