Introducing TaliaBle

Words by Maisie Goulsbra

Photography by Casey Reddy

TaliaBle fell out of the sky in 2019, with a raw, commanding and punk-esque voice. Since then she has graced us with performances at Corsica, the Pickle Factory and Keep Hush. Her shows are as much concerned with the visual as they are sonic aesthetic – Costume is an important component to the TaliaBle image. Karl Brinaj is the mastermind behind her first self-released track Bore Us, and the pair continue to work together. 2020 saw collaborations with Osquello, [hai].keem on Glory Daze, and Sbuers on a track called ‘Something In Our Spirit’ from his album when Dawn Breaks. Transcending genre confinements, TaliaBle exceeds linguistic description. To try and do so would seem unfitting, so have a listen instead.

 

How have you found the recurring lockdowns?

Lockdown has become a bit too second nature for me, I’ve honestly loved it. I’ve been flooding myself with books from Blindness by Jose Saramago to All About Love by Bell Hooks and then applying themes within my work. If it wasn’t for my obsession with the art though, I wouldn’t have been able to get by. I already have a ‘make what you can with what you got’ approach to creating so I’ve really been amplifying that but through video art. How that hand made style can exist digitally. 

Talk us through your Tate Late…

Performing and art directing the Tate Late was the most rewarding challenges of my life. Imagine it was my third confirmed show after playing at Map Café and VFD which are very intimate venues, and then I was suddenly trusted in a space with high ceilings and statues with a frantic green face baby and bass heavy music, conjuring kids from the ends as well as art schools. I used specific lyrics I’d written to inspire every aspect of the night from the performing characters, to the video art, costumes and mask making workshop; Everything was handmade and a huge team effort with a very clear, warped vision in mind. Within ‘Wonderopolis’ lived every aspect of myself, which is a message I continuously revisit, the openness to reflect and acknowledge that you are different entities in different scenarios and relationships. It’s about dissecting the self and magnifying these different ways of being and being ok with how multi faceted we are as humans. 

Is the crossover between art, music and fashion important to you?

Art, fashion and music are elements of the imagination, art being the umbrella of all – including life. As long as you can imagine you can and should dip your toe in all of these mediums at once. Just like ourselves we are never just one thing, as is our ideas. I believe we are never truly confined to one medium unless your mind has perfection barriers or you feel like your abilities cap at a certain point. We can create everything and anything we wish to. I never knew I could do ‘music’ until I did it, it’s only been 9 months and it’s opening paths I’d never thought of before. Maybe next month I’ll explore music and sculpture. Who knows. 

Who are your musical influences, and how would you describe your music in terms of its genre?

My most prominent music influence is my producer Karl Binarj, he drives all the twisted beats I narrate over. We both admire the works of Little Simz, Slowthai and Kojey Radical … But Our music in terms of genre… we’ve thrown around ‘low fi trap opera’.  Its definitely alternative rap, dysfunctional poetry vibes. When I write lyrics I’m usually inspired by the likes of Kate Tempest and Oprah Winfrey infused with the attitudes of Young MA and Rio Nasty, and then tied together with Little Simz. 

Can you tell us about the lyrics in Bore Us?

Bore US was the first time I wrote lyrics simultaneously in the room with Karl making the beat. It was around the time of the general election late last year, everyone around me was upset and hopeless for our country and sorrow spilled out into the lyrics. I started humming ‘Swing Low’ and then researched into it’s background and realised that a lot of us know of that song to be associated with crowd cheering at sports games like rugby. But it had been appropriated; the song was originally sung during slavery as a code for others slaves, guiding them to an underground rail road of escape. I wanted to reclaim and remix the song, making it a symbol of escape again, letting people know that those in the same boat around you, are those who will carry you through hardship. 

The ski mask has become a large part of your identity, can you explain its symbolism?

The ski mask is an experience symbol. When you see it you know what world you’re entering. At some point that mask will shed and a new narrative will take place.

Photography by Casey Reddy

 

How did the live session come about?

The WONDERMATION live session was birthed towards the end of [the first] lockdown. It became a statement of inspiring all people of colour amongst the underground scene to use their craft during this BLM revolution as an avenue of protest, escapism, hope and history. I’ve been so overwhelmed these past few weeks that I’ve recently reminded myself that art is my calling and that is how I am going to help raise awareness and change the world.

As we move into what’s hopefully a brighter year, keep an eye on TaliaBle, her exponential growth since 2019 has been inspiring, and we could all use a little bit of that in these uncertain times.

and be sure to follow TaliaBle’s Journey on – @taliable