Her first single is titled, “Too Much,” Tatiana DeMaria, certainly isn’t. While continuing to artfully shatter traditional musical genre expectations on each new single released, a soulful enigma to definitely watch as her career continues to grow as a solo artist. At any one of her shows, fans not only watch her perform but can feel every song she pours herself out, encompassing each one’s distinct power. The stage, she performs exquisitely while simultaneously rocking the hell out of it. No question she owns it. She manages to connect intimately and full of heart, with humor, backstories, no fear, and no fucks given. It’s clear that is her home. Both on stage and off, she seems to effortlessly balance graciousness, gratitude, independence, non-conformity, professionalism, and no hesitation to speak her mind. Sweet, kind, and in-fucking-charge.
She has much to offer fans and listeners as a musician, and as a human too. She’s got a journey laid out for us all to follow, with a curious, intoxicating blend of everything we’ve all ever felt, and either couldn’t or wouldn’t put into words. Her solo project (a different direction from her band, TAT), her new multi-faceted and genre-transcending sound that’s definitely worth a listen. Doing what she wants to do on her own terms, exploring both musical creativity and the unapologetic human nature simultaneously.
After her show at the Bowery Electric in New York, we met up for an interview that ended up continuing by phone a few days later. We talk about her upcoming EP and tour, her individual creative process, #notme, life advice important to her, an adventure to Morocco and where it’s important to place limited fucks to give.
Don’t forget to check out the links below the article to connect!
[KJ] What was it like having one of your singles premiered on Billboard?
[TD] I think it’s lovely to have Billboard to want to premier it, I’m grateful for it. Billboard has been lovely, so was the interview. I’m always grateful for anyone being interested or wanting to premier stuff, for wanting to give us shout out, it’s nice!
[KJ] From your beginnings with TAT through now, living the changes over time in the industry, where your work goes, the different mediums to promote on, how your work gets to released into the world – in this way what has your experience been like?
[TD] Ultimately, it’s much easier for people to make their music and release it. To be fully dedicated to their craft, and cut out the noise. On the other hand, I think it’s very easy to get distracted with all the possibility. You can record your music at home, you can release it freely, but you also know that the promotion is in your hands. It’s easy to get distracted with promoting, take away from your creative time and your creative dedication. It’s a discipline for artists to learn to balance both worlds. Like anything, it’s about finding your place in it, protecting your craft, and protecting your workflow. I love the fact that there’s a lot more exposure for musicians. I love we can write music, record it at home, release it. Have that freedom and have less gatekeepers. At the same time, there’s so much music coming out, a lot of artists have to fight for attention. It’s a give and take, two sides of the same coin. It’s a process you find your footing in.
[KJ] It seems like a journey is unfolding chapter by chapter as your singles are released, are they planned in a path already laid out or as you create? Can you tell us about that?
[TD] Whenever there was a band I listened to growing up that I really loved, and they decided to change sound or change their style drastically, it did throw me off. It felt like I had lost a piece of something that I had held really dear. As an artist, I can completely understand why they did it. When going solo, I made it a point not releasing different sounds under the same name as TAT. I’m doing a separate project so people who are TAT fans knew that TAT was still there for them, and I would still release rock albums under TAT – but that this was my separate thing that could be whatever I needed it to be, I could be creatively free in that department. There’s no obligation to do that, but I still feel that it’s respectful to your fans to do that, so I wanted to. With that said, I think it’s also a shock to the system when you come out with something completely different, so I laid the releases out in a way that would allow fans to get used to the sounds step by step, each single. The first single is one that I thought that the TAT fans would understand the most, followed by the second, followed by the third, followed by the fourth. There are songs recorded and ready to go, which I’m dying to release, but with the process, I’m putting together, I’m having to hold on to them for a second. Which is very frustrating, but at the same time, I think worth it. I’ll be looking to release new songs very, very soon. I’ll be able to make that process more public and available as we unfold it, I can’t wait!
[KJ] When might your EP/Album be released?
[TD] There are some songs that are close to my heart, and some songs that I believe in, that I would like to lay a certain part for. I was going to release the EP in the fall and then I thought, “You know what, I really want to set these tracks up for a different journey.” I decided to finish a few more tracks piece it all together. I’m just going to have to have faith that my fans will appreciate what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, but that no one is going to be able to see it until it’s done. We have the songs that we could have released the EP in the fall, but at this point moving forward I’d like to release them alongside a tour and alongside other songs. So we’re just piecing things together on the back end.
[KJ] When you do release it, do you plan on issuing it on vinyl too?
[TD] Absolutely! I love making vinyl! We made a vinyl EP, which is a limited edition that we took on Warped Tour and sold. It’s one of the funnest things to do as a musician is to create fun things and one-off pieces. There is a vinyl EP now, which has three tracks on it, “London Don’t Lie,” “What It is About You,” and “Too Much.” I think we’ve just about run out of the limited edition print. I hope to make vinyl with everything that we do, really.
[KJ] For anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to hear you yet, who is the “you,” you want to express, and how do you want to be understood?
[TD] I think that’s going to come in the music, and I generally like to leave it to the music to do the talking. There is more to come, so I think the picture gets clearer with the more I release. There are more songs to follow, which I think take things to a deeper level. I’m really excited to release them because of the fact that I get to express more aspects of the things I want to talk about. I had a close friend of me tell me years ago, “You know, it’s interesting because I feel like what I see online is 10% of what I get as a person from you.” The reason I got into music in the first place was because I went through a lot of struggles as a teenager. It was the one thing that sort of brought me out of a state of anxiety and allowed to sort of breathe and calm down, feel better. All the things music does for a lot of people who experience pain in one way or another. And like a lot of people, and a lot of people in the music industry, there was a point where I felt the music saved my life. I felt like I wanted to share that with everybody, this is why I need to make music, I just need to tell everybody, “Look, I found a cure, it’s wicked!” It’s very important to me that when I wrote a song, playing a song, it had to feel the way I felt when I heard a song that hit me a certain way. That’s how I approached writing Soho Lights. I was a teenager at the time, life goes on, and more things happen, life gets more complicated. I started branching out into different aspects in life. You grow, you explore the human condition. I think something I’m most excited about this record, is to put it in the music. There’s a lot you can do outside the music – you can talk, you can do interviews, you can put everything on the line, but I find that there’s a potency in the energy when you take your truth and you channel it in one direction. The music is sort of a starting point for me. Seeing a different side and being curious, I appreciate the curiosity – because it leads you down a path of exploring the music further. The more I release the music, the more the curiosity brings you down that path, the more you get to connect with me on a real level. Where it’s not going through a filter of someone else’s pen, of someone else’s interview, being taken in context or out of context. It’s a potent energy that then gets channeled into something that is deliberate, that I’m trying to communicate that I communicate the best way I feel I can in music, and from that point onwards, I would elaborate. For now, it’s really about finishing up these new songs and releasing them. They start to peel back different layers and express the things I’m very excited to express. There’s more to be said for the context of the songs and exploring those aspects from there.
[KJ] What helped you evolve to this point in your career as a songwriter, having the ability to capture varied and potent and intricate emotions?
[TD] It starts with being honest with yourself and not trying to coat it with anything else, not trying to come off a certain way, not letting your ego get in the way of your feelings. I think that’s the first step to it, putting words to it. A lot of the time, songs are more conversational than people give them credit for.
[KJ] You’ve been asked many times a similar question – “what’s it like being a solo ‘woman,’ whether it be in reference to your industry, to performing, to touring. What are your thoughts on this?
[TD] Asking someone what it’s like being a woman in any job. No one wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Oh, shit! I’ve got a vagina and a pair of tits! How am I gonna handle my day?” I think you only really feel it and realize it when you’re confronted with people who want to challenge it or give you a hard time for it. I’ve been very, very lucky in my journey that I’ve really not paid much attention to it. If you don’t like what I’m doing because I’m a woman. I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning and thinks how am I going to conquer this day with a penis or with a set of tits. You just fucking wake up in the morning, you get on with your day, you do your job, and you do it to the best of your ability. I’ve always been focused on the craft, focused on what I’ve done. Sure, I’ve had an inordinate amount of experiences, like anybody else, that I have only experienced for being a woman. And #metoo, I challenge the fucking woman out there to hashtag #notme – because it is what it is. We’re humans, we’re dressed in fucking fancy clothes, and we behave. Ultimately we’re still primal human beings. We’re still building on consciousness and what it means to work in the civilization we’ve created. I don’t really feel like I have a solid answer, I don’t really think about it. Of course, I encounter shitty situations. I take them case by case, I see them more as the person being an ignoramus than I do thinking, “Oh shit, I’m a woman.” There are some people out there that have an archaic way of thinking and don’t really get it, or simply have an agenda they can’t see past. We encounter these people all the time. I’m proud of the work I do, I work hard, and I don’t think about it. Like any woman, you sort of deal with it, keep it pushing. I’m not uncomfortable speaking my mind, I’m happy to work on my process and keep it pushing.
I think it’s important to make this a thing. Being a musician. I can learn guitar, at home I can learn to produce at home. I’ve been producing and writing music for a long time. A lot of it I do in my home studio. Playing guitar is something I’ve been doing since I was a kid. No one can walk into my home and stop me from doing that. The beauty of creativity or building a craft is you can learn that and no one can stop you. Currently, with so many YouTube videos, and so many online schools – you can learn just about any craft with no one giving you any bullshit, no one stopping you. I’m very very lucky, in that in a creative field, I can write my own music, release my own music. I can go so far to a certain point before I have to encounter anyone who has an agenda or is a dickhead. I encounter them. A fair amount. In the meantime, I can create an entire album, and release it, without anyone getting in the way. And that’s a beautiful thing.
And I think when it comes to the corporate set up, a lot of people don’t have that luxury, it’s very hard for a lot of people in a corporate environment to go and work on a craft and create something, and have that be the end product; they are a part of a larger system and that job doesn’t allow them to cross those barriers. I am very, very lucky in that sense, I embrace it, I’m grateful for it. Of course, I have my fair share of bullshit, which I deal with on a daily basis, on a weekly basis. At the same time, I’m lucky in that I have control over what I do. I certainly feel for people in the creative world, who feel like their hands are tied and struggle. Again don’t get me wrong I encounter my fair share of it, but I’m lucky to be able to deal with it in my own way and know that my craft, my product is still my own and doesn’t change, whoever’s around me.
[KJ] What’s the best advice that has been important to you and has stayed with you?
[TD] I generally take people as they are. Not as I want them to be. I think that’s really good for relationships, and also for hiring in business. It’s very easy to meet someone and think, “This person could be good at this, or could become this or could do that,” and I think we miss that point of connection. So I take people as they are, I think. And my mother, I can just hear her in my head saying, “Turn the page.” Which I think is a hard thing to do. Myself, and my nature, and for a lot of other things, is just being able to let go, being able to turn the page, being able to move on, being able now to conclude things.
Those are the first two things that drop in. I also think that a lot of these things are that I enjoy exploring and covering on the record, so definitely check that out! These two things can sound simplistic, it’s like when someone shows you who they are believe them. And of course, I take people as they are, at the same time do you really? Or are you sitting here expecting something from someone, and they’re not giving it? And you keep trying to pull it out of them, but it doesn’t happen, and before you know it you’re not accepting that you might have had this wrong person for the job or you might be in a relationship with the wrong person. It makes life a lot simpler to look at who you’re dealing with, instead of getting too caught up on what you’re trying to get them to do or what they could do if they had that personality or disposition.
[KJ] What would be your greatest, most meaningful career goals?
[TD] Ultimately, to reach as many people as possible with the music. It starts with writing an album that I’m truly passionate about, and I express everything I’m trying to express and pull out of myself. I think that’s step one. Feeling like I’ve done my job, that’s step one of success for me. Getting it out to as many people as possible is also something as a musician I’m passionate and excited about because sharing ideas, sharing thoughts is something I enjoy doing. Connecting with different people, on different levels, from different walks of life, with your thoughts, is also something I’m very passionate about. But also, sets up a platform for some of the other projects I’m looking at doing, and things I want to do in life in general in terms of participating in the human experience and adding value.
[KJ] When do you find that your songs are complete, finished, done, when you’re writing and creating them?
[TD] (Laughs) Fucking never! It’s a nightmare, don’t do it! If you’re thinking of writing songs, go do something else! Seriously though. I think it’s when I’ve been truly honest. When I can look at a song and say I’ve expressed everything I’ve needed to say on this subject, in this context, in this short, three, four-minute span. Once I feel satisfied with what I’ve said, obviously the melody, I want the melody to be there. I want the feeling. I want a certain level of production to be there, but the production and the mixing come after for me. I think that my first port of satisfaction is when I’ve truly encapsulated what I’ve wanted to say. And then from there, it’s sort of the process going OK. I have songs where I’ve written them and I’ve been very happy, and I have songs that I play live. The production of them I’m not in love with yet. It’s a process like anything else, and that’s going to be when I feel like the production does the song justice. At that point, I feel like it truly is complete – and of course, that’s the last step of a mix. The main piece for me is saying what I need to say. When the production, the vibe, the mix, the music comes together with the sentiment of the song and everything ties up, the way I intended it, how’s the color of it I see it being? That’s when I kind of feel it. There’s always going to be imperfections, that’s the way to every song and every mix that’s out. I’m like, “I wish I sang this better,” or “I wish I did this,” or “I wish I did that.” I think I’m relatively good with making peace with something, once I’ve hit those main things of honesty, and getting the emotion and the color down in production. Some of the imperfections I’m very happy to have. Some of them I hear and I go, “Ooh I’m not in love with that,” or some of them I go “I love that my voice broke at that moment,” “I love that note slightly out of tune in that moment.” And I’ll sing it in more tune, and it just doesn’t fit with the guitar slide at that moment, ya know? It’s the process.
[KJ] What’s the biggest takeaway from all of this, from the very beginning, what facets make you come alive at the end of the day?
[TD] It’s two-fold. Number one. The feeling of singing, of music, the way it hits me – is something that is beautiful. From start to finish, either way, playing chords on a guitar, playing piano, singing, that’s an amazing feeling. It comes full circle when you have people who react positively to it and feel it. Getting messages from people who say they felt the same things I felt when music hit me. The way I responded to music and I reacted to music was if I heard a song that helped me through some shit. If I heard a song that helped me breathe better. If I heard a song that just singing made me fucking feel better. Those are things that if I end up imparting on other people, or those are experiences that other people feel through my music, that’s the ultimate one for me. That also comes full circle to wanting to reach as many people as possible, is the way I felt about music. There are going to be people who don’t like my music, fine, obviously. And there are going to be people who feel it, there are going to be people who’ll be indifferent to it, but for the people who do feel it, and for the people that go, “That did hit me,” that’s where it all comes together for me.
[KJ] You’ve recently traveled to Morocco and shared some really great photos of your time there. Can you tell us about that?
[TD] Morocco is magic. I went there for one of my very close friend’s weddings, it was beautiful, we had an amazing time. Spent some time in the mountains, which was stunning. The food was great, everybody was very welcoming. Being out there, I decided I wanted to go and spend some time in the desert, so I went out to the Sahara. I spent four days out there, just exploring, it was incredible! We rode quad bikes through the dunes, which was a phenomenal experience. Also, just the sound – there is no sound in the desert at night time- and it’s just incredible. I’ve talked about it before, I have different levels of synesthesia, and that level of silence, with just the feeling of the wind, is just an incredible sensation. It was just beautiful. Under the moonlight. In the dark. Trying to make out the shapes of the sand dune at one in the morning, to find a decent sand dune to sit on meditate on and chill out. It was exceptional.
[KJ] What can we look forward to this last half of 2019? What’s in store for you?
[TD] All sorts of lovely surprises! At the moment I’m recording a bunch of music. I’m also piecing together a bunch of different things, which we’re going to be laying out. I think every artist will tell you, we all wanna get the music to the place that we want to deliver it at. Sometimes it can take a bit longer than expected. I’m in the thick of it right now. The next six months will be finishing up this EP, putting more of the album tracks together. I’m looking forward to putting out the EP, looking forward to putting out an album, and at the same time, touring in the fall! Love to get out there, hit the road and see everybody again! A bunch of more music, more tours, more dates, come find me on the road, hit me up online – I will be in a city near you very soon!
Connect with Tatiana DeMaria here: