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Interview: Tarah Who?
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Hello Tarah Who?! So great to speak with you today!
TGC: Thanks for having us!
You are gearing up for the release of your music video for your new song! Will you tell us a bit about that?
TGC: I wrote the song after an incident that happened when I was bartending. This man came in drunk and wanted me to serve him another beer and I refused, because he was even having a hard time ordering that beer. He could not believe that I had said no to him and made a fuss, and asked to talk to my boss, a man, who told me " what is the big deal, just get him a beer". To that I said, "well it is your business, so if YOU want to serve him, YOU do it but I refuse to serve him. "Every time I walked by him he was taking a hard sip on that beer and continued to have more afterward. None that I served to him. The next day, his friend came up to me with a picture of that customer saying "he is an important man, that is why he got really upset you didn't want to serve him" to which I responded "I don't make the laws... I'm not getting in trouble for a guy who is supposedly so important. If anything, In my mind, he should have been an example"
From this event, and many more that I won't get into unless you want me to start writing a book...( :) ) I realized that there was a real issue that starts at a very young age for most people. When I recorded the song With Jason Orme ( Alanis Morissette), I had a vision of an army of women, dancing while we were performing. I called my friends Maria Quintana, who has been our photographer and DP for the last couple of years, and Ayaka Hinokida who has been a close friend of mine since I moved to Los Angeles in 2006. Ayaka moved from Sapporo, Japan to LA to become a professional dancer, and I had just moved from Paris, France to be a musician. Which now sounds kind of funny, because you are an artist or you are not, the city itself doesn't make you more or less of that artistry but Music was my motivation. I have seen Ayaka perform in the past and she is a truly amazing dancer. Every move that she does looks so cool and so simple..until you try to do it yourself and realize that like everything else... it is all about practice!
Maria talked to Lena Baez, our friend, and director, while I was talking to Ayaka about what the song was about and see if she could choreograph it. We all met on zoom to see if we could pull this off and with a LOT of hard work and an amazing crew of all people from all around the world and volunteers, we did it! It was a real challenge for Coralie and me since we are not natural dancers. lol. The initial idea that I had was to have an army of women, all ethnicities and ages to represent all women who are confronted with societal injustices on a daily basis. We did not have much time, and because of covid, we had to limit our crew. Lena came up with the idea of having Coralie and I dance! At first, we were like 'No way!' but then... we thought, "we might learn from that experience". Indeed, I have learned that I am a much better dancer inebriated and that my body clearly doesn't like being told what to do. :) The dancers are all friends of ours, so it was a really cool atmosphere in between shots to work together. One of my friends said " I am so proud of you Tarah!, from playing acoustic shows, as a singer-songwriter around Los Angeles to doing this! I am really happy to see what you and Ayaka have become! You both are living your dreams!". So yeah... We are really excited to share this music video and song because it has so much personal meaning behind it.
What do you think makes a strong, effective music video for a song?
TGC: oh .. that depends on every artist I think. I have a lot of visual ideas that usually pop in my head when I'm recording, or sometimes during the master of the song. Suddenly it is all clear and I call Maria up and tell her about the lyrics and the ideas that I have. Then we talk with the director and we see how to make it all work. I think as long as the artist is being true to the song, and it all represents the artist, it is effective. I personally don't like "obvious" videos for Tarah Who? . I am so honest in the lyrics that if I sing about a terrorist attack like in 'Numb Killer' or 'Sirens', I am not going to have an action movie for a music video where a lot of people die., or if the topic is sexual harassment like for 'Bad Time'... well...you get the idea... So it is all related to the music and lyrics but we usually work on the metaphors.
Was there a music video that really stood out to you or inspired you growing up?
CH : I remembered watching ‘’One More Time’’ by Daft Punk and loved the video !!! It looked like an animation movie hahaha
TGC: No, not really... We didn't have a music channel when I was little and I stopped watching TV at the age of 15. So I am actually discovering and catching up on music videos as I go thanks to youtube, but it is not something that I think about.
How do you personally approach the creative side of coming up with what you want your videos to be?
TGC: I usually call Maria and say " Maria! I have an idea"! Then she goes (must read with a Spanish accent) " ooohh boy... tell me..." Then we talk about it, I send her the song, the lyrics, and then we have a director that comes in. Lately, we have enjoyed working with Lena Baez, and then we shoot! There are usually months of preparation and pre-production. Then we pick a day to shoot., at least two months before we release the music video. Et voila! ;)
How rewarding is it to finally see the completed video project be out in the world?
CH : It is always great to see what you have been working on to finally come out. You are giving everything you have in these projects, time, energy … and sometimes it’s a little bit scary because you wonder how people will respond to it.
TGC: It is actually really weird because it is in my head for months. I think about it, I go over it, etc.. but then is it really what the director has in mind? When you are in front of the camera, you don't know what lens they have, of course, they let us know, This is a group shot, this is a close-up, but we don't always see it until the end.Then during the edit, sometimes, I am a bit annoying "didn't we have a shot like this? didn't we do this? where is that?" Poor Maria... so we have a few edits back and forth. I usually end up with 4-5 versions, and it can be a little stressful for the post-prod team. The release is exciting but stressful because I have so much to prep for the press and making sure everything is ok. I have to admit that I don't fully enjoy the release until maybe 3 weeks after promoting it. When we put out the video, it's all about numbers, who is watching, how many views, how did people react? Did they like it? Did they share it? and yeah, I'd say 3-4 weeks after, I can actually sit back, grab a beer, and actually watch it without working on it and say " uh! alright..!, NEXT!"
Any other projects coming up you want us to be on the lookout for?
CH : Our new album called ''Supposedly A Man’’ is coming out this September too, really excited about it !!!TGC: Yes, we decided to change the name of the album. You may find in previous interviews that we wanted to name this album "Exposed" and that I worked with our graphic designer Angie Joseph, with the idea of mug shots and a police file. "Exposed" was simple and it described what the songs were about. Every song of the album is either exposing an emotion, an event. a situation, a behavior etc...
Few months went by, and I am listening to Alexa as I am cooking and I am getting frustrated as I am asking her to play a specific song, but she keeps playing other songs, from that album in which that single was from. She was doing that with several artists, and then I realized.. "Wait a minute.. is this a new thing??" I started checking out new releases. It might not be new, but I definitely noticed it. Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, The Chicks, The Foo Fighters, Royal Blood, they all do it!! "ok! let's give it a shot!" I said. Let's call our new album "Supposedly, A Man", keep 'Exposed" somewhere on the cover... and let's see what happens. The album is coming out on Sept 24th and we are already getting some really cool stuff ready for 2022. :)
Please let everyone know where to find you and your music!
TGC: Pretty much everywhere you usually go find your music! Just type in TARAH WHO? and you should be able to find us. I am more on Instagram if you want to connect, and Coco just started our Tik Tok. so we are not too familiar with it yet but, if you want to connect with coco, she takes care of tik tok. :)
Thank you for your time!
TGC: Thank you!