A stylish pop outlier with Afro-Caribbean soul, R&B swagger, and hypnotic mystique, London-born and Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and artist Taliwhoah immediately elicits a reaction any time she sings or even steps into a room. That typical response can be found in her very moniker.
"My real name is Talitha, but 'Whoah' is the reaction someone had to me once, so that's how I got the nickname," she explains. "It's a true representation of who I am, and it's also what I plan for my music."
Born into a big musical family to a British-born, Nigerian-Lebanese mom and Jamaican dad, she recalls studying VHS tapes of performances by her aunt Maizie Williams and mother Toyin Adekale during their time in the influential European group Boney M. "When I was a kid, I learned so much from those videos," she laughs. "I got to see my mom and my auntie play to huge crowds in Russia and all over the place. It was like vlogging back in the day!"
During a particularly trying time alone in L.A., her destiny became clear in 2011 as a dormant desire to sing awakened. "The person I was staying with just decided to leave, and I was left homeless," she sighs. "I had to sleep at Union Station for the night many times. I was scared, so I wrote songs because I couldn't listen to music. Writing became something I turned to. It was a survival tactic. I met some friends that were working in recording studios, and if I sang and wrote all night I could crash in the studio. I started grinding."
Get to know Taliwhoah in her own words:
My sound in five words or less: Funky, classic, fusion freshness.
Best part of making the video: The best part was working with close family and friends I love and getting a chance to do the set design myself.
What inspires your art? Real life inspires me. All parts of my journeys and growth constantly fuel my creative passions.
Explain the concept of the song in one sentence: It's me telling my boyfriend, at the time, that I'm not just "tripping"; I know what's up and I can give you a taste of your own medicine!
IG, Twitter, or Snapchat? @Taliwhoah (Instagram and Twitter).
What goes down in my DM's? A whole bunch of nothing and something, all at the same time [laughs].
Watch his video on REVOLT TV the week of November 13th, and let us know your thoughts by tweeting @RevoltTV and using the hashtag #SpotlightOnREVOLT