Driving 95 With The Windows Down & Radio Blasting: An Interview With TATIANA
When I set goals for myself as a photographer, I vowed to always capture womxn who empower others and myself. I want my subjects to feel confident, and I want my viewers to see power in being a womxn. This is why I love shooting Tati. Tati, known as TATIANA, is a musician and friend of mine from Portland, Oregon. Her determination, independence, and love of life shows through her music and demeanor in a way that everyone looks up to.
TATIANA is a 21 year-old artist from Portland, Oregon, whose hard work towards making a career out of her passion, I get to see first hand. I deeply believe she deserves more recognition, so I wanted to ask her a couple questions, and as always, take her picture.
Allison Barr for Pink Things: How would you describe your music?
TATIANA: Oh god, I’m honestly not sure. I like to compare my sound to feelings as opposed to genres, so I think “crying while you’re dancing” and “driving 95 with the windows down and radio blasting” come pretty close.
PT: Who are the female or femme artists that have inspired you most?
TATIANA: Nina Simone will always be my greatest influence when it comes to music, artistry, and my sense of self. I’ve found a lot of solace in soul music and her grit and rawness has inspired me to be nothing short of my authentic self and to let that show through my words and my music.
More recently I’ve been so inspired by women in music from all different genres. Maggie Rogers and Donna Missal’s albums soundtracked the first couple months of this year and I can confidently say that I’ll remember some of those songs as the songs I associate with being a 20-something. Ari Lennox’s new album and the new single by Snoh Aalegra have also really been on heavy rotation and have inspired my songwriting and the direction I want to go in in music. It’s just incredible seeing women in music, especially women of colour, thriving and being able to tell their stories and take no prisoners. Seeing that success inspires me everyday to keep doing what I do.
PT: What are you working on now, music wise?
TATIANA: I’ve been sitting on quite a few songs for a while. Life’s been hectic but I’m finally working finishing them up and putting together my first EP. It’s been a long time coming but all of these songs have come from a really real and vulnerable place, so I’ve been trying to connect myself with the right team of people to collaborate with so this project can be exactly I want. It’s an extension of myself, so as my first project I hope to put out into the world, I want it to be special.
PT: How has living in Portland shaped your work?
TATIANA: Portland has always been home to me and the familiarity of it is something that I hold really close to my heart, but as an artist I’ve never really been sure where I fit here. The music scene in Portland is kind of scattered and there are specific communities and everybody knows everybody, and if there’s anything I wish I did differently, I wish I started networking and connecting with other creatives a lot earlier. I’ve felt like an outsider because I don’t feel like I fit in any specific mold when it comes to music, which was really hard at first because it had me questioning whether or not I had any credibility as an artist. Since then, I’ve really embraced that it’s okay to be different and that my own validation and self-determination is what’s most important. As much as I want to share my story and hope that it speaks to others, this music is for me.
PT: What’s your experience being a woman in the music industry been like so far?
TATIANA: It’s been interesting to navigate, especially as an independent artist with no releases yet. I have a specific vision for my music — sounds, visuals, everything. I’ve met a lot of incredible fellow singers/songwriters and producers that I’ve had the privilege of working with, but a lot of work and time goes into really collaborating to create something that we both can be proud of. It’s been challenging, but it’s all in progress.
Social media has also been a pretty vital piece because the exposure it’s so important, especially when you’re solo and marketing yourself. It’s been kind of a blessing and a curse because sometimes the lines get blurry navigating how much of yourself you’re really allowed to be on social media. I’ve been trying to understand that separation of who I really am and the artist persona that I give off to others, and whether or not there really is a separation of that at all because I want my audience to see me for exactly who I am. Sometimes the music gets lost in all of that, which is something I never want to lose regardless of how successful I hope to become.
PT: What can we expect next from you, and when will we hear it?
TATIANA: I’ve been working on a single on and off for the last couple of months. It’s taken a lot of starting over and tweaking to get it where I want it to be, but this song is so, so special to me. I hope for it to be my debut, with the release date being sometime this summer. I can’t wait for you all to hear it.