Photo Credit: MardonPhotography
TARA is a female South African singer and songwriter who is currently living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She started singing and writing songs in her early teens and also played drums in a couple of small bands in South Africa before finishing school and starting her travels.
After focusing on her professional career she decided to follow her dream to write again which led to a compilation of songs which made it onto her recently recorded EP which was produced by Peach Van Pletzen at Sleeproom Studios, South Africa. She has already started writing songs for her full-length album.
She is also a worship leader in her church and sings to the congregation leading them through times of worship. Her passion for music and writing comes from her philosophical views on life, spirituality and God. Her music is inspired by her views on personal and general subjects in life that are relevant to everyone’s existence. Her writing contains a sincere honesty and innocence, something which truly rare and often missing in modern day music. What sets her aside from other artists is the fact that she is not only a phenomenal singer, but a truly gifted and writer and composer of original music.
TARA’s first single, DEEPER, was released to South African radio stations in November 2015.
MA: Hello TARA, its really nice to be chatting to you. Hope all is well in Dubai?
All is good in Dubai thanks, nice chatting to you as well!
MA: Before we get started, can you please give us a short background on who TARA is as a musician and how you started out playing music and writing songs?!
Yes of course. I started writing songs with my guitar as a teenager, I loved writing and being creative with words. At that stage I started playing drums and played in a girl punk band for a couple of years until we went our own ways. I also played in a rock band for a quite a while and then stopped when I went overseas on a working holiday. I have always loved music and even tried my hand at being a DJ (cringe). Poetry is something that I am very passionate about and I guess that rekindled my interest in the last years to compose songs. At this stage I play guitar but most of the songs I am recording for my album have mainly electronic production.
MA: What influences/inspirations did you have growing up?
As a kid growing up I listened to ALOT of Soul and R&B music because of my mom playing it around the house and developed a big appreciation for it but as a teenager I started listening to alternative rock like Green day, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt and so on, I would say that got me interested in being “in a band”.
MA: Any artists that have influenced your ‘sound’?
I cant really say there are artists that have influenced my sound but I can definitely say that Magic’s debut album “Don’t kill the magic” inspired me to write again one fine day. I found it refreshingly fun and positive to listen to.
MA: So you have just worked on your EP, with Peach van Pletzen from Bittereinder. Please give us some info on how this partnership came about and what we can expect from the EP?
I met Peach when we were in the music scene as teenagers and I guess we were distant acquaintances since then. I got in touch with him and asked him to do some production on a song and then one song has turned into an album over more than a year now. He is so great to work with and incredibly creative and talented. I love the songs on the album, we have gone for simple production in some and in others a little more intricate and upbeat. In general I think we did a great job in making the songs on the album cohesive in some elements so that it makes sense as a body of work but still keeping each song unique.
MA: What target market is your music aimed at?
The album should appeal to people who like electronic music and thought provoking lyrics. I cant really comment on any demographic, that remains to be seen. I guess we will target people who use social media, download music and go to watch live entertainment 🙂
MA: Do you take influence from living abroad, or would you say that South Africa is still a major influence in your music?
South Africa and being South African is definitely an influence for me, that will never change but I do draw inspiration from my life experiences and for the last couple of years, my experiences have largely been in my community here in UAE. I also draw a lot of inspiration from my faith in Christ.
MA: Our local scene has been growing positively over the past few years… What are your thoughts on our local music scene, of what you have heard and scene online?
Good question. I feel a bit deprived being so far way. I follow some pages and blogs and have seen amazing artists emerge and it really blows me away that we have such a massive level of talent, it makes me feel so proud to be South African. I think that that the music in our country speaks volumes about the state of our people, there’s a lot of hope and determination in the hearts of South Africans.
MA: Anything that you are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
Yes, apart from my 2 singles Deeper and True Reflection, you can expect an album early next year.
MA: Where can we follow you on Social media?
Follow me on instagram @tarar89 or follow my page on facebook called Officially Tara
MA: Thanks for your time!