Interview

TALA

TALA first came to our attention through a number of mysterious releases on the internet back in 2014 that almost at once had the music world sitting up and taking note. These infectious tracks then turned into her debut EP, The Duchess, and a video for lead single “Serbia” that was filmed in Morocco. Her sound is progressive, disruptive, electronica meets hip hop, pop meets sounds from her Middle Eastern heritage. The comparisons to MIA have followed her since the beginning of her career, but still at only 22 years old, TALA has since been busy making music that is undeniably ‘her’. And as she tells us, the best is yet to come.

You began releasing music back in 2013, how do you feel you've evolved musically and personally in that time?

I’m constantly evolving and changing, that is the best part about being an artist. When I first started releasing music in 2013 I was very much behind a logo and my production was definitely at the forefront. I’ve been through so much since then and grown emotionally and musically which has really helped my songwriting. I found myself being able to write in the moment and being able to put those raw emotions into music really translates. I think when you’ve been through loss it can be hard to talk about and I’ve found music to be the key for me to express my feelings and find peace.

You recently released Birthday Cake with a video that flips stereotypical gender roles, how important is it to you that your music is empowering?

It’s very important to me, especially with all the ongoing topics of gender stereotypes, sexism and misogyny in general. Carolina Mizrahi and I wanted to flip the subject, it was like my response to Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop”. When I was rehearsing with Mikey Boats, who features in my video, we both thought it was important that I was in complete control so that the dynamic was right.

How have you seen female empowerment grow in your time as an artist?

I have seen it grow. The industry is still very male dominated at the top levels, those people who hold the keys to a lot of great opportunities, but I do see women coming through. I think it’s great that there are more female producers getting a platform and strong female artists who inspire and encourage girls that want to have a music career or get into music production. There is still so much to be done here though. Women are kept out of a lot of rooms because men aren't even aware that they exist or how skilled they are. That is really what I would love to see happen quicker. I think women have to work so much harder to show that they are talented and not just a talented FEMALE producer or engineer but a talented producer or engineer full stop.

What can fans expect from your upcoming album, what do you want to say with it?

It really was a diary for me, about the hard time that I was going through, and I was able to put all of these emotions into the music I was making. I felt so empowered and liberated by freedom and found a voice within myself that I didn’t know existed.

How important are visuals to your music, and what inspires your aesthetic?

The visual aesthetic is extremely important for any artist and can really affect how the music is perceived. As for me, I’m very hands on and have always had a clear vision of what I want my visuals to look like. My inspirations change with the music I’m making regularly but I would say that the foundation is always something old mixed with something modern and a touch of my Middle Eastern heritage. It’s always the clashes of culture and sound that interest me and play a massive part in the music and art that I create.

You've collaborated with and remixed many different artists, who else do you want to collaborate with?

I would love to work with Kanye West. I just feel like he would actually get me. Octavian is so dope, I have so many beats for him. I also love Jessie Reyez - her voice and lyrics are fire.
Producer-wise, my dream would be to work with 40.

Can you tell us what your most excited for this year?

I’m excited to release new music and all the other projects I’m working on. I have a new sample pack for Splice sounds that I’m about to start working on and some amazing music that I have been collaborating on with some very talented artists and producers who I admire. This year I am going to be pushing myself harder as a producer to be involved in the projects that I feel passionate about.

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