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Young pop-r&b star TALA is a little bit of everything

Young pop-r&b star TALA is a little bit of everything

For our 37th issue, we barged into the creative sanctuaries of different homegrown acts to discover the tangible language of their music—a zone for breaking away from tours, fan encounters, and late-night performances.

“Tala” means “star.” Stars are described in many ways, but what people often overlook is their ability to shine wherever they are—alone or not. When we look up to the sky, we think of how stars actually “follow“ us, playing omnipresent entities, like they’re everything and everywhere at once.

In her bedroom-slash-creative space, Tala means a 20-year-old who writes songs, studies interior design, religiously journals, and at one point talks to us about moon rising signs over fries and burgers. “A lot of everything!” is what she would say first when you ask about her favorites. And in many more ways, she’s everything at once.

“I spend a significant amount of time here, which is where most of my art is created. I needed to incorporate both my music and interior design work into one area,” the R&B-pop artist said. Her dad, who also produces most of her music, helped her build this charming and carefully curated room—which also looks like her songwriting process.

“I have notebooks with me that I take everywhere to write down lyrics or song ideas whenever I feel inspired. As for melodies, when a good one comes to mind, I record them on my phone for future reference,” she revealed, while adding that she writes melodies over beats. Compartmentalizing also works wonders. “What I also like about my space is the fact that my music things are neatly segregated from my interior design things. I’m a Virgo, so I function better with order.”

“I have notebooks with me that I take everywhere to write down lyrics or song ideas whenever I feel inspired. As for melodies, when a good one comes to mind, I record them on my phone for future reference,” she revealed, while adding that she writes melodies over beats. Compartmentalizing also works wonders. “What I also like about my space is the fact that my music things are neatly segregated from my interior design things. I’m a Virgo, so I function better with order.”

But above all the flawlessness and assurance these images suggest, Tala is a star who knows who she is and how to shine. “I’m very meticulous, but I get distracted easily, which is like, the worst pairing ever. I always have a hard time finishing songs. I have a bunch of unfinished tracks just sitting on my computer desktop. No kidding. I probably have around 30 song drafts just waiting to be completed. It’ll happen one day, I swear.”

In the end, I ask her for a message she can send to her fans. “I don’t really like calling people my fans!” she admitted, but left this one by the door: “To those who listen to my music and who are patient with me and support me: thank you, thank you, thank you, and I love you.” Whatever she’d want to call her listeners in the future, what I’m sure of is that her constellation of listeners will get bigger and bigger. If you’re not there yet, maybe you just need to blink twice.

What are your wishes for the R&B scene in the Philippines, or local music scene in general?

“There’s so much talent in the Philippines, and I wish more people were aware of that. Some artists are so obscure that it’s a shame that they probably may never be heard or ushered into the public for more recognition. I feel that our countrymen are the hardest to please when it comes to breaking into the local music industry, so I’m looking forward to the day we’re able to celebrate these artists.”

How would you define success?

“Being genuinely happy and secure in your place in people’s lives. Success is relative. I don’t think it has anything to do with fame and/or fortune, but everything to do with being content.”

You don’t even necessarily have to complete a song right away. Write poems and stories, and keep a journal.

What is your advice to a first-time songwriter?

“I’m still in the process of learning the craft, so I’m not really sure what advice to give. But I think a good place to start would be to pick up a pen and just write. You don’t even necessarily have to complete a song right away. Write poems and stories, and keep a journal. Write about things you know, like your family, your friends, or personal experiences. Write about your dog. Write about the people you bump into on the street. Write about your favorite movie characters and how you relate to them.

I feel like jumping into completing songs for the first time can be a really daunting process because of all the rhymes and melodies. It’s always good to make sure your lyrics stand on their own. You have to be comfortable with the words you put down before you’re truly happy with the songs you complete. You really can’t rush art. Creativity takes time.”

What’s next for TALA?

“When I’m done drowning in college work, I plan to release another EP in the first half of 2020. Let’s see!”

 

Listen to TALA’s tracks on YouTube and Spotify

This story was originally published in Scout 37 and has been edited for web. The digital copy of Scout’s 37th issue can be accessed here.

 

Produced by Jelou Galang
Photography by John Eric Bico
Art direction by Cathy Dizon
Sittings by Rysa Antonio

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