RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW GERMAN ARTIST TILLA
Hi Tilla. What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Music accompanied me for most of my life and I found salvation in music, i found love in music. With music, I always could rely on a way to express my emotions in a way that I could in no other.
What was life like for you before music?
Actually, I can’t remember (laughs). No honestly, the prospect of being able to make music full-time got me through my school time provided I stayed sane.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
The first song (thinks) – I started with classical music, on the piano – these are not really songs though. I guess, the first song that really got me into music was a classic, Under the Bridge by the Chili Peppers. I remember my father coming into my room cause he was heading for the local MediaMarkt and asked me if I needed something and I told him – can you bring me the red hot chili peppers best of? can you buy me that, Daddy? (laughs)
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
I’m a control freak, so what I did for the last 10 years was to try to get myself as independent as I can be, in terms of being able to write, record and produce music on my own. And I’m working in one of these roles full time now, so that went really well for me. What I’m aiming for next is to build my own infrastructure of the business side of things. If one day I decide to talk with a major, in case that emerges, I want to be on the same level as them when I go into talks. That’s the most important thing for me, I guess.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
Maybe it’s that if I don’t believe in myself, no one else will. Everybody’s got their own life and (almost) nobody’s interested in what you are doing alone in your bedroom, so I need to go out there and believe in and show my art. Another thing she said was you need to know what you’re aiming at before that.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
First, I could live by eating pasta only.
Second, I condone smoking.
Third, when I had a partialisparese I wrote a song called Can’t Close My Eyes.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
Just give me access to the algorithm and I’ll take care of it (laughs).
Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture?
This is a question one could talk about for days (thinks). I don’t want to about cancel culture, but honestly, I have the feeling that people taking things the wrong way is more a topic since we have access to a technology that is able to connect us in completely different ways than what we are used to, speaking in terms of Evolution.
Science fiction tried to give different answers about this question of how humankind is to evolve and I believe we’re not fully equipped to connect in a way that we can make use of the assets we’re given at the moment and I believe we need to work on that to have a chance to survive as a species. But I do believe, it’s gotten much better than it ever was, so I’m not in the doomer business at all.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I remember vividly this one time when I was around 18 and I had such a heartache about this girl. At the time, we were playing at a venue located around the corner from where she lived and before the show, I just grabbed a bottle of whiskey and drank it all. And yeah, it was a disaster (laughs). I didn’t get the cues anymore, I couldn’t stand anymore and in the break between sets I forgot how to restring my guitar. It was even more hilarious because it was an alcohol-conscious event where they didn’t sell alcohol at all. I needed to have a thick skin for years to come (laughs)
You released a new song this month, what can you tell us about it?
The question of questions – music! I’m A Mermaid originally was a house demo I made in 2020 and it was one of these tracks I couldn’t get to work the way I wanted it. Last month, in September, I dug up that demo and listened and it still sounded like shit, so I deleted everything except one sample and part of the lyrics and started anew it was unbelievable for me, it’s still because I was finished in 2 sessions, not only with recording producing but also with mixing, mastering and the artwork. It took me 16 hours – this was such a fulfilling experience – I hope to have that more often in the future (laughs)
And what is the song about?
It’s really kind of a fantasy. I wrote the first part of the lyrics after reading Stephen Fry’s book about Greek mythology where he tells about all the myths derived from the ancient greeks and there’s a scene where he talked about the Naiad Aegina who was taken away by Zeus, and of course he vanished after he got her pregnant. In the process, I imagined how it must feel for someone who is scarred by such a happening for life and doesn’t find her way back into reality, while she watches her son becoming king on the island she lives on.
For me, this also connects to the idea of the Nymphs, which are esoterical entities that are always intertwined with something like a river or a tree. That is also what a drug-induced life does to you in a bad way – float free and feel disconnected to yourself and the world but on the other hand you do not want to leave, ever. I tried to express that and gave it a strong vibe, a mood from where you can sit and drive in your vehicle through endless nights.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes that are to come soon?
I learned a lot about my way of working faster – that, if I get a signal on tape that I fully relate to at the moment, even if it is not engineered the „right“ way, I am so much happier with what I produce and doing. I can work much better with that. Everything’s better if I just do what I feel in the moment of creation.