We spoke with super talented TALK last week. TALK has over 165k followers on TikTok and has been named one of People Magazine’s 25 Emerging Artists You Should Know this Fall. I personally fell in love with his EP. Every single song is a story to tell, a bag of emotions and deep lyrics. TALK is definitely a 360 degree artist you need to keep your eyes on.
A 25-year-old singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Canada. He released his debut single on June 23, titled “Run Away to Mars”. The single came shortly after he joined TikTok and developed a strong following with his incredible vocals, covering songs such as “House of the Rising Sun,” which immediately gained traction, with over 600k views.
His “Run Away to Mars” continues to rank up tons of streams- it’s now hitting 2 million streams a week, was recently the #1 recommended sound on TikTok Canada and earned him coverage in American Songwriter, Complex Canada, Music Connection, and landed on 40+ editorial playlists across Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. He is also Spotify Canada’s Radar Artist of the Month for October! This includes playlisting, covers, and a billboard in downtown Toronto where he is from!
Your EP is out in a few days. What is the message behind it?
Recording this EP was a hell of a journey during a really complicated time for the world. I had unlimited time to reflect on who I was and I think you can hear that in the songs. The 4 corners on the cover art signify four pieces of my past and personality. I think the EP was a love letter to myself and to those elements that make me who I am. To remind me that I am a good fit and to not be so hard on myself.
First track off the EP "Run Away To Mars", deep lyrics and strong tones. Where did you find the inspiration?
This song came about at probably 3 in the morning. I was sitting on my bed super lonely and frustrated. I just wanted to get the hell out of my room so I started to imagine the farthest place I could conceptually get too. For me that was Mars. The song flew out of me incredibly fast and the one you hear is almost identical to my first voice not recording of it.
"Hollywood" is an anthem to a successful career. Is that your dream?
I’m not sure what my dream is to be honest. Playing stadiums someday maybe? I think every musician wants to make songs that will be remembered. I have so much respect for the greats who walked this path before me. I grew up on my dads music from the 60’s and 70’s and I still listen and love those songs. If I could make songs that someone listens to and loves in 50 years that to me is success. But I’m just having a blast right now making stuff I love and I don’t want to ever stop. I’ve met so many brilliant people and I’m only just starting this journey, soI can’t imagine how many friends I’m gonna make and meet as I grow.
The EP is a masterpiece, what was the process behind it?
Well thank you so much. Those are very powerful words. I appreciate that. The process for me was growing as a person through this. That’s what ended up inspiring a lot of the creative direction as it came together. I was a very different person when I wrote save me back in 2017 compared to the guy who wrote train in 2020. Recording it was the same deal. I'm a very different producer now then I was at the start of all this. It took me a few years to really figure out who I was sonically. I found my sound in the middle of this EP and that shaped the whole project.
What is the song you're most proud of and why?
I think I’m most proud of run away to mars. It was my first and most well received track and it’s impacted a lot of people. I’ve received thousands of dm’s from strangers around the world telling me that this song has helped them with an extremely tough time, or that it’s made them love music again, just the wildest stuff you could imagine every time I open up Instagram. That was the goal when I made mars. To connect to a world that felt unconnected to me at the time. I still feel the love from that song everyday.
You're very present on social media, how has it helped you with your music?
I think it’s as important as anything else these days. It’s helped me tremendously. It’s been an important tool to show people who I am outside the music. During a time of no shows or tours it was the only outlet available. It also acts as a mirror for you as an artist. It helped me shape my visuals and figure out how I could present myself.
Talk To Me is a 6 track project, with incredible vocals. How did you get into music?
Thank you! I got into music pretty early. I got my first drum set when I was 4 or 5 and sort of switched instruments all the way up through high school. That’s when I got my first copy of pro tools. My dad bought it for me and encouraged me to learn how to use it. So I started making songs that eventually developed into what you hear now. I didn’t start singing until late in high school. I had a brilliant teacher encourage me to sing and the rest is sorta history.
How are you dealing with the attention, the press and the streams on digital platforms?
I love it all. I’ve always been loud and probably a little obnoxious but I’ve always loved being on stage and in the spotlight. It’s always been my tendency to put myself out there for everyone to see. My dad was a cameraman/ editor/ writer while I was growing up so I’ve always had a camera on me and that’s been an incredible tool to help with all this. It all feels natural after growing up with it.
I can't stop watching the video of you looking at your picture on the screen of Eaton Center. What was in your mind at that moment?
Oh man that was a wild night. I had pictured it for years. All the time, probably almost every night. Then all of a sudden I’m here. It’s like I got fast forwarded. looking back It feels like a movie and almost like it’s not real. I remember it feeling like a long time while I was building myself as an artist but it doesn’t feel like that now. A very strange but welcomed feeling.
What is next for TALK now?
Enjoy the next few nights of excitement with the people I love. Then after that maybe a spa day or something? Then it’s back to work. I start playing live shows in December. I’ve been looking forward to that forever. My band is awesome, we all live together in one house and it’s fun and games all the time. Then onto my debut album next year hopefully.
Follow TALK on his journey here.
TALK's EP is out now.
Words by Sal F.