When people discuss San Francisco-native, Tara Priya, certain descriptors are almost always used; soulful is one, big voice is another. And while those are absolutely true, I’m going to add another to the mix: booming.
Priya’s live show is nothing short of incredibly energetic. Her big voice has begotten a big band – comprised of various brass instruments, as well as the stander bass, guitar, and drums (and she found her band at the music program of Toronto’s own Humber College) – which has only amplified her stage act.
“I envisioned [a big band] from the start, because I knew what I wanted my music to sound like,” Priya says.
“But I also thought that it would be something that wouldn’t be a reality for me until I was signed or until I was doing big shows on big stages. I always wanted that on my record.
“So now that, once I did it, even in dive bars, I was like, I can do this, and I want to do this, and it makes a big difference. And I feel so good about it. So, I’m going to keep doing it.”
It’s not just a big band and a great voice that make Priya’s shows so enjoyable. For such a tiny girl (as the cliché goes) she has such a huge presence.
“The whole reason I perform is to put energy and emotion out there, and to get it back,” she says.
“And that relationship between the performer and the audience, that’s always what has done it for me, since I was a little kid. That’s everything.”
Without an audience to bounce that energy back, making a record that can match Priya’s onstage charm could have been difficult, to say the least. But, her records bring out the best of her performances: the energy; the excitement; the glee; and, yes, the big and sound.
So how does she do it? Each time she steps up to a mic, she’s performing.
“I perform in the booth. It’s super embarrassing,” she says.
“When I was recording ‘For Love’, I was flailing and singing and my producer was looking at me out of the corner of his eye, and I was like, I don’t care, I’m not going to be embarrassed. This is what I need to do.”
Embarrassing or not, Priya’s solo, flailing performances have led to two impressive records – and she’s currently working on a third.
Her second record debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes charts in Japan, prompting a huge tour throughout the country.
And that to Priya’s several performances at Toronto’s Indie Weeks and Canadian Music Weeks, plus a few others at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She flew out to India for the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in 2011, where she opened for King Creosote and shared a lineup with Imogen Heap. She performed in London as part of the BBC’s Christmas Eve special.
She’s earned radio play on nearly every continent and filmed videos for ‘Rollin” and ‘Run Like Hell’ – and, through her twitter account (LINK), she’s hinted at more videos to come.
That level of success might seem like a lot to handle, but Priya’s taking it all in strike.
“It’s been a total whirlwind of activity,” she says. “Exhausting, but wonderful.”
Rest up, Tara; we foresee an equally booming future.
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