TASH SULTANA: The game changer
ANDERSON .PAAK: Best teef in the game to date
Mastermind, genre (and gender) bender extraordinaire and seemingly the hardest working and smallest solo artist out there who, with their enveloping levels of soul and talent, can possess it all and channel it into music with such intensity and ferocity, will have you in disbelief there’s only one person behind it all. The complex creations they create and perform with such ease form an unexpected weather that their vocals flawlessly accommodate, and still melt my whole fucking brain whenever I hear anything they’ve created. If you listen to any of the live performances available on YouTube or even their early busking performances, prepare to have your perception of what you knew was musically possible by one person transformed in a two-hour burst…which they have the audience in their palm from beginning to end. With little to no scripted dialogue, it seems everything that is said in between songs is a genuine, heartfelt description of either the song or an experience at a previous show that has resonated with Tash.
Regardless of the topic, they will have your immediate attention and will win you over with that genuine smile and easy going demeanor, even while talking about heavy shit. And the heavy shit is the best to listen to, as they’ve been through the wringer of life experiences and speak very candidly about the daily rehabilitation of figuring out what works best for you and sticking to it. A single lyric at the beginning of Cigarettes talking about cigarettes not solving all your problems and suggesting to just take a breath, has helped me in quitting the day to day slog of smoking by just saying that lyric to myself, because really, what am I getting out of them except for an expected habit that halts any and all daily growth.
Watching Tash perform live from two years ago, and realizing they were 21 at the time, commanding an audience, casually mentioning they don’t drink alcohol anymore and how being able to access their flow state is a major outlet for dealing with stress, inspired me. Set a fire under my ass if you will. I not only find Tash incredibly deep, humble, talented, and attractive, but also an influencer of everything positive and conducive to a free, exciting existence. I feel a long stretched connection to them, maybe because I’m only a year older, we share the same first name, curly fucking hair, short stature and a clear open mind mentality where we want to learn as much as possible while we’re here. Preaching togetherness and inclusivity at their shows. I won’t be there tonight to experience Tash bringing all they do to Toronto, but I’ll continue to watch the live performances and listening to the masterpieces they’ve put out and hope they’re back in the near future. Their first EP released, Notion, (with the title track being so beautiful, heart wrenching but hopeful all at the same time, I listen on the daily) has the first six major tracks to be released, including the massive single Jungle, and everything before, after and in-between that single on that EP record is absolutely fantastic. Their first solo album came out last year called Flow State, which is described by Tash as a state of mind where one is so invested in their craft, they become what they’re creating/doing, and if you watch any live performances from Sultana, you’ll know exactly what that looks like. While listening to any of their albums, keep in mind everything you’re hearing is created by one person, and one person only. Having command over 15 + instruments at once, a slew of pedals and an entire audience, while jamming for 10 minutes or longer at a time without saying a single word, (as is the usual when they play Blackbird) my jaw is always left on the gawddamn floor and I can guarantee yours will be too. Tash bends the perception of what is possible not just in music but in life, as nothing is set in stone, life is trial and error and if you don’t like something, take charge and change it for your benefit.
The reasons I just mentioned along with what I can’t expect from their live shows had me SO excited for this weekend, as not one, but two, of my favourite artists are performing back to back at the same damn venue in Toronto…and I have to miss them both. For a friends bachelorette party in Montreal nonetheless, which we’re on the road towards right now and will be a spectacularly fun weekend, but my FOMO can’t help but rear its head when I think about Tash Sultana playing Echo Beach tonight, Friday May 31st, and Anderson .Paak hitting the same beach venue Saturday June 1st. .Paak and the Free Nationalists are known to tear up every set with grooves not heard on the album versions and extended cuts with the slickest crowd surfing, I was SO ready for when he launched himself onto the wave of the crowd. Just like Tash, there’s no real way to genre this man as they both merge so many different concepts, instruments, vocal styles, speeds and tempos into one performances, there’s a reason you just have to sit back and enjoy what they’re bringing to the table. I had best teef in the game tickets in my hand for a friend and I, until I recently had to sell them off as the bachelorette is the same, damn, weekend, and I suppose my adulting priorities had to be realigned. This weekend at Echo Beach is going to be killer and that doesn’t happen often in T.o, now, I know I can’t be a brat about it but DAYUM, why the fok is everything always on the same weekend??? If anyone reading this is going to either or both of these shows, tell me they’re not the best damn performances of the year? That’s what I’m expecting.
Here’s hoping both you beautiful creatures are back in Toronto in the near year still within small venues, but if you’re playing the ACC by then, I’ll still be there front row.
Cheers and slay tonight,
Queen who couldn’t successfully do every-fkn-thing this weekend,