“Hip Hop music taught me that it’s okay to be yourself”. Beat producer/ artist Miss Tahloulah May takes us through her musical background and aspirations in this latest interview. She drops names of some dope producers and a cool spot for digging in the crates plus more..
How long have you been producing?
I’ve been into music ever since I can remember. I remember as a child always hearing music around the house. My parents mostly listened to Soul, Funk, Jazz, Kaseko (Surinamese traditional folk music) and Caribbean tunes. I noticed at a young age that my social skills weren’t my strong suit and that music gave me a voice, a way to express myself.
My journey through music began with listening to and analyzing all sorts of musical genres. This started probably around the age of 14. I hadn’t started making music yet, but I’ve always been interested in the structure and the composition. My next move was dancing. Ballet, Jazz, Afro Jazz, Hip Hop, you name it. But still something was missing. I wasn’t taking full advantage of all that my precious music could give me.
It wasn’t until about 3 to 4 years ago that I started to make music though. It’s like I’ve always known that this is what I was meant to do, but I never could gather the courage to start. I was so scared that I would fail at it. The first few years I was just playing around. Figuring out my sound and my musical identity.
About a year and a half ago I decided I should stop being a baby and start getting serious about this thing. I mean it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, so might as well do it. I started sharing my music with the world. It was so scary, but definitely worth it! And looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted my journey to be any different from what it was. Because now I am facing the rest of my musical journey with a big confident smile.
Favorite drum kit(s)?
For my drum sounds I like to use this Wu-Tang drum kit I found somewhere once. Also like the Cookin’ Soul drum kits. But I have to say that I mostly build my beats from vinyl. I’m old school that way. I love to go dig for samples which I’m sure not a lot of people know and definitely haven’t used. That way I keep challenging myself and I expand my musical knowledge along the way.
What challenges you face being a female producer?
I have to work a little harder to earn respect and to show people that I’m legit. And I mean I get it, because there are a lot of women out there who are using all sorts of non music-related tricks to get an audience for their music. No judgement, I’m just not one of them and that is something I’ll always have to prove first. Once I’ve been able to do so, there are very few men who don’t treat me like a musical equal. That is something beautiful if you ask me! We’ve come a long way.
I want my music to be the only thing that counts. That might not always be in my favor, but for me it’s the only way to go about things. Because I’m dead set on getting the same respect and acknowledgment that male producers get.
What underground hip hop music blogs, podcasts or youtube channels you peep on a regular?
I check out Beats Unraveled (Bink Beats), Vision Bombing and of course Cratediggers (Fuse) and Rhythm Roulette (Mass Appeal) on a regular on YouTube. And two music blogs I check frequently are Premierwuzhere.com and of course mrcnnlive.com.
Any new music projects we should know about? Shows, tours??
This is a tough one, because I can’t spill all the beans, lol. But I’m currently busy working on some international collaborations. We’ve got Albania, Holland and America. That’s all I can say about that.
And… I can tell you that I’m really busy working on a new Miss Tahloulah May beattape. I’m really excited about that! It’s gonna be very different from the last one, so stay tuned…
Which cities in your country have had a notable hip hop music scene?
I would say Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Zwolle..
Who are some dope underground dutch hip hop producers?
I have to admit that I’m not really into the Dutch Hip Hop scene the way it is nowadays, so I’ll share some of the more seasoned producers. Kubus fuses electronic sounds with Hip Hop. He produced for Dutch acts like Opgezwolle, Jawat, Bang Bang and Duvel Duvel.
And second I’d have to say Bink Beats, who isn’t solely a Hip Hop producer. He is more an allround musician. I had to mention him though, because his skill and musical ear are impeccable. You should definitely check out his Beats Unraveled on YouTube.
Best life advice you ever got from hip-hop music?
Hip Hop music taught me that it’s okay to be yourself. Because of Hip Hop music I’ll never compromise my authenticity for approval or a pay check. And second, work hard and never stop developing your craft. You’re never done!
Favorite Hip hop music power couple?
I don’t really follow that kind of entertainment news, so I don’t exactly know who are still together and who are not. But I have one former couple that comes to mind. If Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 were still together I’d have to name them as my favorite. Just because of the exceptional musicality that they would have between them.
I’m known for my cooking, but I really hate doing it so that’s an issue lol. I love to write, not lyrics but short stories and blogs. I used to have a sneaker culture related blog, called Kick out of the box, but I stopped blogging because I wanted to fully commit to making music.
Last words or shout outs?
I want to give a big shout out to everybody who supports me. I appreciate the love! And a special shout out to my favorite record store, Platypus Records in Amsterdam. That is my home away from home, where the craziest samples come from!
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EDITOR: La Mont Reed
IMAGE: Miss Tahloulah May