A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to see a young singer perform at The Islington in North London. Having seen her sing so beautifully I tried to find out a little about Talia Raz. Having been born in London and subsequently living in America, she’s back in North West London. At just sixteen, she has just finished her GCSEs and will be attending the East London Arts & Music College, originally founded by ‘Chase & Status’ star Will Kennard. It seemed the best way to find out about this exciting new talent was to ask her a few questions. This is what she had to say!
EP : So Talia, I was lucky enough to catch you live a few weeks ago and was blown away by your voice and stage presence at just sixteen. But, for our readers I’d like to ask you a few questions. Firstly, how would you describe your music?
TR: Primarily RnB, with a strong component of soul and some pop influence.
EP: When I saw you you covered everything from Amy Winehouse to Zac Abel. What are your influences?
TR: I tend to favour artists with meaningful lyrics such as those you have already mentioned, as well as others as wide ranging as Aretha Franklin and Ed Sheeran.
EP: I saw you play at The Islington and the crowd loved your set, do you have plans for any other gigs?
TR: I love gigging and would happily perform more if I got the opportunity! The Islington have asked me back and I’m open to all offers.
EP: You supported Luke Friend who found fame by way of a talent show, do you see that as a way to reach a wider audience or do you favour the age old route of hard work and building a ground roots following?
TR: I think it’s great to be found by way of a talent show which catapults you straight into public notice, but I think for me it will probably have to come about through hard work and lots of gigging. I don’t mind it though, because I love the intimacy of performing at smaller venues.
EP: I heard from a little bird that you will be attending Barn on the Farm Festival this year as a fan. Zac Abel is playing this year, and I know you are a fan, how much are you looking forward to seeing him live and is he aware of your fantastic cover of his song ‘Unstable’?
TR: Of course I’m super excited to see Zak perform! I think he’s got a mad voice! I don’t think it will be too long before he becomes much more widely recognised for his unbelievable talent.
In regards to the covers, he has seen them and has been kind enough to give me a lot of encouragement and advice. However, I don’t know if he’s ever heard my cover of ‘Unstable’.
EP: When I saw you play, your Mum was in the crowd and loving every second of your set. Is she an inspiration for your singing and musical tastes?
TR: My Mom’s amazingly supportive and makes a real effort to make it to my gigs. However, my mom’s not that much of a musical inspiration for me. Unless I play her something, she never even listens to music.
EP: What advice would you give for aspiring singers out there trying to follow their dream as you set out following yours?
TR: I think I’m too much of a newbie to be giving anyone else advice yet!
EP: What can we expect from you in the next year?
TR: I’m hoping to do many more covers, and also put out some original recordings.
I’m also looking at collaborating with more established musicians and I’ve got several exciting offers on the horizon. I’ve got a couple of writing sessions already scheduled this month which I’m very excited about!
EP: Where can people access your music?
TR: You can find most of my recordings @taliaraz_ on Instagram.
EP: I was thrilled to see you sing songs that you have written. Do you feel strongly about writing your own material going forward and what motivates you to sit down and write?
TR: I’m really passionate about writing my own music, and i usually focus on feelings and experiences since I find it really cathartic to express them musically. I find that when I write I can look at situations I’m writing about from a different perspective.