With lyrics seemingly beyond her years and melodies that flow effortlessly, if you haven’t heard of Tulliah then your playlists are sorely missing out. Exploring topics from relationships to mental health issues, she sings through her coming-of-age stories and shares them with her amazing songwriting skills and unforgettable tracks.
Sharpening her craft in high school when she was bedridden with limited mobility because of an ankle injury, Tulliah debuted with her single, ‘Company’ in 2019. Encapsulating laid-back vibes and influenced by legends like Sam Smith, Adele, and Ed Sheeran, her songwriting skills shine through and the 19-year old from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is already making a name for herself. From supporting Amy Shark and GRAACE on tour to having her EP coming out next month, we can only imagine the achievements Tulliah has ahead!
Taking a deep dive into her writing process, finding creativity in lockdown, and giving us details on her new EP, you won’t want to miss our exclusive interview with Tulliah below!
So you’re still really young and already making a name for yourself in the industry, at what moment did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I think I realized it in school when I was in Year 11 when people started talking about what Uni they wanted to go to and teachers would ask you what you want to do. There was never anything else I could see myself doing or enjoying, so I just kept following this. I had no clue how I was going to but I knew that I enjoyed writing songs and other people seemed to like them too, so I just kept writing and working on my craft.
Who were your favorite singers and bands growing up? Would you say they’ve influenced your style of music today?
My first CDs that I bought myself were Ed Sheeran, Adele, and Sam Smith. They were probably my biggest inspirations when I was young and would have definitely influenced the way I sang back then. I guess all the music I loved would have influenced my music in some way today. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have gone through certain stages musically or experimented with different sounds or new ways of writing.
And for those who are still getting to know you, how would you describe your sound? If you had to pick one of your lyrics that describes your sound, what would it be?
I feel like my sound is floaty. I’m not sure if that makes sense haha. Although I have quite a strong, deeper vocal, I sang the record very softly into the mic but still with driven emotion. Although it doesn’t sound like I’m singing softly because of compression, I feel like it creates a very intimate effect.
‘Just My Type (A Little Bit Lonely)’ is a song about complex early relationships, teenage crushes, and unreciprocated feelings, something we all can relate to at some point in life, what’s your story? What inspired you to pen down your feelings?
Yeah, you pretty much summed it up haha. There is no particular person that I was inspired by but just a whole bunch of friendships/relationships. One of the lyrics in the song is “It’s like I’m drawn to only what remains.” I used to be drawn to people who were broken because I wanted to help them but I slowly realized that it can be detrimental to your own mental health. When they lay all their problems on you, it’s so hard to hold them all up, while also holding yourself up. Of course, I am always here for my friends and I want to help them in any way possible if they need me, it is more when the other person is willing to help themselves.
We’ve noticed that with the visuals for both ‘Just My Type (A Little Bit Lonely)’ and ‘Teenagers’ you’ve chosen an aesthetic from a different time period? How did you come up with that idea?
It kinda just happened, it wasn’t something that I consciously thought of doing. Dean constantly had images, scenes, or colours in his head when he’d listen back. He would search up movie trailers or random videos and we’d sit back and watch the scenes with the song playing over the top. We stumbled across an interview called ‘It’s the Age of the Teenager’ with Lady Lewisham. It fit so perfectly so we decided to keep it in. It makes me look at it as a comparison of ‘olden day love and modern-day love.’ Love itself is still the same. The song cover is a picture of my Nana and Pa dancing when they were around 19 years, an image of young love.
We heard you have an EP coming out soon, can you give us any hints on the tracks we can expect on it when it will be released, or the vibe you hope it gives off?
I do :)) I am very very excited about it. Every track is pretty different individually but when it’s all put together they all work well. There’s a couple for your sad playlist (which are my favorite) and a couple to drive along to. Dean and I were conscious not to be constricted in songwriting, production, and style throughout the entire process. So rather, focusing on the ethos that ‘a good song can transcend a genre.’
It will be released on March the 12th! I hope it’s a record that people just lay down, put their headphones on, and take in all the sounds and feelings.
With all of us being in the middle of a pandemic, how did you manage to stay creative and inspired?
The first lockdown I found it really hard to be creative but when the second one came along I worked out that if I don’t think about being creative, that’s when I was the most creative. Mainly because I wasn’t putting pressure on myself to come out of lockdown with a full album of good tunes, it was just for pure enjoyment. I would watch lots of music documentaries and would be inspired by them and keep in contact with my friends and family. A lot of my inspiration comes from other people and just the outside world, so I think that’s why it was so hard at the start.
A lot of your songs are based on your personal experiences. What would you say is your most personal song and why?
My most personal song is one called ‘Okay’ which will be released along with my EP. It’s about letting a friend know that I am here for them and also a glimpse into how I felt during that time because no one wants to see their friends hurting.
Do you believe your songs completely encapsulate your emotions? Or are there parts you simply can’t capture inside the music?
When I start writing a song I usually don’t know where I am drawing emotion from until about halfway through the process. I’m not good at coming to terms with how I’m feeling so writing songs is a way of doing that. Songs can literally be about anything though whether it’s fake or true, that’s the fun part. There are definitely times when I struggle to put into words how I’m feeling but at some point it usually comes together throughout the process.
Do you have a set creative playlist you listen to when trying to get over writer’s block? What songs are a must-have on it?
I don’t have a certain playlist but If I’m struggling to write I usually research an artist I haven’t listened to much, watch docos about music or just learn covers of songs I love. But some songs that I listen to all the time are “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake and “Alone Again Naturally” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. They are gorgeous songs.
Tulliah’s EP is only a few weeks away! But, as we wait to float on her vibe-worthy vocals, you can check out the lyric video to one of her newest tracks, ‘Just My Type (A Little Bit Lonely)’ below!
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Featured Image Source The Honey POP