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Tara Priya: Fascinating Rhythm

By Nobby Lamb | 07 December 2016

Black Sheep Mag gets to know US R&B singer Tara Priya.

1 - Hi Tara please introduce yourself to our readers:

Whaddap! I’m Tara, my mates call me TP and I hope you will too!

2 - What’s the story behind the new single Fascinate Ya?

I wrote Fascinate Ya when I was tired of feeling like an object of fascination for men. I felt like I had a “type” and the same story kept happening to me – boy meets girl, boy seems obsessed with girl, girl starts to trust him and let her guard down, boy gets bored and heads off, girl is left confused and insecure.

I felt like was I just like any other girl to these guys, you couldn’t pick me out of a line-up of other girls they’d treated this way – and most of my girlfriends have similar stories, especially since modern dating makes people seem more disposable. At the same time, the guys who treated us this way weren’t unique either; they, too, seemed alike in their carelessness and couldn’t be picked out of a line-up.

“Fascinate Ya” represents a breaking point for me, and all the music I’ve written this year launched from that point. After “Fascinate Ya”, I stopped messing about with people who treated me like I was disposable and took some time to be on my own. I wanted to make myself pass the Bechdel test with my subconscious, let alone my friends. I found joy, sassiness, spirituality, power and even a bit of danger – and loved it. That’s where I’ve been writing from, and it’s been so fun!

3 - How do you approach writing a song and where do you find your inspiration?

Sometimes you’re going through something and the whole song flows out of you, it’s how you process the situation. But sometimes you have a random thought or read something or hear something that touches you somehow…and you think, that’s a great phrase, that relates to all these other things, and just a few words grow into a story you might not have known you needed to tell.

Cycling, driving, walking – letting my mind wander while kind of paying attention to something else usually gives me ideas. It’s like part of my brain gets freed up to reflect and write when I use the rest of my brain to do a relatively mindless activity. But the seeds often come from experience, poetry or a song I hear.

I usually sing the words off the page and the melody comes pretty naturally. If I’m collaborating, we might build the rest of the music in a symbiotic way with the song’s melody, tweaking both to make them grow together.

4 - You've worked with producers who've produced the likes of Skepta, Zayn Malik, Krept & Konan, who else would you most like to collaborate with and why? (producers or artists)

We’re boasting some dope female rappers in the UK. Just a few are Little Simz, Lady Leshurr and Kate Tempest who all do their own thing in their own way. They all have something to say, whether serious or swagger, and I love how they’re saying it. Little Simz right now, she deserves so much more hype than she’s getting – she’s got sharpass bars and tight tracks. Whaddap Little Simz!

I’m also a fan of Wiley, Kano, Stormzy, J Hus, GoldLink, Rudimental and Clean Bandit. So much talent round here!

5 - You've had previous success in Japan. Tell us about your career there, what's the music industry like there?

I’ve got so much love for Japan. When I was just starting out and put music up on Bandcamp, a really cool label/distributor out there found it and signed me. I’ve released my music there and it’s done well, charted on Billboard and on the biggest radio stations there. I’ve toured in Japan and Asia twice.  They still support me and play my music. I don’t understand it but I’m grateful. When you’re a singer/songwriter, all you hope for is that people hear and like your music.

6 - What made you move the UK and are you still interested in releasing music back home in America?

Touring, playing festivals and getting to know people in the music industry in general brought me some awesome opportunities in the UK, so I was coming here a lot before I moved to London. Both the city and its music scene just felt right, like home.
London is so creative, and everyone I’ve worked with here is so hyped to create fresh sounds. The incredible diversity that makes London amazing feeds the music; Afrobeat, bhangra, ragga, dancehall, reggae, trip-hop, you can dip into all of them in a way that’s natural and authentic because it’s so much of what you hear just walking down the street. Well, at least it is where I live in Hackney!

To be honest, I’ve never thought of it like, “I live in the UK now, I won’t release music in America.” I put music out for everyone, everywhere. As much as we see people trying to stop the tide of progress lately, we are global citizens part of a single, beautiful, vibrant human body. I believe our planet is one country, and we are all its citizens. My music belongs to anyone anywhere who feels it.

7 - What are your interests outside of performing and making music?

I love all the performing arts; I go to the theatre as much as I can, the Hackney Picturehouse for cinema and Sadler Wells for dance. I go to Breakin’ Convention, it’s awesome. Watching hip-hop dance is such a joy. I also love to read – Victorian literature is one of my favourites, so I guess I was meant to move here all along!

I box several times a week at a local boxing & MMA gym, I’ve done that since I first moved here. It’s amazing for confidence and stress management. I also try to do community service in Hackney at least once a week. As a Baha’i and human being, I believe service is everything, it gives me hope and purpose.

8 - What's your favourite album of all time?

I would just like to say that this is an IMPOSSIBLE question, especially for musicians!! I’m going to make you a little list, I know it’s cheating but…

•    The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
•    Illmatic, Nas
•    Blue, Joni Mitchell
•    Back to Black, Amy Winehouse
•    Billie Holiday Sings, Billie Holiday
•    Life After Death, Notorious B.I.G.
•    nostalgia,ULTRA, Frank Ocean
•    Al Green’s Greatest Hits, Al Green
•    People’s Instinctive Travels & the Paths of Rhythm, A Tribe Called Quest
•    The White Album, The Beatles

9 - And last album you bought?

Cashmere, Swet Shop Boys

10 - Finally what’s next for Tara Priya?

Ooh so many fun things! The music video for “Fascinate Ya” will be out soon, and in the new year there will be more shows in London and at least two more new songs.

 

Tara Prya's new single can be streamed from this link:

https://soundcloud.com/tarapriya/fascinate-ya

http://tarapriya.com
http://facebook.com/iamtarapriya
http://twitter.com/tarapriya

 

 

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