As the Hylton Center prepares for a special Veterans Day celebratory concert featuring The War and Treaty on November 14 at 7 p.m., we sat down to get to know the artists who comprise The War and Treaty: husband-and-wife duo, Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount.
The couple first met in 2010 at the aptly titled Spirit of Love festival in Maryland. Trotter and Blount were in their late twenties and thirties at the time, both looking to make their big break into the music industry. Blount had grown up mesmerized by artists like Jennifer Holliday and Salt-N-Pepa. After singing alongside Lauryn Hill in 1993’s Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Blount went on to pursue an R&B career in the 1990s, where she soon scored a handful of charting singles and even signed with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records.
Trotter grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but spent most of his young adult life in Washington, D.C. At the age of 21 in 2003, Trotter enlisted in the Army, a few months after the United States had invaded Iraq. When he was deployed to Baghdad later that year, Trotter witnessed the worst of the Iraq War, with many of his fellow soldiers losing their lives. To cope with the grief that Trotter and his infantrymen experienced during the War, he would sing tribute songs about his battalion’s fallen comrades. Trotter’s music was met with immediate encouragement as he later won a “Military Idol” music competition in Germany.
Blount greatly admired Trotter’s emotional sensitivity when she saw him perform at the 2010 Spirit of Love festival, and as a result, their artistic-romantic partnership began. Today, the couple continues to bring their very relatable struggles to their music including Trotter’s battle with PTSD as an Army Veteran. Their song “Five More Minutes” stresses their uplifting message of staying the course and not giving up.
Don’t miss your chance to witness this powerhouse couple in their Merchant Hall debut! Free for Veterans and Servicemembers with ID (up to 2 tickets each).
(Bernstein, Jonathan. “The War and Treaty’s Journey Toward Hope.” Rolling Stone magazine, 28 Sept. 2020)