Check out a Q&A with TASH below:
Q: You started busking on the streets of Melbourne. Did you have experiences back then that have shaped and inspired you as a musician?
TASH SULTANA (TS): I didn’t start out by busking, I started playing open mic nights and doing battle of the bands from when I was 13. I started busking after I finished high school. Nobody has to stop and give you their time when you’re busking, so you build and organic audience from the street and learn how to keep people’s attention.
Q: You’ve mastered multiple instruments that allow you to be a one-person band, from guitar and bass to percussion and even brass instruments. Does picking up and learning a new instrument come naturally to you or is it something that you work at?
(TS): I wouldn’t say that I have mastered anything, I just have a knack for learning new things and a curious mind that makes me interested in sound and instruments.
Q: When you’re working on new music, where do you draw inspiration from?
(TS): Wherever I am…it comes to me when it comes.
Q: Your live set-up is very intimate since you decorate the stage with a carpet and various personal items; it allows one to feel like they are witnessing a private performance. What inspired this presentation?
(TS): I like to give the environmental feeling that I’m at home in my lounge room. It makes performing less intimidating.
Q: Can you talk about what goes into creating your setlist?
(TS): I change up my setlist depending on the show and how I’m feeling that day but there’s a natural ebb and flow I go for usually.
Q: Speaking of audiences, you recently headlined some of the biggest arenas across UK & Europe and this fall you’ll return to the U.S. for an amphitheater tour and some festival dates (Ohana, Life Is Beautiful). Do you have anything special prepared for your return to the U.S.?
(TS): After every tour I go back to the studio and work with my crew to see how we can make the show better. We’ve overhauled the old show and put that to rest and now we’re moving forward with the new show. If you don’t change and try to be better, you just die creatively.
Q: What are you most looking forward to for the forthcoming tour? Are there any new cities you’re performing in that you haven’t visited before?
(TS): I’m looking forward to Red Rocks.
Q: What have your travels taught you so far?
(TS): That touring is not a holiday.
Q: What are your preshow rituals?
(TS): I use essential oils, voice vaporizing, infrared light therapy to induce the feeling of outside light which helps in dark dressing rooms. And I have my drum pad and my guitar.
Q: Can you describe your best gig ever–and possibly your worst one?
(TS): The worst gig I will spare from telling anybody. The best one I’ve had–so many I couldn’t pick one.
Q: What is your favorite album or songs to play on the long travel days?
(TS): Anything Soul and R&B.
Q: If you were to record a duet with a current artist, who might that be, and which song would you cover and why?
(TS): I wouldn’t cover a song, but I am working with other artists at the moment.
Q: If you overheard one fan talking to another after leaving a show of yours, what would you like to hear them say about the gig?
(TS): That it was a good show.