TURNING THE TABLES WITH VANS
By Ezra Maloney, 19 August 2022
I’ve had a strong connection to music since I can remember. I come from a family of music lovers – my dad and uncle were DJs, and my mom and aunts sang together in a band. My dad had all this sound equipment and taught me how to mix, and I just really took to it!
Do you remember your first gig?
There’ve been a lot of firsts. As a kid, I used to compete in local talent shows with my brother; my first performance was at the Apollo Theatre in Brooklyn when I was nine. My first DJ'ing gig was when I was 14 for a kid’s birthday party. And then I booked my first headlining show in 2019 at Elsewhere in Brooklyn.
What barriers did you face on your road to becoming an artist?
As a young woman in a male-dominated industry, I’ve often felt like I’ve been overlooked and underestimated, and it’s made me work twice as hard to get the same recognition as male artists. I spent a lot of time working alone, producing and recording my own music, because I recognised my potential and wouldn’t give up on it.
Releasing my EP, Poster Girl. I produced it myself and it was the first thing I was really proud of, that was totally my own sound. It took three years, loads of trial and error, not rushing the process and, most importantly – developing my producing skills.
I hosted a release party as well, and the love was overwhelming. After so long of feeling alone and misunderstood, I found people that loved my ideas and celebrated me. The line-up was all women, and the night was magical.
I get style inspiration from a variety of places, but if I had to pick music artists, I’d have to say Rihanna, Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill, Pharrell and Tyler the Creator influence me the most.
How does your style differ on and off stage?
My style off stage is always pretty simple. I’m big into unusual silhouettes and proportions. When I work with my styling team on stage, we play with masculine and feminine styles to create experimental but comfortable looks.
My favorite outfit I’ve performed in so far is the Caribbean-inspired look I wore to open for Sister Nancy. On stage, I work with my styling team, creating looks that fit the theme or event, and for this performance the whole band was coordinated. They wore camo and I was in a layered mesh top and skirt, with loads of accessories in the classic Caribbean colours.
My advice would be to be fearless, stay curious and definitely document your journey so you can see your growth and progress.
You can listen to Talia's playlist ft. legends like Beyoncé and Kali Uchis right here (there's literally no skips, btw).