Maxim Meyer-Horn

25 Jun

Interview: Singer Tanaë Stays True To Herself On Her Debut Album

The internet has given us many big stars in recent years and launched a lot of musical talent. One of them is the Belgian singer Tanaë, who started her career by posting covers on YouTube. Two years later, she released her debut album ‘Talking To Myselfand is ready to take a shot at the music industry. We met the 22-year-old singer ahead of her busy festival summer and got to know her in a different way.

Hi Tanaë, how are you?

I’m fine, but it’s really hot today…

Your first album Talking To Myself was released almost two months ago. Is it the album you’ve always dreamed of?

I’ve wanted to make an album from the moment I started with music, so I’ve always dreamed of making an album. I’ve released an EP before, but I haven’t worked as much on it like I did on the album because I didn’t really know how to make music. I’ve taken so much more artistic decisions on Talking To Myself and it really sounds how I wanted my music to sound.

Based on your songs, you seem to be a very reflective person. Is that true?

Absolutely. My first EP was titled Introspection, because it was an EP where I was expressing how I felt and what I had been through at that time. Talking To Myself goes a bit further in that self-reflection because I was questioning many things in my life and dug deeper into that.

You’re originally from Liège and speak French. Why did you decide to sing in English?

For me it was clear that I would sing in English because I listen way more to English music. Further, I think that the music I want to make sounds a lot better in English because of the sonority. As I am a little bit shy, it’s also a good way to keep a little distance between me and the French speaking crowd.

You started your career by posting covers on YouTube. How did these covers make you grow as an artist?

Yes and no, because I always tried to do my own thing with the songs. When I see that there’s an interesting song coming out, I listen to the instrumental version first and improvise on it because I always wanted to make the covers personal as well.

Talking To Myself can be situated between pop and R&B. How would you describe it yourself?

I’ve always listened to a lot of soul music, but especially Amy Winehouse. Nowadays, I’m listening to a lot of artists like Jorja Smith and Billie Eilish, which definitely inspired me. With Talking To Myself, I’ve wanted to make a colorful album for a big audience. The sound came naturally while composing the songs, so it wasn’t intentional, but was without a doubt influenced by a lot of different styles.

You’re also singing about love. What part of love does inspire you the most?

I don’t know why but I’m mostly inspired by the more difficult part of love. Melancholy and sadness really attract me when I’m making music and that’s something I guess a lot of people feel the same way. These sentiments are, in my opinion, much more intense and you feel it way harder.

“Mirrors” is one of our favorites from the album. What’s the song about?

It’s about researching yourself, your identity but also losing it. We wrote the song from the perspective of a young girl, who’s transforming and changing herself on social media to fit in and please others. At the end, she’s losing herself because she isn’t staying true to herself and doesn’t know who she is anymore. We really wanted to bring this story to life in the visuals of the songs. At the end of the clip, she tries to regain force and find her identity again.

Is it your favorite song of the album?

It’s always difficult to choose a song you love the most, especially since I’ve written all the songs at different, very special moments. Each song is also unlike the others, but I really do love “Talking To Myself”. The song can be interpreted in opposing ways. Some may interpret it as a sad song, others will hear happiness in it. While working on the album, nobody wanted me to put the song on the album because they found it too bizzare. Even my musician didn’t like playing the song, but I was pushing through and now everybody really loves it. I’m so happy that I could convince everyone and make them accept the song, because it was absolutely worth it.

You’re showing a rather sweet side of yourself in your music, but do you have a silly or dirty side as well?

Yes, I guess so. In fact, in my personal life, boys were always very attracted to me, they loved talking to me, found me sexy and these kids of stuff. Actually, I didn’t really want people to have such an image of me when I started making music. That’s probably why I wanted to start my musical career with an infantile, soft image to prevent that people may sexualize me as an artist. As I had that in my personal life, I really wasn’t down to have the same image for a way larger audience. It was important to me that people would get to know me as who I am, so I can make further evolution in the future.

When can we expect new music?

New music will be for later. I’m going to release two more songs of the album as singles and will release a visual in September. But, I’m going to write songs this summer, so it will probably be for next year.

Thank you much and good luck in the future!

Photos by Maxim Meyer-Horn for Enfnts Terribles. 

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