TZARA

We were lucky enough to catch up with Cape Town's eclectic and enigmatic artist, Tzara. 
With her crisp production, layering of addictive melodies and some pumping beats, Tzara's music coaxes you to get moving.


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What is the biggest musical change with the latest songs from your older stylings?

I find my style getting progressively more danceable. I was doing the sad girl thing for a while, but as someone who is easily bored, I needed to shake things up a bit. I want to move people - literally, this time. 

 

Who/what are your influences?

Too many to list. I used to be quite an emo kid so I listened to a lot of Leonard Cohen and read a lot of Sylvia Plath. At the moment though? I find Grimes, Princess Nokia, Childish Gambino, Kaytranada, Anohni, Fatima Al Qadiri and FKA Twigs really inspiring. I also really love very self-aware pop culture. 

 

Your music could be classified as many genres, what is your musical process that leads you to fuse so many genres? 

 Like I said, mainly boredom/self-loathing. I get sick of what I make so quickly. I think this is because once I’m done with a song, it’s served its purpose as an emotional release and is no longer relevant to me personally. 

I also asked a couple of friends to give me a genre and then attempted to make a song for them, just to broaden my versatility. Needless to say, a lot of them were terrible and are not on SoundCloud. But it has definitely bettered me as a producer. 



How has place influenced your creative works?

Cape Town is a very eclectic yet disparate city. The music scene can be quite cliquey but recently has been becoming more integrated, both in terms of genre and race. I haven’t performed live much, but I did my first more electronic set at “The Kids Are Alright” and managed to get over my stage fright. Definitely going to start doing more live shows in 2017. 

 

Musical background? 

I started out with a very classical training in violin and flute. I will always be grateful for the theoretical knowledge I’ve gained over the years, but found it very hard to improvise. I had to consciously unlearn a lot of things before I could start making music that I actually wanted to listen to. I also play a bit of keyboard. I recently got accepted on a partial scholarship to study contemporary writing & production at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, but had to defer my application due to financial reasons. 

 

Anything to say on the presence of women in music?

They are present! There are so many women doing really incredible things at the moment. The problem is that they are rarely acknowledged. The production game is such a boys club. It’s also rampant with overinflated artistic egos. As a woman, you have to be really assertive to be taken seriously, which is sad. I’m usually too lazy to be assertive, so this has hurt me in the past. That said, I have collaborated with some really incredible, woke producers who defy this stereotype. 

 

 

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Tania Vlassova