AAA Music Approved: Tallulah Rendall
aaamusic | On 12, Jun 2013
AAAmusic: Who are you and where are you from?
Originally from London, I went out to Berlin in 2012 to write my third album and then returned to record it on Osea Island with Danton Supple in January 2013. I am now based between Devon and London.
I began singing as a child but it was not until I was about 15 that I first starting playing the guitar and writing songs. I then fronted a series of bands until 2006 when I went solo and wrote and released my first Ep Without tTme. I then went on to record my first album, Libellus, with producer Marius De Vries and my second, Alive, with Tristan Ivemy.
AAAmusic: What inspired you to get into music?
Growing up I lived in a house with a basement full of old vinyl records, collected by my mum who used to run a nightclub out in Portugal. Music was all around. My father played the piano and sang and my aunt (who lived with us at one stage) was really into all the 60s and 70s records. So as a kid learning to play Beatles songs on the piano became part of every day life. I never consciously made a decision to get into music or to start writing it just was a natural progression.
Genre wise – I think the style of music defies categorisation – that probably sounds really pretentious. Its not meant to be. It just is a fusion of so many influences that it’s a really hard question to answer. I love the 60’s and 70s’, then came a time when I was totally absorbed by the voices of Nina Simone, Billy Holiday and Ella, then came the Nick Drake, Led Zepplin, Bob Dylan period, followed by ACDC, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Sigor Ros, Jeff Buckley, Regina Spektor. So I think there are elements of all these different genres, plus as a vocalist I am classically trained so occasionally that becomes apparent in the songwriting.
AAAmusic: What have you done?
What have I done.. mmm I set up a record label in 2006 and on that released my first three records. All of which I am really proud of. I funded each of them through crowd funding campaigns and released them as books. Each song was represented by a painting and either a short story or a poem. With Alive, my second full album, I collaborated with not only painters but also dancers, sculptors, animators, jewellery makers, glass makers.. each artist was given one of my songs and asked to create a piece of work in response to the music. We filmed the artists working and edited this footage to the footage of us recording the music at Hook End Studios. The result was 11 short music/documentary videos. It was a really huge huge project and I am amazed that I was able to pull it all together and make it happen. It is hard enough enough trying to write the music and capture the recording of the songs but to add this other dimension to the project was really full on and perhaps over ambitious but somehow I pulled it off. However with this third album, The Banshee And The Moon I am really enjoying the reclusiveness of it, and of not having to manage any other artists or band members. For the last year it has just been me in my studio, writing recording and painting.
AAAmusic: What are you like live?
I love playing live. One of my favourite tours included Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The contrast from playing in the UK was extraordinary. It can be really hard to make a living as a musician now in the UK, festivals and gigs pay very little if anything and it is huge expensive to cover tour costs. But I found the audiences on this tour so receptive to the music. I felt the same response on a European tour I did which lead to my decision to move to Berlin. UK audiences are great, it is just hard to get good slots as the market is so saturated by artists of all quality.
AAAmusic: What makes you different?
It’s a hard question to answer without sounding arrogant. I guess in simplistic terms, there is only one me. So my interpretation of the world and my style of writing is unique in the first instance because of my own set of experiences. Aside from that I think my voice has a distinctive character. That combined with the fact I am a multi-instrumentalist I guess allows me to create my own niche. But I think it is the fact that I am always pushing boundaries with how my music is presented both at gigs and also on record that helps to define me as an artist. I have been very fortunate in that I have been able to release records in extremely unique ways. I have often wished that a label sign me up but I guess the benefit of not being signed for the last 10 years has allowed me to really develop as an artist without any outside pressure to conform.
AAAmusic: Physical vs Downloading vs Streaming…How do you listen to music?
I actually listen to a lot of music online. I used to have records, then lots of cds, then came mini discs and I transferred everything onto them. When mini discs failed I sort of lost the will to start collecting cds again and never found a way to transfer mini disc recordings to my laptop. So I almost had to start again. Now because I travel so much I end up just listening to Spotify, which is brilliant. The only downside being that the artists only receive 0.0001 for each listen but at least we get something!
AAAmusic: What have you been listening to?
I recently played a show with a band called The Nordic Giants from Brighton – which was fantastic. Great new discovery. John Blease who played drums on my last two records also plays with an artist called Ghostpoet who I absolutely love. I am really picky though so it takes a lot for me to really like an artist. But these two are my current favourites.
AAAmusic: What are your aspirations for the future?
I have decided not to release my third record on my own label because I think it really deserves the proper support of a label with a strong marketing team. At the moment there is just me. I don’t have a manager or a booking agent so there is only so much I can do. So that is my mission now. To find a great label to release The Banshee And The Moon, a great manager and a booking agent. In all honest I have no idea how for the last 10 years I have managed to do it all on my own. I think people think I must be a total control freak, but genuinely I just have never found the right team of people.
Questions answered by: Tallulah Rendall…