Taliwhoah’s unique blend of R&B music gained her several plaudits last year, and led to her being pointed out as one to watch out for in the future. Originally from Tottenham, she moved to the US early in her life. Her sound contains intertwines between contemporary R&B, trap and soul, so it is clear to see that she is in her own lane within the UK R&B scene. I had the opportunity to speak with her about her path in music so far, and her future plans.
So, where did the name come from?
At the end of my first year of high school in the US, I decided I wanted to be more creative, so I tried out for the dance team. I did really well, and this boy came up to me and said, ‘Tali made me say woah’, and for some reason, it just stuck with me. I used to write ‘Taliwhoah’ on the merch I got from the dance team, and yeah, that’s how it came about.
From Tottenham to LA is a vast change. How did you find yourself in LA, and how did you end up signing for Rostrum Records?
When I left Tottenham, I moved to a small town near Seattle, and it was a massive culture shock for me. Even though I travelled a lot when I was younger, it was still so different to back in Tottenham. When I was in Seattle, I knew I wanted to branch out and reach my aspirations and do more with my life, so from there, I moved to LA.
Most people think that me living in LA immediately associate it with the notion of ‘I went out there to make music’. Actually, I had been living in LA for 5 years before I started doing music. I came back to the UK in 2014, and that’s when I started taking music seriously. In 2016, I was back in LA, and a friend of mine took me to Rostrum. I managed to meet somebody there; some time later, they reached out to me to tell me they really liked my music, and gave me the opportunity to come back to LA, and sign with Rostrum.
Your music contains various different sub-genres, from trap to contemporary R&B. Why do you think there are so many artists out right now who are trying to mix up and diversify their sound as much as possible?
We’re just exposed to so much more now. Whereas before, the music you listened to had a strong connection to where you were raised, now we have things like the Internet that exposes us to so much more. This generation is different, and it shows in the way our sounds fuse together more now.
The video for your song, ‘Alright’, consists of you literally just in your own zone, and expressing yourself. How would you describe your personality in 5 words?
Extra, optimistic, chill, jokey, sarcastic!
Who are your musical inspirations?
They change from time to time, but if I had to pick two current ones in regard to creative inspirations, it would be Solange, because she literally has the whole package, and Kehlani, because I admire how, despite her young age, she built up herself and her own brand.
And who’s the biggest artist you’ve been in the studio with?
I think Mo Stack.
Who’s your dream collab, artist and producer wise?
Artist wise, it would have been Michael Jackson, or maybe Beyonce; I’d love to write a song for her. Producer wise, I’d love to work with Missy Elliott and Timbaland. If I could have anyone in the world write for me, it would be Babyface and Ginuwine, with Missy and Timbaland on production.
You’ve got your show in Camden Assembly coming up later this month. What’s a venue you’ve always dreamed of performing at?
The Royal Albert Hall. I want my headline show to be there.
Coming from your musical background, most people would assume that music was always going to be the path you went down. If you didn’t make music, what would you be doing?
I think I’d be a merchandiser or a buyer for a store. If not that, definitely still within fashion, and maybe doing dance on the side.
What can we expect from Taliwhoah in 2018?
Bare stuff. Another EP coming up soon; a collaborative EP coming up in March. Bare videos. Bare visuals.
A lot more of me in 2018!
As she said, Taliwhoah will be dropping an EP in March, so make sure you keep locked onto her socials for updates!