I sat down with TALK to talk, and let me tell you, he told me lots. Imagine stepping into a world where emotions are a roller coaster, positivity is the theme, and every beat resonates with the heart. I dove into the vibrant universe of TALK, the maestro behind his recently released album, Lord of the Flies & Birds & Bees. It’s a trip filled with excitement, relief, and a touch of anxiety.
TALK takes us through the inspiration behind the album’s title, the significance of positivity, and a deep connection to the closing anthem, “Set On Me.” Our candid chat discusses the wild ride of creativity and the uncharted territories of the music industry.
TALK, congratulations on the release of your album. How are you feeling now that it’s out? Are you relieved, excited, or anxious?
TALK: I think it changes but all of the above. There are times when I’m still scared and maybe I don’t think people like it and then there are times when I feel relieved that it’s finally there after over a year of working on it. I’m very happy when I see messages from people saying they love it. It’s kind of a roller coaster of emotions.
What inspired the title and the overall theme of the album?
TALK: I wrote a lyric for a song called “Wasteland” that’s on the album and the lyric says, “Lord of the Flies and birds and bees” and I just thought that was cool. I made the decision on the spot that that was going to be what the album was called. It was maybe our second week writing in it or something. The theme of the whole album was positivity and the journey I’ve been on for the last five years — the wins and losses that came with the last few years of my life. A lot of things, love, and friendship, and not giving up; setting expectations for yourself.
Is there a song on this album that you’re particularly proud of or feel connected to?
TALK: I really love the last song on the album, it’s called “Set On Me.” I think the whole point of the song is that I won’t let the sun set on me. I think that that’s like a really important message and theme for a lot of people including myself is not [to] give up and not be too hard on yourself. Even when things are really tough, you work through it and figure things out and that’s what that song is about.
How would you describe the musical journey that you take your listeners on, on this album?
TALK: The number one thing for me is that every song has to come from the heart and mean something. I think a lot of what you hear on the record, if not all of it, is stuff that’s very real. Even though we had this kind of wasteland, apocalyptic, forest kind of vibe going through the storyline, it still feels really true and real to me and to everyone who worked on it. It’s all stuff that most of us felt and have gone through. The most important thing is that it’s just from the heart and it’s real.
Is that how you approach songwriting and production? Are there any particular rituals or methods you follow when creating music?
TALK: I think that the only rule is [to] always do what’s best for the song. Especially when collaborating with others, having no ego, and trying to just do what’s best for everything and not worry too much about genre or specific things. We’ve written something that could benefit from certain editions of production or in the case of “Run Away to Mars”, it was no production really, it was just very simple.
“Run Away to Mars” became a massive hit for you in 2022. How did the success of that song impact your approach to creating the rest of the album?
TALK: It was a blessing because it really took off in the middle of when I started working on this, maybe even the beginning. There was so much going on outside of sessions. When I got to go in and work on songs, it was like my break from all the craziness that was going on around the song, so it kind of felt really safe. I got to put my phone on silent for a while and just work.
The music industry has undergone many significant changes in recent years. How have platforms like TikTok or streaming services impacted your career and the promotion of your music?
TALK: I’ve always said the same thing, but I think TikTok is the best and worst thing that ever happened to artists because it gave me a starting point and it gives a lot of artists a starting point, but it also is very draining in addition to the job that an artist does in terms of marketing and promotion and stuff. Record labels don’t run your social media accounts so it adds this extra layer of work and marketing, you kind of have to approach being an artist in a different way. Nowadays, when you’re coming out, like the established artists don’t necessarily have to do it. Someone like Beyoncé doesn’t really care about TikTok that much or likes to use it very strategically. For like a mid-level or lower level artist, It’s kind of the only way to get your music scene in her. It adds a massive amount of pressure, leading up to an album or release or anything. If you don’t have any traction on songs on socials, it’s tough to get support.
That sounds very difficult because there are people who are influencers who do that as a living, full-time job, and you’re also having to do that on the side. It’s a lot!
TALK: Yeah, I think the industry doesn’t really know what to do with it yet. Everyone’s kind of in this limbo of, they’re not sure if that’s always gonna be how it is from now on or what the next thing is. No one really knows. You always have to keep up.
What’s something you haven’t done yet but would like to do?
TALK: Oh, like anything in life?
Anything in life.
TALK: Oh, shit. Probably like, buy a house or something. Let me think of something cooler.
I’d like to go to a place far away and set up in a house and not leave and record an album. Like, Switzerland in the mountains and to make a record or South America and be in a little village that has nothing except for the studio. Something along those lines would be amazing, like some recluse kind of area for sure.
What’s a mistake that you’ve made that turned out to be a really valuable lesson?
TALK: Not being patient and not giving songs room to breathe after releases. I think the first time I released “Run Away to Mars”, I was so excited about the response that I kept putting out music after it instead of just pausing and taking a second. I thought I needed to keep going and I thought people would forget about me in a week if I didn’t keep releasing music. I think if I could do things over, I’d be a bit more patient for sure.
What would your dream group chat be, dead or alive?
TALK: It would need to be chaotic so it needs Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Elton John, and then a wild card like Britney Spears. I think that group chat could be incredible. That would just be so chaotic.
TALK is touring. Find his concert in a city near you:
The Palace Theatre — Calgary AB.
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