This is my first of what will be regular weekly new artist discoveries! Most new music I discover listening to my favorite radio station, internationally known KCRW. I am a part of a few groups of music lovers on Facebook and World Music – The Music Journey is one of my favorite new music blogs. I hear a lot of new artists live at School Night, my favorite weekly music night in Los Angeles. I’m surprised how many new artists I discover through random Youtubing and their recommendations. Of course, I’m fortunate to have so many great friends with wider knowledge and richer music palettes than myself and word of mouth and stalking their Facebook music posts yields wonders! But none of those led to me to Tara Priya — I usually ignore the tiny Facebook ads & recommendations but hers caught my eye and wow what a wonderful random find! I was immediately smitten by her sultry voice, sassy persona and interesting background.
Tara’s tagline is “sass’n’soul’ and I love her retro-soul sound! She’s been compared to the late Amy Winehouse and her songs also dwell on love’s pain & heartache, but that’s where the comparison stops. Tara has a unique playful sound all her own and she can be both the pouty victim as well as the defiant vixen like in her latest song Who You Do when she declares “Lyin’..Cheatin’…Screwin’…I don’t care who you do”.
Born to a Persian mother and Indian father, Tara is the great niece of Sohrab Sepehri, the famous Persian poet and creative talent must run in her blood, because she started writing poetry and playing piano at age 4, playing drums at age 9, begged her father for voice lessons at age 11 and studied jazz in high school. Tara grew up listening to her parents’ R&B and Motown music which heavily influence her sound and songwriting. Wanting to pursue music as soon as possible without sacrificing her education, Tara finished her degree at Columbia University in 2 years and quickly returned to California to record her EP in 2011, while also winning major songwriting contests and performing at festivals like SXSW. A full length album followed in 2012, released in Japan, where her song Run Like Hell which charted for 17 weeks on the Japan Hot 100.
I was so excited stalking her Facebook page, I quickly RSVP’d to a show I didn’t notice had already came and went last year…LOL! Now, I’ll just imagine she’s personally mocking me whenever I listen to her song I Met Your Girlfriend Today (Make a Move) when she says, “Make a move…I wish you’d make a move. But you take your time. You don’t make up your mind. Man up!”
Tara just performed a showcase at SXSW and is currently working on her 2nd album slated for release in 2013. Tara’s definitely an up-and-coming artist to watch! I hope she plays a show soon in LA but until then, enjoy this live performance from London, and hopefully I can convince her to do an interview for my blog!