In late February, singer/songwriter Tippy Balady was planning a summer tour of a half-dozen states, stretching from the Deep South to her hometown, Dallas.
A month later, however, the deadly coronavirus pandemic had struck the U.S., hurling the nation’s economy into uncertainty. Likewise, the tour planning froze.
And Tippy, a college freshman studying pop music at the University of Southern California, retreated home to Dallas. Also postponed for this graduate of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts was a late-April performance at Fortress Festival in Fort Worth.
Tippy has composed music about anxiety and how she strives to manage it. Not surprising, turmoil spun from the COVID-19 emergency offered new material.
“Being so isolated has definitely started turning the wheels in my brain for self-reflection,” she said. “I think about how important it is seeing someone in person, rather than on a screen.
“I’m in a unique position. I can make music anywhere so this has been an awesome opportunity to hone in on those abilities.”
Tippy’s musical style has been called a blend of alternative pop and R&B, delivered with poignant, sometimes searing vocals. But there’s more to it, she said.
“I like to think my songs are colored with rose-tinted glasses, but can also be stripped down, raw and real. It’s coming from my true experiences, whatever’s on my mind.
“I can make a song about my anxiety or even a song about pirates. It’s all over the place.” -Tippy Balady
Wait … pirates?
Yes, she confirmed, laughing.
“My little brother, when he was a baby, was obsessed with pirates,” Tippy explained. “My dad would tell us pirate stories, and it was one of my favorite things, so I became fascinated with the pirate culture.
“And going through life, I also had a huge obsession with the story of Peter Pan; obviously, there are pirates in that story as well.”
However, this songwriter is so intrigued by anxiety that it fuels her growing collection of original music.
She faced the topic headon two years ago with her single “Merry Go Round.” In the video, featuring fellow Booker T. students, she tells her audience that anyone with anxiety is not alone.
“I’ve learned the whole process is breaking things down to little bits,” Tippy said. “That’s what I have to do to be less anxiety-filled.
“Sometimes I don’t listen to my own advice; I become paralyzed by my thoughts, and I wind up watching the wall.”
The July tour originally scheduled stops in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and finally Texas.
“I don’t want to say completely off the table at the moment,” Tippy said. “It’s not postponed, just bookmarked.
“Literally, everything in the world is on pause now, and if for some reason this doesn’t work out, something else will come about.
“And who knows? Maybe it’ll be sooner than I think.”
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