Culted Sounds: Talia Goddess on growing up in Brooklyn & the plans she has for the music industry

Culted Sounds: Talia Goddess on growing up in Brooklyn & the plans she has for the music industry

by Juliette Eleuterio
9 min

Talia Goddess is a name that should be on everyone’s radar, thanks to hits such as “ONE TIME” and “I WANT YOU” released earlier this year. The arts are something she has engaged in from the age of six, and now, aged 21, she has released her self-produced EP Poster Girl and collaborated with a number of brands, including Diesel and Awake New York. We caught up with Talia to talk about all things music.

Hey Talia, how are you? How have you been celebrating the release of your new single One Time?

I’m doing good thank you, to celebrate the release of One Time I hosted a party in Camden at a boxing ring and that was super sick, it was good to capture that energy and essence of this high-energy hip-hop song, it was exciting to play my music to others and enjoy it. It was kind of punky and cool to transform a boxing room into a music event, there were a lot of things for people to interact with, there were bleachers and punch bags, the space itself was so cool, and just being in the boxing ring as well. It was a super interactive space for people to connect and just experience music and or music events in a fun way. It was really dope. 

You also released the music video for that one, where you and your girl squad are seen coming for a man (as you should) giving big-time bad b*tch energy, channeling Beyoncé in Hold Up with the baseball bat. Did you always have this idea in your head when you were writing One Time?

The song was originally part of an experiment and my take on hip hop and rap, because there’s always this discourse about rap girlies and whether they are good enough within mainstream music. With the constant conversations surrounding female rappers, I was like okay let me try my take on it, it was fun to just talk to my shit and have this fun hip-hop energy when it came to the visual, I didn’t want to do some cliché with girls shaking ass, money, and cars. For me, that was the challenge, to put my own spin on what hip-hop means to me through the visuals, because I have a certain palette already. I didn’t have much of an idea for this video, but when I collaborated with a director called Ben Wescott, he allowed me to bring a vision to life and just being here in London enabled me to be inspired by so many different things, Ben just ran with the idea of this goon and me vs me concept and just having a fun approach to hip-hop. It was really cool working together, having an interpretation of my idea, and just putting our heads together like that.

You grew up in Brooklyn, New York. How do you think the concrete jungle shaped and influenced you as a creative? Did you have any other early childhood influences?

Yes, I did grow up in Brooklyn. I’ve been performing since I was 6 years old. I performed in after-school clubs all over from the Bronx to Queens to anywhere in the tri-state area. Meeting all kinds of people and being exposed to the music industry at such an early age really prepared me for what was to come, especially in a city like New York, where everything is so rough and hustle, you must really work your ass off. It’s kind of like London in a way, I feel like New York is like London on crack. New York has a similar energy, it’s fast-paced pace but it’s not too crazy, yeah growing up in New York gave me the street smarts and the strength of having tough skin to be able to navigate the industry or even my career and knowing how to master my skill and master my craft, that ultimately what sets you apart from the rest, a gimmick is a gimmick, I think New York is known for being real and dope, that’s something you can’t fake. You can’t fake it until you make it, you must be real in this industry. I think it’s just like the entire experience ultimately inspired me, that’s my origin. 

In terms of influences, I can’t really pinpoint one specific artist, but If I had to pinpoint one artist it would be Michael Jackson like the Jackson Five growing up, when it came to performing, practicing and the whole etiquette of what it means to be a performer, this was before anything social media or anything like that, just seeing him perform at such a young age was such an inspiration. 

Talia Goddess ©

Amazing. Of course, Your first EP Poster Girl was posted in 2021 which was overall a very soft and intimate project. How would you describe your musical evolution since then?

I would say I’ve become a lot bolder in my creative choices, initially when I first came onto the scene with a soft and intimate tone people just assumed I was an R&B artist, that was just an appetizer and the first course I’m the complete opposite to that, because I think that being my first project there were a lot of nerves and uncertainty, now that I’ve experienced what’s it’s like to create a body of work, I’m so sure of myself and now I actually want to showcase my creative ability and not play it safe at all. My new music it’s all over the place, but it’s in the same world I think it’s a good reflection of me as an individual, being so multi-cultural and being in so many different spaces, my new music is just a reflection of who I am today. Pushing the visuals, the song, doing more shoots, and just creating this world, I’m so excited to push the pen, and the artistry and continue developing.  

What does your creative process look like? Are you the type to freestyle until something with potential comes up? Or do you always have a set idea of what you want to achieve when making music?

Most times I’ll start with the beat and even going back to the last question, I’m really showcasing my skills in production and my work as a music producer, whether that’s playing with genres, arrangement, or different instruments, I’ll always start with the music that could be loose melodies that I’ll freestyle over while I’m making the beat or play around with loose lyrics and create something from there. Recently I’ve been collaborating with a variety of producers and trying to step into a songwriter space, I worked with a producer who sent me a beat and I managed to get a track together instantly – probably the fastest time I’ve ever done something like that. Most of the time when I’m making music the inspiration is spontaneous and just spouts from being in the right state of mind and the right energy flow to make something cool.

What do you want your listeners to take away from your music?

I think with the new music especially, I want the listeners to really engage with music like the audio sonic experience, wholeheartedly and to fully immerse themselves into the musical experience. I think there is a little bit of a lack of etiquette when it comes to listening to music, sometimes people would play in the background or just play it on their iPhone speaker or talk throughout the song, I really want the listeners to really be able to dissect and really be taken aback by the creative choices. I think my music is unpredictable and I like the fact it sparks conversation and I think that’s what music is about, like it literally stimulates your brain. 

I love how passionate you are about your music as well.

Yeah that’s true, I love to take away notes about the production, take away notes about the themes, finding connections between the black diaspora music and how it can intersect and combine and like all the different cool sonic things happening with music right now to create new sounds. 

Not only are you a singer-songwriter, DJ, and producer, but you also founded your own record label TRANCE, all by the age of 20. Impressive. How do you balance it all?

I have very irregular work and sleeping hours, I have periods where I’m chilling, living the life, partying, DJing, clubbing, traveling, whatever, being very extroverted, and then when I’m making music or working, a lot of what I do is very isolated, whether that’s recording or just working on my computer, sometimes I’ll have non-stop days where I’m just locking in hours. It also helps that I have a good team, a label, and good peers, who are my collaborators and we kind of bounce ideas off each other. There’s a big aspect of entrepreneurship with everything that I do and I’m still learning. 

So, what would you say is your main goal for TRANCE within the music industry?

Trance serves as two things, the first thing is a collective representation specifically geared to black queer youth and really galvanizing the future leaders of their creative industry from now. 

I think being the youngest person in a lot of the spaces I’m in can be a little bit alienating. Even If qualified and meant to be in the room, there’s obviously a disconnect with being with people who were in their late twenties, early thirties, and forties or just at different points in our lives, so I think it’s this aspect of connecting the early stage of the future creators, entrepreneurs, and leaders, it’s also about creating a safe space for us. A lot of what I do with trance is with events, workshops, and music, and creating opportunities for my peers to get paid and be a funnel of opportunities. I guess in the grand scheme of things I want Trance to be like the next Odd Future or the next creative collective that really champions and pioneer’s individuals in their respective fields. I want to Trance to be a community and resource for other black queer people and just have something for them to look up to. I want to be an inspiration for advocation. 

With already two singles out this year, what else are you working on right now? Perhaps an album is in the works?

My next EP is called Down to Earth and it is dropping on November 10th, it’s two years plus in the works, and I’m really excited to share my next body of work that expands on my music production, sonic palette, genre-bending, visual experimentation, it is a cool project, even galvanizing Trance my network in New York and even in London and just collaborating with all these creatives, whether it’s like college kids or freelancer’s, I’m so excited so tuned!

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