Thanks to last night’s event, TĀLĀ is my new obsession. Nerves may have been unavoidable for her first official live performance, but it’s clear by the multiple disciplines that the half-Iranian producer/songwriter/singer is capable of that she is working her way towards world domination.
The set opened with ‘Ana La Habibi‘ by Fayrouz, a nostalgic slap in the face for me and my memories of watching bad Iranian TV at my grandpa’s Paris flat in 1999. Following this was a 45-minute slot for TĀLĀ to show us what she’s got, and boy did she deliver. Other than what was presumably a musical technician to aid her, TĀLĀ stood alone on stage, singing and moving around her mobile setup of electronic instruments and equipment, playing all tracks from both her Alchemy and The Duchess EPs. To me, it reaffirmed the true definition of ‘live performance’.
What makes TĀLĀ exciting is that she combines the talent already honed by other music makers, but she succeeds in doing them all at the same time. She utilises the niche appeal of exoticism in electronic music, like Fatima Al Qadiri’s flavours of the Orient. The right equilibrium of both catchy and ‘epic’ qualities in TĀLĀ’s music, also found in the entirety of Purity Ring’s Shrines album, means there is more to sink your teeth into than just insipid pop tracks. Her vocal technique ranges from raspy and shy to an anthemic powerhouse, with frequent use of the pitch manipulator in a similar fashion to FKA Twigs.
The point to be made here is not that TĀLĀ has poached all these skills, but rather she has made them her own. How many other artists currently on the scene are able to play instruments, layer sounds, sing and smile all at the same time on stage? To us, last night’s event had enough potential to prove that, with some polishing, TĀLĀ is set to take the musical world by storm, and she has our full backing.