Making her mark in Malaysia’s music scene, Talitha Tan is no stranger as you’ve probably heard her on the radio or even seen her at music gigs singing along to her hit song “Okay”, featuring Darren Ashley. The singer/songwriter and fitness enthusiast has come a long way since her days singing in her bathroom and working hard to promote her music through Youtube (TaLiThAbE) and open mic events.
It’s her passion and love for music that keeps her going despite facing many challenges as most young aspiring musicians do when breaking into the industry. Doing what she loves, being able to perform and gaining her mom’s support without letting fear get in the way is nothing less than inspiring.
As part of International Women’s Day 2018, we sat down with Talitha Tan in collaboration with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, DIDA, and DoubleWoot to share her amazing journey throughout the years.
BloomThis (BT): Tell us about yourself.
Talitha Tan (TT): Hi! I’m Talitha. I’m a singer/songwriter/performer/parkour athlete/fitness enthusiast. Yeah, I’m the type of person that can sit still and do nothing. I like doing things out of the ordinary. I like being productive. I can’t sit at home and just watch Netflix because I would feel like a complete bum. I write music that is relatively personal to me, music that I'm able to express myself the most and that's usually when I'm heartbroken (not Taylor Swift by the way, haha). If you don’t know my music, go check it out on Spotify!
BT: What’s it like being a female artiste in Malaysia?
TT: I wouldn't say it's too challenging, but starting was a bit hard, a few years back. Back then, it wasn't as supported as it is today. I wouldn't say it's too challenging la, like it's challenging to a certain extent but like it's worth it. It's worth the challenge. I think everything has a challenge.
BT: Did you face any challenges when you wanted to release your first piece?
TT: No, because I just wanted to release it and didn’t care. I released it, and it was good! I would say a challenge was finding producers - to find producers that I feel work because you gotta be picky to a certain extent. As an independent artist, it would be funding, because I refuse to take money from my parents. I want to be able to fund myself. Working alone. I have writers' block and having to find the inspiration, having to push yourself and working with clients is cool, but doing it yourself, it’s work.
BT: How has music & fitness shaped you as a person?
TT: Fitness and music shaped me as a person because it kept me grounded. I'm in the best of both worlds. You either see me in the music scene or the sports scene. In the music scene, I'm all dressed up. I have make-up on. I look nicer and more decent than I usually would, whereas, in sports, I could be covered in mud or the ‘dopier’ side of me. With the crowd I hang out with, I’m just keeping it real, I'm ALL about keeping it real. I guess that's how it molded me as a person but if you want to talk about it connecting, I don’t think it has much of a connection. I feel that fitness actually distracts me from my music quite often, which I shouldn’t do because music is my life.
BT: Just realised you have a black patch on your arm. What’s up with that?
TT: This is on my arm right now because my chiropractor put it on my arm for support. I’m known as the girl who constantly picks up a new sport. If you see a new sport on my Insta Story, okay, that’s Talitha’s new sport. Recently, I’ve been getting into MotoCross which is somewhat dirt-biking/bike-off-road. And I love it! It’s very, very fun.
I would say it's the most extreme thing I've done so far. I mean… I'm jumping with a bike! Recently, I've been trying to work on my speed because I lack that and I may have accidentally hit the brakes a little too hard. I may have actually flown off the bike, maybe, because I don't remember, it's too fast to remember. I went diving into the ground and the impact went from my wrist to my shoulder. I couldn't lift up my arm for a couple of days but it's all good now!
BT: If you could do it all again, what advice would you give your younger self?
TT: I would say I would do it all again because it has molded me into who I am today. I am who I am today because of what I’ve done and all the mistakes I’ve done. So, mistakes aren’t bad guys! If I had to say anything, I would tell myself not to worry so much about what everyone thinks. Take criticism, that’s fine - constructive ones, not the ones that tell you, “You suck!”. You don’t learn anything from that.
I believe you can’t please everybody. Everybody has different preferences. I can’t expect everybody to like my music but I know that there are people who enjoy my music and that’s what matters the most. Don’t be stuck up, listen to criticisms and learn from your mistakes. Don’t be too harsh on yourself as well, because you’re your harshest critic.
BT: What’s your favorite flower?
TT: My favorite flower would be… I don’t know flower names, so, I actually googled ‘unique flowers’ and the one that stood out the most was the ‘Monkey-Faced Orchid’. I don’t know if that’s a real name for the flower but I like that flower. So, ‘Monkey-Faced Orchid’ it is! Don’t know it? Go Google!
Talitha has a new single out now called 'Please Stay', where she channels her role as a daughter trying to understand what her mother has gone through to get to where she is today.
Find out more about Talitha
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This Women's Day, send your message of love & support to the wonder women in your life with gorgeous designer flowers and gifts. See them smile today!