When walking into an underground rave in London back in 2018, classically trained harpist TATYANA saw the sense of community that surrounded the scene and wanted in. She made it her mission to perform in a similar setting and not only did she achieve this a year later, she also signed to Sinderlyn and curated a genre-blending EP. With an eclectic background, moving from place to place and living a quasi-transient existence, TATYANA brings this sense of experimentation and amalgamation of influences into her music. Featuring the electro pop gem ‘OOT’, the brooding cut ‘Wild Card’ and titular single ‘Shadow On The Wall’ that set TATYANA’s harp skills against a smooth R&B beat, her debut EP Shadow On The Wall plays like a living and breathing exhibition of TATYANA’s experiences. Her latest track, ‘Lock U Down’, taken from her forthcoming mixtape MELT, sees TATYANA continue to mix up her sound, with a heavily synthesised bassline complimenting her digitised, AutoTune-inflected vocals. She can be playful, sombre, or introspective, but what’s always guaranteed is that TATYANA won’t fail to surprise you.
We caught up with TATYANA for this edition of our Artist Spotlight Q&A series, where we showcase up-and-coming artists and give them a chance to talk about their music.
Perhaps the most important question in these most trying times; how are you? What’s been motivating you and keeping you above water?
Oof, yes. I’m well. 3rd national lockdown here in the UK, but I can’t complain. I’ve been praying, and eating very little and living moment to moment. One tiny little footstep forward at a time. It helps me to break things up and remember that we’re just dust floating out into the universe…sorry if that’s too dark!
You’ve travelled vastly and lived in Russia, Holland and Boston to name a few! What effect do you think this movement has had on your music?
It would have made me really good at touring if that was still a thing. I don’t really feel at home anywhere and I don’t know if I ever will! Music is sort of transient in that way too. It can go anywhere.
What’s been the personal highlight of your career so far, something that’s given you a sense of appreciation for your place in the music industry?
I was thinking about this just the other day. It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come. I’m working with a musical hero of mine on something special and if 14 year old me could see me now – she would freak out! Dreams can come true, big and small.
Your debut EP Shadow On The Wall dropped last July. What was the biggest thing you learnt whilst making the EP?
I learnt patience. It’s actually nice to sit on music for a bit before it comes out into the world. I didn’t feel that way before, I was always in a rush. Now I’m better at slowing down.
You describe your sound as “blue” but not in the sense of melancholia, more the aura of the colour. Describe this more, what does “blue” mean to you?
No, I think I did mean melancholy and tinged with sadness at the time. I’m not sure if I feel that way about my sound anymore! I don’t know. I like the colour blue. It’s the colour of my harp, and I love my harp.
Is there an album that for you is truly seminal in some way? One that speaks to who you are and your music?
The Sensual World – Kate Bush. It took awhile for me to get it, and I still don’t really get it but it’s very moving. Also, ABBA’s Gold. I love perfect pop music, and that’s about as perfect as it gets.
Talk me through the creative process behind your latest track ‘Lock U Down’ – do you tend to focus on the music first then lyrics or is it a smorgasbord of procedures and facets?
I worked on it with my mates, Exmoor Emperor. I remember going into the session thinking, I just wanna make a super sugary, fun pop song. I was quite inspired by PC music and that hyper pop sound at the time. We started with the bass, and then the words and melody came out together. That’s usually how it goes. Everything at once!