TALIA is set to officially release her new EP, headrush, tomorrow, but we’re premiering the collection today alongside an interview about the inspiration behind the EP.
In our new interview, TALIA talks about pain, growth, and heartache, and how her relationship to love and pain inspired a lot of the tracks on headrush. Talking about everything from film inspirations to creating the EP with her brother, Kai Blu, TALIA breaks down the making of headrush, offering up new and insightful ways of looking at the seven tracks.
“There is an expectation for Black culture to carry society forward with little regard to the silencing we face,” TALIA explains. “My music is a place where I can feel those emotions because I had to fight for the space to have them in the first place.”
Stream headrush and learn more about the making of the EP below.
Indie88: Since you wrote most of the EP during quarantine, how has the pandemic changed your writing process or influenced the EP as a whole? What has kept you inspired to keep working at your music?
TALIA: In quarantine, I had an insane amount of time and space to experiment with different sounds and really dive into my songwriting process. I feel like I had the opportunity to rediscover my joy for music again, just messing around and immersing myself in everything and anything. If I’m not inspired, I’ll just take a break from music entirely for weeks if I need to. But when I have an idea it’s such a rush, I’ll stay up all night writing and recording. For headrush I started writing whatever flowed in the moment, but a concrete idea for the EP didn’t come to me until after I wrote ‘colder’ and ‘better for u.’ It was extremely freeing and liberating to build this project in quarantine because there were no expectations or a need for me to feel “productive.” I had the freedom to just play and express my most honest self. I draw my inspiration from my experiences, imagination, films, and daily life. My love for film definitely bleeds through in my songwriting process. I enjoy building a cinematic world around my character and the words.
Indie88: I love the quote you mentioned from your friend who said, “you can only love as deeply as you’ve been in pain,” can you talk a little bit about where that theme comes through on the EP?
TALIA: I was so struck when my friend said that – it’s achingly honest and it really resonated with me! It’s almost reassuring to think that we experience pain and heartbreak so that we can grow to experience love in a more meaningful way. I had that conversation with her towards the end of my songwriting process. We were just talking about life one night and it was almost as if she synthesized what I was aiming to write throughout these seven songs. In ‘getoutofmyhead’ I talk about my bond and love for my brothers as well as my personal struggles with mental health. ‘colder’ reflects on a painful first heartbreak. ‘hyde park’ is about me falling in love with someone in a new city. In ‘better for u’ i’m searching for self love, and each song questions or investigates a different version of my relationship to both love and pain.
Indie88: You’ve talked about your love for cinema, what are some films that have inspired headrush?
TALIA: I probably watched a million movies and TV shows during quarantine. Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, and Solange’s When I Get Home were some of my favourites that my mind keeps wandering back to. They are all very different in essence but got me through periods of writer’s block.
Indie88: What was it like working on the collection with your brother?
TALIA: The EP wouldn’t be the same without him. My brother, Kai Blu, is also an artist and he knows me better than anyone. He definitely inspired me and pushed me to be honest on this project. Creating headrush with him truly made the process a thousand times more special.
Indie88: Now that the EP has been released, what kind of themes do you hope to explore in your music in the future?
TALIA: I never really start writing with the intention of focusing on a singular theme in my music. I love to approach it fully from where I am emotionally and what’s inspiring me in the moment. I’m excited to explore more themes around my identity and human connection. The art I create is inherently tied to my identity and there are endless layers that I am always discovering and rediscovering. Identity is fluid as we grow and change, so I’m just looking forward to uncovering more layers in my musicality and art as well.
headrush will be available on all streaming platforms here on April 2nd.