We had a chat with singer / songwriter Tatyana Kalko, who set out to charm audiences not only by way of her emotional and heartfelt songs, but also through her driven, positive and engaging personality. Her songs are absolutely honest, and simple, in the best possible way. Sometimes, “less is more”, and this is definitely the case. Tatyana conveys her feeling and her passion with her voice and her acoustic guitar, and the songs feel accomplished and well structured, the way they are. Drums and other instruments eventually creep in, adding their own colors and textures, although the true heart of these songs remains Tatyana and her emotional, compelling playing. Read our full interview below!
- I love the acoustic “nakedness” of your tracks, they feel intimate, but lively at once. Acoustic performances are always more personal and difficult, because you are just there, with your guitar, facing the crowd. Do you think it is harder to perform acoustically, rather than with a full “backdrop” of electric guitars, and drums, for example?
I definitely think there is a difference in how I approach acoustic performance and recoding, but I wouldn’t say performing on my own with just a guitar is harder. I actually think it’s a lot harder to imagine the right arrangement for a song that I’ve only been performing acoustically. In today’s market, it has to sound so professional and unique, that there’s a lot of pressure to stay true to you while also thinking of the product. But recording has been so much fun because it’s where I can discover my sound and collaborate. On stage, I feel less pressure to deliver a “perfect” performance and I can improvise more in the moment, because that’s the kind of thing I appreciate from other artists.
- What does it take to be “innovative” in music these days?
To be innovative in music nowadays when people have heard it all is almost impossible. But then again, I don’t think anyone has ever written or created anything new without drawing from the past, including myself. So to me, innovation means having something to say, delivering it with craft and heart, and never settling with your work. I try writing from other perspectives, in different musical and lyrical styles, to not use cliches. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercial potential of your music, but I try to use each song for personal growth, a chance to stay honest with myself especially when it’s uncomfortable.
- What are some artists you look up to?
With that said, the music that has inspired me the most is of my parent’s generation: The Beatles, Wings, ELO, whose music I think is still poignant today, and they didn’t rely on an artificially crafted image or shock value. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of James Blake. I think his sound is beautiful and so detailed.
- If you could choose only one single song off your repertoire, in order to introduce your work to a new fan, which song would it be and why?
I’m excited to go back to the studio this month, but right now I’m really proud of my first single “I Can Take It”. It’s more or less what you’ll get from my live performance, and it’s about longing and finding strength in vulnerability, which is something I really believe in.
- Any future plans (releases, touring…)?
I’ll be performing at The Bitter End on Sunday, Jan. 26th at 8:15pm. I’m working on some new material with my talented producer Charlie Demos.
- Anywhere where curious reader can check out your music?
You can download two of my songs on iTunes by searching my name. Or check them out on my Soundcloud page. https://soundcloud.com/tatyana-kalko
And for my latest music and acting news (I’m also an actress), come by my site http://www.tatyanakalko.com