Today it’s all about the one and only Talia Stewart. Talia is one of the few artists that had me sold in under a minute of listening to her music. She brings something new to the table. Instead of hearing the same kind of quality and sound that many upcoming musicians seem to be stuck on, Talia gives us a higher level of professionalism with absolutely beautiful vocals and production. Unlike others, you can really tell that Talia truly cares about every detail of her work. Get to know her through this week’s installment of INDIE Focus. Be sure to check out her latest riveting single, ‘Sin’.
1.Introduce yourself (state name, where you’re from, how long you’ve been making music, etc … )
My name is Talia Stewart, I’m from Orange County, CA, and I’ve been making music professionally for 6 years now.
2. Why do you make music?
I’ve always been a reader and writer, but when I was in about 3rd grade I wrote my first song, and from then on I never wrote anything I couldn’t sing, really. I make music because I have to. I get my purpose from music. If I didn’t write songs, my emotions would spill over—music lets me channel my feelings into something I can give others.
3. What are you currently listening to?
Gin Wigmore. She’s an amazing rock artist who I’ve seen live twice now. An absolutely phenomenal singer/songwriter. I first heard of her in 2013 when she released her second album Gravel & Wine. Every song on that album made me want to adopt a more rock-influenced sound, and shortly after that, I began fusing my jazz-based vocals with a rougher tone.
4. Explain the creation process behind your latest single, ‘Sin’.
I wrote ‘Sin’ last May with, ironically, the best of intentions. ‘Sin’ is a cheeky song that really strives to get the point across that you shouldn’t have to live according to anyone else’s standards. It’s about doing what you want and not giving a damn about what other people have to say.
5. Why do you think you deserve a chance in the music industry?
I deserve a chance because my message deserves a chance. I’m constantly writing to reflect the times and I think my songs are relevant and important within the context of today’s society. Hitmakers are great, but I personally can’t write anything I don’t truly believe in and stand behind. My music is the truest part of me.
6. If you could pick two artists that influenced your style to perform, alive or deceased, who would they be and why?
As far as performing goes, Robert Plant is a huge influence on my stage presence—I will forever be striving to be as musically engaged as he is. But when it comes to writing and creating my music, Nina Simone is my woman. When she sang, she sang from the bottom of her soul, she didn’t care what she sounded like; hauntingly beautiful, gritty and rough. The first time I heard her rendition of “Strange Fruit”, I couldn’t rest until I had done every bit of research I could on that song. She had a voice that drove me to create; she’s the first artist who made me adopt a passion for growth and change through music.
7. When you’re not making music, what do you guys do for fun?
My band, The Fictions, are all unbelievably talented musicians. When we’re not playing, we’re going to see our other friends play around Nashville.
8. What influential moment has affected your style of music the most?
Not getting into my school’s commercial voice program. I’ve been told “no” before a million times, but after that one, I decided it was time. I stopped trying to live for others and start living for myself. Everything has changed since that moment. Now, every time I perform on stage I don’t feel like I have to prove myself. I don’t need to be the best singer—I just focus on getting my point across through my music. All my anxiety about being perfect flew out the window when I didn’t make that program.
9. What is music to you?
Music is a connection. To connect with others, to connect with a particular artist and his or her message, and to connect with myself are some of the invaluable experiences that music gives me.
10. What’s next?
The music video for “Sin” comes out very, very soon and right after that my debut EP drops! We’ve got a lot of shows coming up as well…all dates can be found on my website. In the meantime, I’ll be writing about heartbreak and drinking too much coffee.
Listen to Talia Stewart’s ‘Sin’ below via Spotify.