About Chamán

Though I was born Tania Glenn-Rodriguez, my parents nicknamed me Chamán as a child, and still affectionately call me this or some Mexicanized variation, i.e. Chamanita, Chamanin, etc.

Born and raised on the U.S./Mexico border, I’ve grown up with paradoxes. My Grandmother Maria Teresa Rodriguez, whom I credit with instilling me with the gift of music, once told me “Mija, la música es muy celosa” / “My child, music is very jealous.”  Coming from a lineage of musicians, I took her words to heart and watched as she talked about trying to balance her dream of becoming a concert pianist with motherhood and work. Unfortunately, she was unable to manage it and all but gave up on her dream.

At some point in my musical career, I felt like my grandmother lived vicariously through me and my own dreams because she still held some resentment about not having fulfilled hers. After all, I was the lead singer of the infamously political latin ska/cumbia band FUGA! for over 8 years, playing nationally and packing venues like The Independent in San Francisco, CA.

I loved the music we were creating and the community of fans that supported us, but I wasn’t happy and couldn’t figure out why. Most nights, I would fall asleep in the tour van exhausted while everyone hung out at after-parties. After one of our grueling tours, I headed to the mountains of northern Thailand for a meditation retreat.  I was supposed to go back to my life as a nightclub musician, but I couldn’t and it was breaking my heart. I was waking up to certain contradictions, and my life began to take a very different turn, from one of living by the skin of my teeth towards one of being a more whole, loving, and fully present human being.

I realized that the deaths of my greatest heroes in music by drug overdoses, depression and suicide were symptomatic of the “suffering artist” identity, and that I would have to consciously choose a different path. Here is where my story to find healing and awakening through music begins.

Today I work towards a harmonious and healthy relationship with music, family, and career. I write about social justice issues but also about mindfulness and love. I sing in Spanish or English depending on what my heart dictates.  I honor my ancestral heritage from Mexico while still writing and exploring in musical styles that I grew up with in America. Most of all, I try to be fully present while writing my music so that it comes from the heart and soul.


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