Born and bred on the mixture of classical jazz influences and Peckham-based beatmakers, 22-years-old Tara Lily has brewed her own signature blend of dark R&B. Today, she got around to serve us a second dose in a form of a brand new single ‘4 Years,’ straight from long-anticipated debut EP Lost in London.
“4 years is a sort of lament, it’s about leaving behind someone you still love, not because it’s done, but cos it’s just not meant to be,” Tara Lily says. It’s this kind of openness and vulnerability that makes Tara stand out. We empathise with her as everything she’s felt, we felt as well. She persuades us to revisit once pretty painful dimension, only now, having her as a guide it’s a strangely pleasurable experience. The smooth jazz notes dripping over Latin and urban-influenced rhythms have a calming effect, especially when combined with Tara’s silky vocals. The vintage-tinted video is set on London’s night bus that’s moving through dim, dark streets, evoking ghosts of the past. There’s a sense of nostalgia to this journey. We’re tempted to embrace it so we can abandon it with the first sunray. After all, as Tara suggests it’s time to move on into the daylight.
While Tara’s sound is soothing to the soul, just like in ‘4 Years’, she often talks about things that most shun away from, afraid to unpack the deeper feelings. “It’s very raw and very real; the lyrical content of most of my songs are deep, I talk about things that a lot of people don’t want to talk about, and that’s why it feels like dark R&B jazz; the dark comes from those difficult but important feelings that are expressed,” she says.
When she’s not wandering around the streets of London, Tara Lily lives out her fashion fantasies in the cosiness of her own house. Today, she invites us in to play a part in them and accompany her on a made-up Old Hollywood production’s set…
“My style and visual approach has always been built around my music, culture and life at the time.. They are not separate entities. I won’t use a style because it’s cool or for the sake of it. It has to fit artistically with the themes I’m drawing on and reference of the music I am making.. Unless its pyjamas! Lol.” – Tara Lily
“This is my front door. I have spent a lot of time hanging out here. I have lived here for almost 20 years. The gypsy skirt and sandals are handmade, I bought them from a market in Bangladesh and the hoodie is by AWAKE. I like to find clothes that really suit my skin colour and shape so I often mix and match mens and women’s and source some of my favourite pieces from other countries. When I make music I often play with the ultra masculine and feminine through production and vocal delivery so I like my style to somewhat express that.”
“This is my filing cabinet and drum machine. This is also my bedroom. During lockdown I was living with my mum at our flat in Peckham so I had everything crammed into my small room. Studio equipment, instruments, wardrobe, books etc. My slip is from agent provocateur, it’s silk so it’s very comfortable and a gorgeous colour. I often wear it as a nightie and to nightclubs.”
“This is my kitchen. I am sitting on a MORA (Bangladeshi stool) in my favourite bright green tracksuit, which my stylist gave me after a shoot. It’s from a local brand called local Heroes. I love the green velvet feel which gives it a classic vibe but the tracksuit fit and logo makes it young and fresh. My music is all about classic and timeless combined with the edge and youth of being a young female of colour in London today.”
“This is my fav coat. It’s like a classic Old Hollywood fur coat except it’s fully vegan faux fur from shrimps. It’s called the ‘Marilyn’ coat after Marilyn Monroe and I feel like it evokes the 50s spirit every time I wear it. Here I was playing ‘In A Winter Wonderland’ on the piano.”
Press play on Tara Lily’s new video for ‘4 Years’ below now…