Music’s rising star Tash is releasing her next song, ‘Wise,’ on Sept. 14. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the Australian singer-songwriter on what inspires her music, being discovered on Instagram, and more!
Tash’s “Wise” will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon. Over the past 18 months, the Australian singer has been featured on some of the most exclusive playlists on Spotify and Apple Music. You’re going to want to remember her name.
The singer was discovered by multi-platinum record producer and songwriter Mark J. Feist on Instagram, where she has posted several amazing covers. Tash talked with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about growing up in a musical family, the impact of social media on artists today, her songwriting process, and more. She believes that the more “vulnerable you are with your music the better,” and that’s why she “can’t wait” to have her “heart broken someday.” Check out the full interview below.
How early on did you know that you wanted to become a singer/songwriter?
Tash: I’ve always loved singing since the beginning, but I didn’t discover my passion for writing songs until much later when I was 13. I remember when I was about 8 years old, the house I grew up in had a swing-set in the backyard, and I used to sit on the swings and sing at the top of my lungs (sorry to my neighbours, oops), and I would make up songs on the spot for hours. But I didn’t think of it as songwriting, I was just doing it to pass the time. Now I look back and realize I always had the urge to create music but never really knew about it until I started learning guitar at 13.
You come from a musical family, was there ever a part of you that didn’t want to do what your parents did?
Tash: No, not really. Growing up with musical parents and siblings only further encouraged my interest in music. Honestly, I’ve never felt any kind of pressure to follow in my parents’ footsteps. Of course they would encourage me to pick up instruments when I was younger and to perform when I had the opportunity to, but it was predominantly my own interest to pursue music.
You were discovered on Instagram, how did it all happen?
Tash: I had my Instagram for about a year or so before I got discovered. I think I had about 1000 followers at the time. There was this annual talent quest that my high school used to do every year, and I decided to enter and perform an original song, which to my surprise, caught the attention of one of my peers, who contacted me a couple of weeks later. She told me her father was the co-founder of an independent record label [Hit Makers Entertainment] which was looking for artists to sign. The other founder of the company was a grammy-nominated producer [Mark Feist] who had worked with many big names [Destiny’s Child, Celine Dion, John Legend etc.], and she told me she’d shown him my Instagram, and he wanted to speak to me over the phone. Fourteen-year-old me was having a heart attack at this point. I remember dancing around my room like an idiot when I found out he’d worked with Beyonce. Anyway, I thought little of those Ariana Grande covers I used post until Mark told me how impressed he was by them. After talking over the phone, he met my parents over Skype and then a couple of weeks later he put a record deal on the table, and the rest is history. It all happened really fast.
For you as a singer/songwriter, how important is social media and the internet?
Tash: Social media and the internet have so much power, especially in the music industry. You can reach a wide audience of people with literally the push of a button. It has become so easy to discover new music, one minute you’re watching someone’s story, and the next you’re Shazaming the song that’s playing in the background. I’m always looking for new music to add to my playlists, and social media has surprisingly helped me discover a lot of great finds. Although the world of social media does scare me at times, it has made a huge impact on the way I discover new music and promote the music I’m writing.
How does the songwriting process work for you? Are you constantly writing?
Tash: I’m always, always, always writing. It never really stops. There have been situations where I start a song and then I don’t get time to finish it because I have to be somewhere, so I’ll be sitting in the car humming things into my voice memos, or walking somewhere and typing a verse down. The process usually starts with fiddling on the guitar, trying to find a new chord progression, and then I add melody and lyrics. But I don’t always follow the same formula. A lot my songs have started as a phrase or a concept, or even something that someone said in conversation. I feel like the ideas are always floating around me, I just have to be in the right headspace/moment to get a hold of them and mold them into something.
What’s the experience been like for you as you craft your first album?
Tash: I’ll be honest it’s been a very bumpy ride, but I feel like from the day I got signed to now, I’ve had a lot of moments of self discovery and my music has slowly shifted shape into something I’m very proud of. Working with people who have been in this industry far longer than I’ve been alive has been a real blessing. We have become like family, and we are all so passionate about what we do, which makes the time so worthwhile. But it is never easy being new to this industry. It’s a bit like learning to ride a bike.
Who or what have been your biggest songwriting inspirations so far?
Tash: When I write, 99 percent of the time I draw from personal experience, or my own vivid imagination. I’ve written a lot about romance (even though I’ve never had a relationship), but also about feeling out of place, self-conscious, awkward and misunderstood – a few emotions that I cycle through a lot. The more vulnerable you are with your music, the better. I actually can’t wait to have my heart broken someday, I’ll finally have some real relationship drama to write about.
Whose music inspired you when you were figuring out you wanted to be an artist and who inspires you now?
Tash: My musical inspirations have definitely changed over the past two years. Before I was signed, I had a huge obsession with Tori Kelly. I learnt how to play almost all of the covers she did on Youtube. When I started learning her music — in particular the songs from one of her first EPs — I fell in love with her use of jazz chords and pop sensibility. She completely changed the way I was writing. I also went through a phase where I was obsessed with Alessia Cara and Ed Sheeran (and I still love them, just not as religiously as before). They’re both songwriting geniuses. More recently, I’ve been listening to artists that are a little more left of centre. A year ago, I discovered this female rapper from Chicago called noname, and I’m still drawing inspiration from her music. She has the coolest flow, and the textures, R&B chords, and melodies in her music are really dope. Other artists that have been influencing me recently include Kaytranada, Gold Link, Billie Eilish, Vera Blue, Jadu Heart, Jorja Smith, Rex Orange County, SZA, Lorde, Mac Miller, and the list could go on forever.