In conversation with Tayahna Walcott
Last week we had a delight speaking to a very talented musician & face of Tommy Jeans campaign Tayahna Walcott.
Tayahna: My name is Tayahna. I go by the artist name Talia Goddess,18 years young from Brooklyn New York, singer, songwriter, rapper, music producer, Model, creative entrepreneur, well, super passionate about the arts and incorporating that into my contributions to the world and pushing culture forward.
Timi: Well, love it! You do a lot of things for an age of 18 already, pretty impressive I must say that. Actually, if I may ask you on that as well. How has it been working on creative projects during this time for you? Has it been any limiting with so much more time not being able to travel or perform as much?
Tayahna: It had its blessings and curses especially because I graduated high school 2020 last year and then taking a gap year from school. So it's really been like a lot of time. And what I've decided, just like to have this opportunity to like really hone in and focus on my art form in my career, but then in a pandemic.. It’s allowed a lot of reflection and also just like really working on my craft. And for that, I'm grateful. I will say, my first love was performing, I started off as a performer, competing at competitions and all of that, so like a big aspect of my artistry and my connection to my music and others is through performance. So that's been like a big punch in the chest. But I'm excited to get back, you know. I'm excited when the world reopens. It seems super abstract but I mean it's all like taking it day by day.
Timi: Totally I can connect to a lot of those things, so I totally get it. Like you said, ups and downs, it's been definitely a time to reflect, also to find new ways of creativity and creativity has also changed to something more meaningful, in my opinion. So it really matters what your message is, what the story behind everything you do is. People really connect to that more than ever before. Luckily, I think that's good and positive, especially in the music or in fashion or film industries or entertainment in general. I think it's definitely correct. What's your connection with Tommy Jeans and how did the collaboration with Tommy Jeans start?
Tayahna: So this actually happened I wanna say in the summer. It was actually really crazy because like the whole, like modeling, film and content industry is like how do we navigate, like doing shoots and stuff in a pandemic. So I really comment Tommy Jeans for being super innovative in the sense of being in touch with people in Amsterdam, it’s kind of like, we trust you here in New York. We're going to give you the creative liberties to sort of create your own sort of world and take on, you know, Tommy Jeans, the brand. So just giving me that creative freedom to make a song that I did for them up to speed and everything that was super super dope and this is really incorporating my art form into working with that. And so I'm super grateful for that. And it also, I guess, as a pioneer, just how I think major brands should work with artists and creatives because like usually, you know, there's like a strict mood board and do this, do that. But actually like me being representative of talent and stuff like that, just allowing them to create what they want is something that I think Tommy Jeans did really, really well. And so I'm really grateful for that. Tommy Hilfiger as a brand has always been involved in Hip Hop. Aliyah, Biggie Smalls, like all these artists, like Playboy, like doing all these things that it's like hip hop and culture and music. And so just sort of being that same sort of way. And it's like really, really dope.
Timi: Awesome pleasure. Pleasure speaking to you. Excited to ask you more questions. Can you tell me among all of your let’s say music and projects which project embodies your personality the most?
Tayahna: My personality. Honestly, I think I usually make love songs because I'm usually in love or I’m looking. But I think it’s the most true reflection of that sort of like rollercoaster, because like one day I'm like, oh, my God. Like, is something wrong with me? Like, how could she leave me, you know? But then I'm like I say, you know, like she's really missing out, I'm feeling myself and all of that. I think that also translates into, like, my art form, because there are times especially that like I produce, I create everything myself. It’s like my baby, you know. So I'm super cautious and protective over my work and share that with people. So I think it’s just a little bit like that, sort of like push me pull sort of like come into my self. My identity is something that I think is translated into that song really well, translated into my music. It’s getting better, you know, slowly, just realizing like this is my purpose. This is meant to be I just need believing in myself. So, yeah, check out “Never wanna fall” out now.
Timi: I’ll check it out totally. I love it it's really inspiring for 18. I mean, you have really good perspective. So keep going, keep dreaming, keep working hard. That's all I can say. I'm not that much older than you. But that’s the only way really. Another note, what gives you confidence and what is your personal motto in life, especially now?
Tayahna: Honestly, what gives me confidence is isolation. Just really being with myself and allowances to just like feel out all my feelings because there's always like a bunch of turbulent thoughts and everything about myself, especially as a public figure. And I try to imagine what others think of me. And it is kind of stepping back from that and just really just being content with myself and happy with myself and also just self-love. You know, it's like just a sort of a layer of protection and just security in my soul. So this has also been a major take away from this pandemic, just like having enough time.And you know, like I'm a pretty chill person, like it doesn't hurt to get cute every now and then, you know, pop out. My confidence isn’t rooted in that it is rooted much deeper in how I think how I feel, just like how I can help others and just be of service to people. I forgot the second part of your question.
Timi: Connect confidence to personal motto. So motivation let’s say.
Tayahna: So I've been saying this like nonstop, but it's really just honestly kind of propelled in launching my career fully, just this phrase progress, not perfection. And I think especially in developing my craft and developing my sound and understanding what type of trajectory I want to go in. It doesn’t need to be perfect in order to what you see or what you want to be like. But it's all a process. I always forget I'm really young. At the end it’s the journey that counts it’s not really the destination because who knows where the destination is, you know? So that's been like my motto that's been keeping me going and not being too hard on myself.
Timi: Who is the one voice that has inspired you the most in your personal life and your career? If there is one thing you could name.
Tayahna: I've had a lot of pivotal figures in my life. I mean, obviously the first thing that comes in line is like my mom because she's like super supportive, like my entire life, just like very supportive of the arts and my creative interests, you know, really foster in that. So I'm like, so, so grateful for it because, like, she's just like, I guess has created a safe space for me to be myself, especially like coming to terms with my sexuality. I wanted to do music and even thinking about school because I'm also a first generation immigrants. And to have that sort of liberty to choose my own live, you know, is something I'm eternally grateful for because there's not a lot of parents allow their kids to really be free and to explore and find themselves and you know I’ve learned a lot.
Timi: Me too. I can connect to the exact same experience, that’s a good feeling. But not everyone is that fortunate, obviously, like you said. So it's good to have support, especially from your family and friends and people who are close around you.
Timi: What is the most daring thing you did? And tell us something that you wouldn't normally mention on your résumé? Let’s say recently.
Tayahna: I had a bunch of these (laughs). But I recently traveled alone for the first time I took this spontaneous trip to Miami just to sort of like reflect. I guess one travelling in that times is crazy and then two by myself, it's also crazy. And then I also stayed in the hostel, which is triple crazy. So I was like, what am I getting myself into? But I met so many dope people and even though, I kind of wanted to sort of get away from myself, as a stranger, like my music doesn't matter. Nothing matters. I was here for the vibes. I was attracting so many dope people and taking risks and letting myself be open to, you know, to new places and new energies and trust in the attraction of the right people. So that was really, really fun and exciting. Like I got lit with everyone. I forgot the second part of your question.
Timi: Something that is not on your resume, something fun that you wouldn't write normally just on the paper or say first thing about yourself.
Tayahna: Oh, well, I guess that's what's fun for me. But I do all of my graphics myself.
So the cover art for my single I did. And most of my work I do just I'm basically a dork.
So like anything technological and creative, I get my hands on it and I'm gonna to figure it out. So that’s super cool. I'm not really a graphic designer or anything. But, you know, I play around that’s super fun just sort of allows me to, this is the story, create like a fantasy, sort of like I said to myself, you know, things like that.
Timi: But I must say, I mean, having graphic design knowledge is always a good thing, longterm. I'm trying to learn more myself as well, because I've always been on the other way. That’s the step further. I prepare, but I don't execute that part exactly like the graphic designer. But that’s something really good nowadays to have as a skill and as a interest. And obviously you have to have passion for it. Let me ask you, why music how did your story with music start?
Tayahna: So both of my parents are big music lovers. My dad is actually a D.J. and my mom used to sing in a band with her sisters. They used to sing Lover's Rock and my dad is from Guyana. So I grew up in like a Caribbean sort of UK crossover environment of music and sounds and things like that. So I grew up in a musical environment, always had family get togethers, and I was always dancing. So I started off as a dancer. I used to perform I used to compete. And I was just like being able to move whatever audience or get people to feel good or just, you know, I can just create that sort of synergy. So that's just that's where the music is from. Because I think, being a performer and being an artist allows me to do that, allows me to sort of stimulate people's emotions and get their brains like even scientifically music stimulates a lot of your brain, you know. Performing and djing and doing events and all of that it’s sort of getting people together and just that's sort of like community oriented, you know, feel good, like be present in the moment, so it stems from my childhood. And that was like what my family was upbringing and I just wanting to extend that and also express myself through that.
Timi: Cool. And I have in conclusion, a question about your upcoming projects for this year. Would you already be able to share with us and what's coming up?
Tayahna: The first single dropped today on the 26thand it’s called “Never wanna fall”. And the entire EP is written and produced by me. And it really just encapsulates I would select like my high school years and to sort of like going through love, going through growth, like pain, politically charged, you know, with everything going on and just like really understanding my identity in the world. So it definitely touches all those sort of things. And especially as I embark on this new chapter of my life that I would like to be with 18 now. And now I'm excited for future projects. But “Poster Girl” is the debut EP coming out in April. And stay tuned.