From Soul Singing to Psychology: IAMTIKICA

April 26, 2022

Tikica Platt has been singing since she was three years old, which is what happens when your mother sings and your father is a drummer for Clarence Carter, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, and other legendary soul and R&B acts of the 1960s and 1970s.

Those parental influences sparked a lifelong dream to be a professional singer. But starting in her 20s, auditions for top Atlanta-based producers, plus many demo tapes, and several opportunities to show off her vocal talents at local events — including the 1994 Super Bowl at the Georgia Dome, where she was part of Natalie Cole’s backup choir — didn’t result in the stardom she sought. 

“I'm in my forties, and I've been trying to do this, and dropping it, and picking it back up, and I’m thinking, it's gone, it's dead,” she says.

Her hopes for breaking out of the ultra-competitive Atlanta music scene are alive again, thanks to a Friday night in January 2021. Shortly after Platt landed a new job as an administrative manager in the School of Psychology, where she leads a team that oversees human resources and operations, she recorded a video of herself singing half of a cover song and posted it on her Facebook page. 

“Everybody loved it,” she recalls — including the two producers who called her asking if she wanted to record an album. 

Now she’s putting the finishing touches on “IAMTIKICA,” a five-song EP that she’ll soon drop and shop to record companies. The album’s feature single, “Lost in Your Vibe,” can be heard on Apple Music, Spotify, and HearNow.

“All my life, I feel like I've been searching for the perfect place to put my gift, how to carry it,” Platt says. “So I started this out of a need to just sing. I had gotten out of the church choir that I was in, and I literally felt like I had no place to sing, and I said, ‘I'm doing it tonight.’ You can see on the video, my hair is up in a bun. And I'm just going for it. Because what do I have to lose?”

Determined to blaze her own path in music

Whenever Platt searched the groups that her father, Alford J. Cooper, played drums for, she couldn’t find his name on their albums. “He said in those times, groups had (backup musicians) they went on the road with, but weren’t in the studio.”

While her mother, Cheylon L. Bradford, gave her the chance to show off her vocal talents early in church choirs, she credits her father with passing along a desire to perform in front of audiences. 

Platt says she was determined at a young age to make her own mark in the entertainment world. Yet as she was trying to get noticed for her vocal talents, Platt was also starting a family (she has two children) and working on a business career. She received her BBA from Clark Atlanta University and an MBA from Piedmont College’s Athens, Georgia campus. She then spent 22 years as a financial administrator for the University of Georgia before landing her present job at Georgia Tech.

“Even though I'm a creative, I'm extremely organized, and I'm a planner,” Platt says. Along with operations and IT, she and her team handle all human resources needs for staff and faculty at the School of Psychology. “I used to handle finance and human resources for the department at UGA. But here, you have your admin or HR manager, and you have your financial manager. Together we handle everything outside of academics.”

Platt has spent 23 years in the University System of Georgia, and she would love to be able to continue working at Georgia Tech while pursuing her dreams of being a professional singer. “Singing has always been the ultimate dream. But I also love that I’ve found what I’m good at in the world, all this time that this dream has not fully come to fruition.”

She credits her supervisor in the School of Psychology with supporting her efforts to become a singer. “I have crazy support, all of that. I absolutely love Georgia Tech.”

“It's wonderful that all the members of our community actively explore options to reach their full potential and fulfill their dreams,” says Tansu Celikel, professor and chair of the School of Psychology.

Platt says she sang more in 2021 than in the last 10 years. She’s been interviewed on Athens radio, recently sung the national anthem at a sporting event, and more. “If I could sing the national anthem at a Tech game, that would be great,” she adds with a laugh. 

It’s all part of her longtime plan: to not let rejection get the best of her, and to create her own opportunities. It’s advice that she believes could also help Georgia Tech students. “As long as you have the gift, do the work and fit it in wherever you can,” Platt says. “You just keep at it, and then just trust that God will provide the timing. And don’t ever give up, because you can have whatever you desire, if you just keep at it.”


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Writer: Renay San Miguel
Communications Officer II
College of Sciences