By Poppy Tohill
Kick starting next week, Tali & Georgie Fisher are hitting the road for their first ever New Zealand Tour, which will see these two dynamic women taking to the stage as co-headliners, with Georgie on her acoustic guitar and Tali triggering beats on the keys. Ahead of the tour, I had the pleasure of catching up with Tali for a chat about her latest album ‘Wolves,' the upcoming tour and travelling.
You're heading on your very first full-length tour of New Zealand pretty soon, what are you most excited about for the tour?
Yeah! I have done a tour with a Drum & Bass crew, but that was really only in the main cities, so this tour is the first time I'm taking in some of the smaller towns, which is really what I'm looking forward to the most. That, and being able to trip around NZ in the summer, experiencing all that beautiful landscape this country has to offer! So rather than it just being about going and playing shows, it's also about experiencing our country and our countries culture and showing it to someone else (Georgie & her boyfriend who are from Sydney) and giving them that experience too.
Which town/city are you most looking forward to hitting on this tour and why?
I think everything is going to be good, but there are certain towns that I'm obviously really looking forward to because I am familiar with them and I have friends down there, like Wellington and Christchurch. But I'm really looking forward to playing in Wanaka, because I generally don't get there in the summer, I just head there for snowboarding in the winter, (laughs), so I'm excited to see what Wanaka has to present in the summer.
I mean I'm looking forward to all of them because they're all quite exciting. We're hitting up Raglan too, which will be cool because it always goes off there. There's definitely not just one particular town I'm looking forward to, because we're going to places like Kaikoura and Hamilton where I've never performed before, so you just never know how it will go down!
Not only do we get to witness you in action on stage, but Georgie Fisher will be co-headlining the tour with you, which is very exciting...how did you two meet and come up with the idea of touring together?
So Georgie is originally from Sydney, but I met her in Berlin (where she has been based for two years) through a friend, when I was over there. She used to be in the electronic music scene when living in Sydney, but really discovered the singer-songwriter side of herself after moving to Berlin, through busking on the street. So we kind of have similar roots, only reversed (laughs). Because I started out as a singer-songwriter, busking on the streets and playing in bars, then moved on to playing electronic music. Georgie has got the most incredible voice though and she is really captivating to watch. Singing is like second nature to her, it's so easy!
With the tour, Georgie just mentioned to me that she'd be coming home to Australia for Christmas and I thought, ‘do you want to tour with me?' and having never toured New Zealand before she was right into it, so we thought we'd just do it! We're kind of doing a tour swap, because I organised this tour, when I go to Europe later in the year she's going to sort out a European tour for us to hopefully head on together.
Without giving too much away what can we expect from your set?
People are obviously going to be hearing stuff off my latest release, ‘Wolves.' So there'll be some tunes there that people know from the record and maybe some cheeky covers. I've got a new single coming out in February which I'm looking forward to performing too, which will hopefully get people hyped for the new project I'm working on for this year.
In terms of Georgie's set, she'll be playing acoustic versions of her live band stuff from her debut album, 'Big City Howl.' Hopefully we'll join each other for a couple of tracks, and do harmonies throughout each other's sets.
Talking about your latest album ‘Wolves,' what was the experience of self-producing it like?
It was really cool because I didn't have any expectations!
I've been reading this book called ‘A New Earth' by Eckhart Tolle and it's all about realising when your ego is doing the talking and learning to disassociate yourself with your ego and have really honest and open communication with people. One of the things he says in the book is, "So often all our ego cares about is the end goal, so doing something to get to the end goal and once you've done it, it's about going on to the next end goal. We're so focused on the future that we don't often enjoy the present moment, we don't enjoy the journey that we're taking," so I was just in this really deep meditative vibe when I made that album and it was just all about enjoying the journey and not worrying about the outcome. Not worrying about whether it will get radio play and not thinking about if it will get played in the club, just making music that is a true reflection of where I was at that moment in my life. I think that's also why I'm so proud of this album, not only because it's the first thing I've ever produced myself, but I feel like it is my first proper true offering where haven't had to worry about any other agenda. No record label giving me deadlines, no radio station telling me it needs to be how ever many minutes long. Just me, making music, purely for the enjoyment and he [Eckhart Tolle] also says, "If you really, totally immerse yourself in the moment, the outcome will be a success regardless, because you enjoyed the process," and I really believe that to be true.
2015 was a pretty busy year for you, from releasing ‘Wolves,' to opening for the likes of Diplo, mentoring kids in music and performing at the Silver Scroll Awards! What was your proudest achievement or highlight within your career for the year?
I think generally the highlight was dropping ‘Wolves' because it was my first ever self produced effort and it made the NZ charts (Number 14), so that was a massive achievement for me, because obviously I'm an independent artist and I've been doing this on my own for a long time now. Performing at the Silver Scrolls was also without a doubt a big highlight too, because it was my first time on stage in front of my colleagues. I performed at the music awards with Hollie, Ria & Iva and performed with Tiki Tane, but this was my first time holding the stage on my own. Another highlight was touring Europe with Emma G, but the entire year was filled with numerous highlights for me, it was pretty immense I've got to say!
Talking about Europe, you spent a lot of time overseas last year, where did you go and what did you get up to over there?
Just playing shows with Emma G and touring our latest Soul Side Sessions. We went to a lot of the same cities we've played before like Amsterdam, Prague and Slovenia, but we also went to a few places we hadn't, like Bristol which is my old hometown, so it was really exciting to go back there and see some old faces. While I was in Berlin I did a lot of networking and checking out new venues, trying to sort out things for this year when I go back too.
Can you fill us in a little bit more on what the Soul Side Sessions are about?
Soul Side sessions is a brand that I created with DJ Emma G. She's a kiwi I met in London who shares my love of Drum & Bass and had been thinking of creating a Drum & Bass mix, but needed someone to ‘host' it. Knowing that she was a very accomplished DJ it seemed like a really good idea so we had a go at creating what was Soul Side session 1 back in 2011. Initially it only got about 1000 ‘likes,' so just before I moved back to New Zealand we put together Soul Side session 2 and that got about 10,000 hits! So from that we just started doing sessions 3,4,5,6 and now we're up to Soul Side 8! We give them out for free via Soundcloud and they're just so popular. We've been on two European tours in the last 12 months because there's been such a big demand. Hopefully we'll get to America this year and then head back to Europe to tour some more. We want to hit some of the European festivals too.
So basically, Emma curates these really beautiful Drum & Bass licks and I sing and the idea is that the lyrics are all conscious - very positive and uplifting. There are a lot of political and philosophical things in there too. We want to unify people through the mixes and get everyone on a more conscious level about themselves. It's the message I think the people love, not just the tracks.
Tali and Georgie Fisher
Wednesday 20th Auckland Golden Dawn
Thursday 21st Hamilton Nivara Lounge
Friday 22nd Mt Maunganui Astrolabe Bar
Saturday 23rd Napier The Yot Club
Wednesday 27th Wellington Havana
Thursday 28th Kaikoura The Strawberry Tree
Friday 29th Christchurch Darkroom
Saturday 30th Wanaka Gin & Raspberry
Sunday 31st Dunedin Taste Merchants
Friday 5th Taupo Wanderlust Festival
Tickets via Dash Tickets