Feature: The Ingredients of MEGHALAYA with Tiana Khasi

Monday, April 8, 2019
Photo by only odd

Tiana Khasi continues to dazzle the world with her breathtaking vocals and introspective songwriting. Influenced by her history as a jazz-trained vocalist as well as her Samoan and Indian heritage, Tiana's music is full of heart and passion. The release of her debut EP Meghalaya (via Soul Has No Tempo) is a release we've been excited to hear for a while now. She took some time out to walk us through what inspired her creative process when working on the project.

Old Family Photos
My family has had such an interesting and adventurous life of travel and living in some of the most beautiful parts of the world. Sitting down with my grandparents to revisit these photos has been an invaluable source of inspiration and sense of identity. I've always loved seeing their 60s/70s style and candidness in exotic settings — that eclectic juxtaposition was something I aimed to translate into my music.

This image is of my Grandma and Aunty in Kashmir (India) onboard a flower merchant's boat (who apparently used to store and sell moonshine too!).

Landscape of Meghalaya
Known as the "abode of the clouds", how could I not be inspired to recreate this place musically? Lush green forestry, vine bridges and waterfalls are my happy place.

Sampology and I referenced very particular colours when it came to making musical choices throughout the recording process. From a very early stage, I had a select colour palette, each colour was assigned to a song. Using colour in this way helped communicate the mood and story of each track. The Pantone App is one of my favourites.

Brisbane's Creative Community 
A vital and most flavoursome ingredient for this EP was the collective of Brisbane musicians and creatives who contributed to its creation. The local scene in Brisbane is full of talented, unique and inspirational people; I am really proud to have collaborated with them to create something that not only represents my story and heritage, but also the community that has nurtured our art. Particular mention goes to Sampology (produced the EP), Sam, Jessi, Rohan, Matt and Tristan (also from Astro Travellers!) who invested so much time and thought into this music.

(Photo by Daniel Grima)

Last but not least, the women in my life whose stories and movement through the world has strengthened and ignited my flame. Whether they be family, fellow creatives or icons in history, I am blessed to be surrounded by women who so generously give their love, support and guidance. Quite literally, the EP would not have been possible without my mentor and manager, Alieta — a proud Maori/Samoan businesswoman, mother and all-round unstoppable force.

Listen to Meghalaya by Tiana Khasi below: