Tell us more about your artistic name. What does it mean for you?
Talia is part of my real name - Natalia. It’s a nickname and I love the sound of it. Someone told me a couple of years ago that Natalia means ‘Christmas' so since then I love to look up the meanings of names. I looked up Talia and in Arabic and Hebrew it means ‘Dew of God’ which really inspired me. When it came to releasing ‘Undress me to life’ I chose the second name ‘Arose’ because I felt I was finally standing in my purpose. At some point I arose into that.
How does a Colombian Londoner end up in Paris?
How has this city inspired your creativity?
My mum migrated from Colombia to London in the 80’s and had me, her ’love child’ with her Mexican boyfriend. She actually found out she was pregnant with me in Paris and nearly stayed here but quickly decided that London was better. I like to think my coming to Paris was somehow predestined because I always felt I would move here I just didn’t know when or how. I finally moved to Paris when I felt I had done everything I could in London. There was nothing new for me to discover there even though I love London, and it’s so rich in culture but I was bored.
Paris is beautiful and stunning but with a greasy underbelly. I am fascinated by the tension between the surface and what lies beneath it. That’s where I find thought-provoking, life changing art can happen. The gilets jaunes movement, the refugee crisis, the fashion seasons, the never-ending cycle of tourists coming in and out the gorgeous landmarks, the latest coffee shop/bar/party night it’s all stirring in this tension. I feel like Paris is a hurricane that I have to stand in the eye of otherwise I’ll die.
How does your spirituality impact your music?
Since I started going to church 6 years ago, I’ve found my voice again. I find myself mostly inspired to sing when I am praising God. There’s also such a release of inhibitions in my mind and body that my voice is a lot more free and powerful. The voice is greatly affected by any tension in the body and so meditating on God’s goodness and the love of Christ just releases me from the bad stuff.
I am also part of a gospel choir in Paris called Léwè 4. We rock out on the streets of Paris, in hospitals, fashion stores, weddings, church meetings (all denominations). I love this so much because I believe our joy should be shared. Singing in African dialects as well as French and English is a massive inspiration to me too because music for me is not just about the next big hit and trendy tunes, it’s also about living in community and singing together.
Tell us more about the song “Undress me to life” and the world created in the video.
I really loved writing this song because I have the ideas and words come to me when I was in Stockholm, Sweden at a Christian festival called Awakening Europe. I got so inspired to write this song about love being awakened inside me and because of that I was being empowered in a naked vulnerability that was so freeing. As I was writing the story for the music video I had that in mind, I also decided that I wanted it to be a like a mini fashion film. I envisioned this strong female model walking through Paris in such a determined way but occasionally drifting into a reverie and finally having an outburst in a bar where she is dancing alone. Djamila the model/artist that I used represents that for me. She’s someone who is bold and strong not just in her look but also how she leads her life, I know she’s also sensitive to the world, she’s got such an artist’s soul, so perceptive on so many levels.
You create boundlessly in your art; so tell us do all of your songs differ drastically or do you keep in the same frame and vibe when creating your EP?
They do differ a bit mainly because in some I wanted to experiment with mixing more jazz and in others more electro sounds. I am also a hip hop fan so I’ve collaborated with a couple of rapper friends of mine from London and LA on some songs.
Tell us about you and your music collaborator. How has he impacted your creative process and what elements does he bring to the table?
So I’ve got two, one is Isaac Lane from Paris, who really was the genius that brought out my voice to such gentle but powerful melodies and pushed me to keep finding my voice. When I hear his beats I get inspired to sing. Second one is Chiyuan who is from Taiwan and has lived in Paris for years. Her compositions are so unique. She’s always experimenting with pauses and random sounds that create a very filmic experience. Singing melodies and writing words feels like an adventure to me.
Can you tell us more about your background and how that has molded you into the artist you are today? How did you start off expressing yourself creatively?
Since I was a young girl I went to drama schools. I think my mum did the best at putting me in these lessons because I had so much energy and it needed to be channelled creatively.
In secondary school (high school) my friends were all creative, it was the norm for us to hang out in the music department and just make noise. I once wrote this song called ‘Where’s the justice?’and to this day my best friend laughs when she reminds me of that song cos it was like a soft rock ballad!
In the Colombian culture we dance a lot and I loved and love dancing. I am envisioning some punchy dance sequences in my next music video.
I began my career working in fashion marketing because it was a creative business. I enjoyed working with the collections and models for market week and selling but it wasn’t creative enough. I used to love the party scene with the fashion club kids and they really inspired me. My friend Niyi would wear a massive clock on a chain and lime flux green spectacles. That sense of fun and creativity in lifestyle is still a part of me today and influences the music I share.
What's the dream?
These are such good questions! Gosh I have so many dreams. With music I want to travel the world and connect with different communities. I always have this image in my head that one day I will sing for an army. I deeply admire those that serve in the armies and give their lives so others can have freedom. It really touches my heart.
What`s your Guilty Pleasure?
Listening to Goldlink! His voice just gets me, his flow is poetry. The downside is he overuses words like b*tch and p*ssy.