We caught up with newcomer Tallia Storm to talk everything social media, music on her phone, Kendrick Lamar and DJ Q. Liking what you're hearing? You can nab a copy of Tallia's "Social Security" here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/social-security-ep/id984449668


Hey Tallia, how's it going?

Mental busy but great!

Tell us a bit about the upcoming EP, Social Security? 

Well finally i get to release my music which is liberating to be honest. I've been like a caged bird desperate to get music out there. I'm really happy with the EP as i wanted to select 4 tracks that introduced my vibe as an artist. I hoped it would show what I'm capable from my jazz and soul roots to a more current urban/garage vibe. I don't like to be constrained with my vocals, I love to experiment and freewheel. The voice is an instrument in itself and I feel that 'pop' can be too clinical sometimes with structure and tone.  Each song has an interesting story to tell, I'm just hoping the audience likes them as much as I do.

What can we expect from the new project?

Simply put this this is an introduction to me. The clouds have moved and the storm is gathering good pace! You can expect an education into my style, what my roots are, what I'm all about as an artist. I've been writing with my team for years believe it or not. Now and we have over 30 songs to share with the world - this is simply a flavour of what's to come. You can expect an urban vocal, with motown, funk and soul influences but most importantly a Tallia twist. I love to improvise when I'm singing, i love to tell a story with the notes and my voice. Most of all i want people to grow with me, understand me and enjoy what I do. if people can enjoy my songs and really feel them, then that's a result. Music should be like an emotional roller coaster - if you want lifted and to party - there's a song for that. If you're feeling melancholic then you'll find a song for that.

Let's talk about the lead track with the same name, what's the concept behind it?

Well as the song says 'These are the rules' - I guess you could say its a lesson in social media etiquette. Some people have no manners on twitter, we almost tweet unconsciously now, liking, following, retweeting without considering the meaning of it all. We don't think twice about asking complete strangers for a retweet or a follow. If you think about it, you wouldn't walk up to a stranger on the street and ask them to share your picture so why is it acceptable on social media? People flood their feeds with random rubbish.  The other message in the song is about the sharing of your personal space or homes.  If you are in someone's house, you certainly shouldn't be sharing private spaces without permission? imagine a photographer walked into your living room and took a photo and published it? But you know, it's a light hearted and fun take on all these messages. It's about our obsession with emoticons - so much so we created my own Tallia Storm emoticons - you must check out their hair lol!

How did the DJ Q mix come about?  

I've been a big fan of DJ Q for sometime now. You know before i moved to London, I lived in a sleepy little village in the Scottish highlands. My life always evolved around music, especially the urban scene. I would flirt between 1Xtra and Kiss Fresh online from my room - it's an addictive genre.  My manager got in touch with Q to see if he would be interested and he said yes - he loved the track (which helps ha ha). I love what he has done with the remix - he's just put his layer of magic on it, which hopefully people will respond to as well as the original.

Growing up, who did you listen to?

Well i write music with my dad Sascha who is an incredibly talented musician. He wouldn't allow me to pick up an instrument before i could read notes - which i cursed him in my head at the time but i'm grateful for now. He plays the piano (along with many other instruments i must add) and we would jam - playing the jazz legends to motown, soul and funk. I would be singing Ella, Dinah and Sarah when I was about 8 years of age. These women were my idols. As I grew up I definitely felt an leaning towards this style of music far more so than straight pop. i adore Amy Winehouse, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, John Legend, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and all those guys. The list is endless.

And what artists/songs would we find on your phone?

Here is my top songs on my phone right now:

  • Misty by Sarah Vaughan
  • Summertime - Billie Holiday
  • Someone To Watch Over Me - Amy Winehouse
  • Blessed - Jill Scott
  • Good Times - Chic (I actually went on stage and joined Nile and Chic to this track when they were in Glasgow last year - wow that was an experience)
  • Your Song - Billy Paul. (Written by Elton John but performed by Billy Paul)
  • I - Kendrick Lamar
  • Ordinary People - John Legend
  • Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
  • Price Tag - Jessie J
  • Old Thing Back - Notirious BIG & team
  • Jennifer Hudson - Its Your World
  • See You Again - Wiz Khalifa
You've received co-signs from a ton of artists, one that stands out for us is Elton John - how did that happen? 

Well i was on holiday with my parents and grandparents - my grandparents actually took us away for my papa's 80th and he got ill at the end of the trip and we had to change hotel for one night only. We discovered Sir Elton was staying in the same hotel and I basically became a stalker in the lobby hoping to bump into him. No such luck. The next morning we are having breakfast and I spot David Furnish a few tables away. I took the bull by the horns, went over to speak to him, (with my wee bro's in tow) and asked if he would mind passing my demo over to Sir Elton. I was pretty scared but I figured this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Anyway, he was so nice and kind and asked me all about my music. He promised to pass it on. We had a stop over in San Francisco and Elton john called my mobile. Insane right? It was crazy - my battery died, we were going through security at the time and thanks to my quick thinking big sis, she swopped sims. When I spoke to him he was so excited and raved about my soul signature saying it was one of the best soul signature's he'd heard in years. in fact he played my demo through stadium speakers at his gig the night before at his sound check to let his band here it. He couldn't believe I was just 13 years old at the time. Next thing you know, I'm opening his Scottish football stadium concert to 17,000 people a few months later. Even when I think back its crazy and almost surreal. He literally changed my world. He opened a magic door and now its up to me to prove I can keep it opened. I will be forever grateful to him for that opportunity.

And what about Nile Rogers tweeting your his fave new artist in the world?! 

i know - another legend - i really do feel blessed. i first met Nile also when I was 13 years old - just after the Elton gig, he got in touch and said he loved my sound and story and could I speak and perform  at his TEDXTeen conference in New York. Next thing you know I'm on a plane to NYC with my mum and hanging out with Nile. I also presented his first London TEDXTeen conference last October at the O2 and ended up jammin on stage with Nile. He's become a mentor really. He gives great advice and has so much wisdom about the music industry in general. He's passionate and works like a demon - he really is an inspiration. We are trying to find time to do a song together but he's been crazy busy with his new album and tour but it's definitely on the 'to do' list. So watch out for that one!

What can we expect from Tallia Storm this year?

Music, music and more music. For me its just about singing live and getting as much music out there as I can. I would love to get another EP and album out by the end of the year. I also have a 2 book deal with Scholastic UK - there is a fun teaser short story published on 10th May on iTunes called 'A Storm is Coming' and my first fictional novel is out in September / October time this year. I'm the face of California brand Paul Frank and we're shooting a new campaign next week actually.  I'm doing quite a few festivals over the summer months. i'm looking forward to  Big Gig Jersey in July and Jersey Live in September to get to hang on those Californian looking Jersey beaches! I love golden sands and I find the sea the perfect place to write. But hopefully 2015 is not going to be dull - lets say that!

and lastly.. We are Who's Jack magazine, do you have a special Jack in your life?

I've no time for a special Jack - I'm 100% focused on my music and career. Plus everything gets taken so completely out of context too - when Brooklyn Beckham came to see me perform with my sister it was front page news that we were an item. I had paparazzi chasing us. It was insane and most importantly it wasn't true. We're all just friends. Right now my career comes first - plus I'm just 16 so plenty time for all that.