Hawaii’s ukulele prodigy, Taimane (say: tie-mon-eh), is headed to the city of angels! At first glance, her music seems to belong to a niche, comprised of sunny strums for surf ballads. However, you only need see Taimane perform once to realize that she is about far more than your typical ukulele stereotypes. She is a talented and charismatic performer, and the mainland is lucky to have her come out on tour! Read all about Taimane and see what plans she has for after her tour in our interview below!
Los Angeles will have a chance to see Taimane perform at the Mint on 8/23, and Thrillcall users can enter to win a pair of free tickets. Download the Thrillcall app to enter. Be sure to set your location to Los Angeles to find the contest, or follow the link below.
Thrillcall: The ukulele brings to mind one place: Hawaii. But your music has more to it than just that Pacific Islander sound, including flamenco and even classical influences. What artists do you look to for inspiration?
Taimane: My inspirations include different cultures, the natural Elements, Lana Del Rey, Greek mythology and yes indeed, Hawaii. The world has a lot to offer, and it just so happens that I express myself through an ukulele.
TC: You began writing original music after becoming burnt out on the same surf tunes that people expect to hear on a ukulele. Did you set out to change people’s perceptions about the instrument when you began writing?
T: I was actually quite inspired by Chinatown in Hawaii in my college days. It was an underground of different galleries and spaces that supported Original, free expression. It was the opposite of what I was doing, and this energy allowed me to grow as an artist.
TC: The ukulele seems to have its own ‘voice,’ but you have also begun to add your own vocals to your new material. How has this affected your songwriting approach, if at all?
T: I believe that people connect to the human voice. Every person has their own perspective, and it’s a gift we can communicate that feeling with others through music. I’m not a lyricist, but I do enjoy adding the human voice as an element to my music. I use it more as an ethereal layer because I like the way it sounds.
TC: You have incredible stage presence, something you’ve been perfecting for most of your life. Can you remember your first performance on a stage?
T: My first performance was a ballet recital. I don’t remember much of the performance itself, but I had a grand ol’ time taking pictures on stage after and telling the other girls how to pose 😉 I guess you could say I’ve always felt very comfortable on stage.
TC: What’s on the horizon after your tour is over?
T: I have a new EP that I’ve been dabbling with. The songs are about the Elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Ether. My past album was about the solar system. Lately, I’ve been enjoying writing conceptual music. Hopefully, my EP will be out early next year!