At the tender age of 19, she was already in a league of her own, holding up against the best in the genre, including Joan Baez, Tracy Chapman and Suzanne Vega.
Hello there fedora hat sisters!
Persis here hoping you’re ready to go on a short journey with me as we begin a series on two things that are really close to my heart. Music and being a tomboy.
In this series of music tomboys, I put up pictures and a little brief note on how and why certain female musicians have become big influences in this tomboy’s life and I begin the series with the biggest influencer of them all; Tanita Tikaram.
I discovered her deep, husky voice in 1988, when I was 15 and my world hasn’t been the same since. Back then, folk music broke out in a big way commercially with Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, The Pogues and the Indigo Girls grabbing the tops of pop charts everywhere by the jugular and gaining worldwide critical acclaim but no one did it as subtly and as early as Tanita Tikaram.
At the tender age of 19, she was in a league of her own, her lyrics capturing the struggles of small-town youth walking the fires of growing up or painting portraits of the old and weary caught up in the helplessness of regret. This Malaysian-Fijian blew audiences worldwide with her unbelievable lyrical depth and musical maturity. Trust me, not even Madonna has reached that stage yet in her career.
Tanita’s debut album ‘Ancient Heart’ was released to great success commercially and critically, featuring the oboe-laced hit single ‘Twist in My Sobriety”, the sombre “World Outside my Window” and of course the very jig-able “Good Tradition”.
Of course, to me she fit perfectly into my equally mature 15-year-old mind and eventually, it wasn’t just her voice, music and lyrics but her unique personality and style that has made her still one of my favourite musicians today. She may not have achieved fame and fortune of Lady Gaga proportions but I’m glad she’s still around making good music and having a great sense of tomboy style.