"But the best part was being able to experience adolescent life to be able to grow into the woman I'd love to become and to write about for younger girls like me who maybe didn't have a significant figure guiding them."
The latest female newcomer to the UK's rap game, West London born Tia Carys is making music for the kids that struggled to fit in. Paving the way with her fearless and straight-talking freestyles on social media early on in her career, she continues her musical journey with her latest release 'Refugee Freestyle'. Catch Tia Carys at Reading & Leeds festival this Summer on the BBC Radio 1Xtra stage.
Hey Tia, how have you been during the past 18 months? How good does it feel to finally see live music *hopefully* come back for good?
Heya! I’ve been doing great, thank you! I know it’s unfortunately been such a distressing time for the majority, but I’ve absolutely loved having all of this time to myself to find myself, grow, learn new skills, perfect my craft and just chill! But I’m excited to get back out haha.
Was a career in music always a natural direction for you? Who inspired you to do music?
A career in music was always the direction. I initially started as a dancer, then transitioned to an artist in my teens after my hip hop teacher helped me fall in love with the art and craft of music, as well as being visually compared to rapper Paigey Cakey. I discovered a whole bunch of different musical genres through dance already so to be able to start to create my own work felt so good.
At the end of 2020 you released your debut EP 'Enroot'. What highs and lows did you experience while making the EP?
I was just coming out of adolescence when we created EnRoot so my highs and lows would be similar to any other regular teenager in my generation - highs being: growing up, experiencing life, travelling, love, skills, clubs etc; and lows being: bullying, toxic relationships, broken family, lessons, social media & peer pressure, drugs, dangers etc. But the best part was being able to experience adolescent life to be able to grow into the woman I’d love to become and to write about for younger girls like me who maybe didn’t have a significant figure guiding them.
What about collaborations? Are there any you have your eye on?
I’ve loved focusing on just me for now, but I’d love to work with J Hus, Dave, Chip and Stormzy.
How has your relationship with music changed over the past year and a half, and who are the people in your life that have kept you going?
My relationship with music has definitely grown as I’ve had the time to go back to artists’ first pieces of discography and follow their journey from the start. I’ve challenged my sound and wordplay more than ever, whilst noticing that I don’t have to always bring the craziest flows, but just express and be vulnerable; and I’m slowly but surely learning how to navigate this fickle industry. The people that have kept me going are literally my managers and a few people from my label. They’ve been pushing me out of my comfort zone and always checking in on me which I’ve definitely needed.
Who are you listening to right now?
I’ve just discovered Berwyn - he’s an all round artist who I feel like is on track to be the UK’s J-Cole. He just dropped a new tape you should check out!
What else can we expect from you this year?
Expect some real rap, summer bangers and familiar names!
Are you hoping to get to any festivals before the summer is over?
Yessssssss! We’ve booked our first ever festival at Reading & Leeds this year and I’ve never even been to a festival before so I’m excited af!