Getting in your own way isn’t a novel concept. This is why rising pop star, Talii, wanted to create a track that explored what it means to find your true self and let them take the wheel. “Front Seat” tells the story of a girl learning to love and embrace the woman she’s become. Not only has Talii created an R&B/pop anthem, but her music is also heavily influenced by her Trinidadian heritage and music-filled childhood.
Following her sensual and soulful single, “Mouth”, “Front Seat” is a powerful and bold song that allows the Orlando-based artist’s true colors to shine through. I sat down with the young singer to learn more about “Front Seat” and the cultural influences on her music.
Ariel Zedric: “Front Seat“ gives off a message of self-acceptance, self-love, and overall positive vibes. Tell me a little about the inspiration and your decision to write this song.
The concept of this song came from a conversation I had with my producer G.Bliz right at the beginning of a session. We were speaking about low points in life, navigating through rough times and really learning to love yourself throughout the process. The song comes from a genuine place of letting your true self take over, as well as shedding your ego and negative thoughts.
What’s been a hardship or point of growth that has caused you to practice self-love recently?
I recently got out of a relationship with an unfaithful partner while also navigating through extreme emotional ups and downs. It really took a toll on me and impacted how I perceived myself. Walking away from that unhealthy environment not only opened my eyes to who I am and what I’m worth, but it allowed me to heal the broken parts while flourishing into this better version of myself.
How is “Front Seat” different from your more sensual single, “Mouth”?
“Mouth” showcases my funky/sexy side. It nods to a more retro vibe and “Front Seat” reflects more of an island feel while still being contemporary. The lyrics highlight a more introspective and self-improving mindset, while “Mouth” is carefree and about having a good time.
Which style do you think fans are going to see more of? Or do you plan on incorporating both into your playlist?
I have a ton of musical influences that all play a part in the creation of my songs. Instead of sticking to a specific genre, we just strive to make great music that’s authentic to who I am and each style reflects a different aspect of my personality. I think my fans are going to appreciate the variety my team and I bring. It will never get boring, but it will always maintain a signature vibe because we still have a specific style in how we write and produce.
What parts of your culture do you pull from for inspiration? How so?
I’m a proud mixed girl and growing up multiracial we got to listen to a huge variety of music around the house. Being the daughter of a black musician I grew up immersed in r&b, soul, hip hop, and jazz music. I’m also heavily influenced by the rhythms of dancehall and soca because of my Trinidadian heritage.
Talk a little bit about the role music has played in your life, not only from a career standpoint but how it’s influenced you as a person since your childhood!
Music was my first love, my first language, and the thing that saved my life many times. It’s the way I express myself when I don’t have the words and has kept my head above water while going through life with bipolar disorder. I’ve been singing and writing since I can remember and without music…I just wouldn’t be me.
Have you ever doubted your decision to pursue music? If so, what inspired you to keep going?
I’ve absolutely doubted myself and was very close to completely giving up several times. I used to hate my voice, I’ve been told that I wasn’t good enough and I failed so much. I kept going because music is such a deeply ingrained part of me, I wasn’t whole without it. I didn’t know anything else but music and no matter how many times I walked away, I was always pulled.
What’s it like being a female in the music industry?
Being a female in a male-dominated industry, you gotta come with all you’ve got. I’ve always strived to be the best I could be musical because as a female artist a lot of times you’re initially just seen as a pretty face and not always taken super seriously even when there are layers of talent underneath. It feels like you got a lot more to prove as a woman in this industry but it’s also a beautiful thing to be a female artist. I get to inspire more young women to work hard and succeed in the music business.
What artists have you been listening to on repeat lately?
Lennon Stella, Pink Sweat$, Emotional Oranges, Nao, Rosalia, J. Balvin, Billie Eilish, Summer Walker, Dominic Fike.
Are you working on any other exciting, forthcoming projects that you want fans to know about?
I’ve been working with my team non-stop on a whole bunch of different vibes. We’re currently planning out our next singles and looking at releasing a project sometime in fall 2019.
Do you have any advice for young aspiring artists?
Don’t give up. But don’t get caught in a rut either. It’s important to try new things and reach out to new people, especially if what you’re currently doing doesn’t seem to be working. Take constructive criticism, but know when to stand for what you believe creatively as well. Teamwork makes the dream work, so surround yourself with like-minded people who share your vision within the supportive roles they play.
Feature image credit Terrence Drysdale, courtesy of Talii