It’s not often an artist establishes themselves so eloquently with the launch of their debut EP, but in the case of Brisbane-born, Melbourne-based future soul artist Tiana Khasi, this was precisely achieved with the release of her critically-acclaimed 2019 debut EP, Meghalaya – a powerful statement of intent that honours her Samoan and Indian heritage.
Meghalaya was co-written and produced by Sampology, and is a rich tapestry of styles and influence, born from improvised jazz jams with her band and brought to life in the producers home studio in Brisbane, Australia.
With lead single Nuketown catching the ear of BBC tastemaker Gilles Peterson, the track featured on the 13th instalment of his renowned compilation, Brownswood Bubblers. Tiana went on to co-headline her debut UK performance, shoulder-tapped by BBC 1XTRA host, Jamz Supernova, to feature on a showcase presented by her label, Future Bounce.
A trained vocalist whose voice has been described “as venomous as it is honey-sweet” (Happy Mag), Tiana’s music pays homage to her heritage, with cultural influences just as vital to her sound as her jazz studies. Back home in Australia, 2019 saw Tiana tour her EP to sold out rooms and share stages with bucket list peers and contemporaries. Nominated for Melbourne’s prestigious Corner Award - that name Baker Boy & Sampa The Great amongst previous years winners - Meghalaya was also announced as a nominee for a 2020 AIR Award (Australian Independent Record Labels Association) for Best Independent R&B/Soul Release, a testament to the originality in the music and power in her storytelling. More crucially, and extending beyond the accolades and local borders, Meghalaya served as a portal, introducing and reconnecting Tiana globally with community including Khasi decendents, who reached out to express pride and representation within her music – gestures that stand as career highlights for the artist.