Here’s 5 tracks as chosen by talented Australian future-soul artist Tiana Khasi, ahead of publication of our extended interview.
Well as a whole, all the songs I’ve picked, I feel like they reflect a nice mix of my earlier influences, so jazz and even some sort of early hip hop influences and they also kind of explore some more experimental production in songwriting approaches that I’m trying to incorporate in my music. And they’re all from artists that I seriously vouch for listening to in their entirety, going from album start to finish.
Betty Carter is one of my favourite jazz musicians of all time. I picked this one because it’s an original composition of hers and I really admire especially as a jazz vocalist, being able to compose, perform and publish your own music. I found that really inspiring and empowering. And yeah, I’m really inspired by her sort of nuanced and really commanding sexuality that she exudes in this song. Like she really knows what’s best for the guy when you listen to the lyrics, and her phrasing, storytelling and the way that she melodically dances on the line of genius accuracy and potential dissonance really, for me, shows that she knows her stuff.
Jon Bap – _Stuck_
So yeah, similarly to Betty Carter, I’d say Jon Bap is one of those artists whose music is best consumed in its entirety. So letting his album run start to finish. I consider him kind of like a contemporary jazz musician in his improvised approach. He really holds a torch in this specific niche space of authentic soulful expression as well as experimentation and improvisation which I think kind of makes him like a modern day jazz artist. Particularly in “_Stuck_”. I resonated with his use of – he was recording voice memos and almost meditative loops over this harmonic exploration and kind of gospel vocal chops. So yeah, as an artist, for me, I find tracks like this to be incredibly freeing and inspirational.
Little Simz – Venom
This has been on repeat for me this last week. I would say that this album, GREY Area, is already my favourite album of the year. I’m not someone who goes straight to new music, but I have been so excited about music just from listening to Little Simz. I think she’s extremely innovative and a breath of fresh air, especially in the rap world. I just love that this is so unapologetic lyrically and she’s really calling it how it is and not trying to be too diplomatic in the way she’s calling out toxic masculinity and the patriarchy. As well musically I think her flow over these kind of slow angled drums, it really pushes on the boundaries of being out of time or just incredibly accurate, which I love. So I’m really excited to hear more from her. But this has been one of my anthems lately.
Fatima – So Rite
I was lucky enough to open for her in Brisbane and she’s just so cool and you can totally hear it in this song. Even just with the minimal instrumentation, all she needs is guitar, bass, finger snaps and vocals and she fills the space so much. Definitely painting out the space with her sense of rhythm and groove. She speaks exactly the way that her lyrics are writing too, so when I hear her sing on this track, I can just remember the way she was talking in the green room. And she’s just so cool. So yeah, I feel it’s very authentic, and I really look up to that.
Sudan Archives – Nont For Sale
I consider this track to be an incredible protest song. And it’s not just about land rights. I think the way she explores the theme of setting boundaries, both politically, maybe if it’s more to do with native title. Also, on a personal level, I think she really explores these kind of big picture, small picture concepts. And I also am a massive fan of how she’s incorporated this experimental style of electronic production and playing violin in an experimental way. It’s such a classical instrument, but she’s able to make it really contemporary.