Sometimes it can take just one track to change an artist’s trajectory. For West London songwriter Hope Tala, it was ‘Peace Freestyle’, a SoundCloud demo that she uploaded without giving much thought as to what might happen next. But it acted as a catalyst, introducing the world to her blissed-out melodies and soulful bossa nova flow, both of which would only flourish with each subsequent release.
“It’s funny because I listen to those first couple of songs I uploaded to Soundcloud a few years ago and I think I’ve obviously come a really long way,” Hope reflects. “But I can still see the sound I had then in the music I’m making now. It’s grown a lot and changed, but it’s crazy to still hear a lot of those similar rhythms and influences.”
Those early foundations are certainly present in her latest release ‘Girl Eats Sun’, an EP whose defiant stance mirrors Hope’s heightened belief in herself as an artist. “Once I started writing the music, I realised that I wanted to make a project that was like a real statement of strength and of purpose. It was about proving to myself and everyone else that I could do it and that music is my calling.”
‘Girl Eats Sun’ is a beautifully crafted EP that fuses Hope’s talents as a composer and writer, while also citing a multitude of genres. “There’s definitely pop in there, a bit of bossa nova, a bit of alternative R&B, a bit of Latin – there’s so many different strands. I feel like I’m really trying to carve out my own space and my own sound.”
With three standout EPs now in her roster, Hope is looking ahead to 2021 as a year of creativity and promise. “I feel like once I’ve released music, it’s a kind of cathartic thing where I’m ready to start again and start something new.”
There will likely be some catharsis involved in leaving 2020 behind for everyone, but for Hope it signals a readiness to work from a clean slate, nurture fresh ideas, embrace experimentation and etch out colourful new stories.
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Words: Arusa Qureshi
Photography: Joel Smedley
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