Q. From your perspective, how have things changed for womxn in the drumandbass community in recent years? What would be your hopes going forward?
A. The biggest change I am seeing is that there are more Womxn full stop! I am loving seeing all these amazing women coming to the fore, whether it be in production, DJing or as vocalists/MCs. Going forward I would like to see less of a pay disparity between Womxn and Men, and especially between DJ and MC.
One of my biggest frustrations in my career is that no matter how many fans I have, how much music I put out, how many tours I undertake, I will never get paid as much as the Male DJs I tour with (Apart from Chiccoreli who always goes 50/50 with me). Myself and Emma G, and myself and DJ Aroha have always split our fee down the middle – recognising that we both do as much work as the other in performance, publicity, and contribution to the set. It is a continuous uphill battle to be paid even a fraction of what many of the Male DJs I tour with get, despite those DJs asking for me specifically to be their MC on their set. I’m not saying I think that I should get paid the exact same fee as the DJ, (although in some cases I do think – well why the hell not?), I just want promoters to realise that plenty of MCs out there are drawcards in their right, and we should be getting paid accordingly. Of course this isn’t a Womxn specific thing.. I know plenty of Male MCs out there who have the exact same issue.
Q. 2020 has been a tough year for a lot of us, has it affected your creative output in any way? Is there something that you learned or rediscovered about yourself during this time?
A. The first lockdown that we went through in New Zealand I really put to good use creatively. I felt very inspired and had a real desire to learn how to use Logic Pro properly (as before I had only really dabbled) so set about getting to know the DAW a lot better, and that’s when I felt encouraged to try to make some Drum and Bass.
In the space of a month I had made a bunch of tunes, some that I have gone onto develop into this new project I am hoping to get signed in 2021. I was reminded during this time that when I focus and put in the yards I am perfectly capable of producing quality music without relying on someone else to come up with the goods for me. As someone who is mainly known as a vocalist/MC It is a very liberating feeling! I was also reminded that I am married to the most amazing man. I couldn’t have gotten through lockdown with him by my side.. for us it felt like an enforced holiday. It really helps that we both love playing with Lego, doing puzzles, working out and watching movies!
I feel very blessed and grateful to live in little ole New Zealand at the edge of the earth! Right now we are living a life of near normality, and I am not taking that for granted for one moment.
Tali on Production:
“I am really inspired by the idea of creating music that tells a story. Now that I’ve started producing tracks without vocals too, it’s looking at how I can still tell a story without needing lyrics to do it. This has been a great challenge that I’m really enjoying. I like to visualise the music, maybe being a film score and what the images over the top might look like, or what’s happening in the scene.. then using the music to convey that. To me it comes down to layering of sounds and structuring the tune right to take the listener on a journey. I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those producers who make tunes that are just dance floor orientated. I’ve tried and I just can’t! So I’ll leave that to other people and just focus on what I feel my strengths are when it comes to this production buzz. In terms of things I’m inspired by, definitely film scores, nature, and things I’ve seen or experienced travelling.”