Recommended to us by London girl gone global Estelle, today's Listen! Up Tawiah made her mark on our pod with her smooth soulful grooves, and her excited performances during Mark Ronson's live shows. Born in Battersea, she's a former Brit School classmate of Kate, Amy and has fans such as Gilles Peterson and Rob Da Bank loving her every move.
Tawiah! Hello, fill us all in on who you are
I am Tawiah! I write twisted soul songs and then sing them, and I also sing at Mark Ronson's live shows. I started singing in church as I kid but was one of those little girls that wanted to do everything. So i was in the football team, the netball team, the chess team, went to music school every Saturday playing percussion, guitar, clarinet etc!!
Football and music were neck & neck in my loves though, but my mum made me make a choice - so I picked music and went to the BRIT school.
So where are you at at the moment? You've already picked up a Gilles Peterson Worldwide Award!
Well I'm at the very start of my career as a recording artist really. When I left college I got straight into session work - did backing vocals for people like Corinne Bailey Rae, did a couple of adverts - but always wanted to put something out in my own right.
Two years ago I met Mark Ronson, and I've been doing his live show ever since. Two months ago I released my first ever project!!! (whoop whoop!). It's an EP called Jodi's Bedroom (Jodi is a boy who produced the EP, it all started in his room and we have a beautiful baby).
I put it out on my own label, Bush Girl. It was so important for me to have my own product, as working on other people's was cool but I'd never have anything of my own recorded to give to people. So now the EP has done it's job - a few more people know I exist and I can sell it at gigs. I'm working on my first album right now!
We know about you because the mighty Estelle bigged you up bigstyle to us! How do you know each other?
Much love to Estelle for that! We used to go to Music Box Live, a night at 10 Rooms. It's moved to The Pigalle Club now. I used to sing there every week, all the singers would roll through - Amy Winehouse would come, Vula Malinga and Sharlene Hector (Basement Jaxx) - fun times. We met again when she sang a song with Ronson at Shepherd's Bush Empire.
We're all about London - where do you live and what's hot about it?
I'm from SW11 baby! Battersea / Clapham Junction! Battersea Park is amazing - in summer hire a bike out and cycle round it - love it!
And where do you like gigging?
My favourite venue is Somerset House but I've not played it yet! They should open up Battersea Power Station as a venue, that would be siiiick!
Have you tried busking?
I once busked outside Dalston station many years ago. It was going alright until one of the guys I was with started chanting 'money' - didn't look so cool!! I also busked in Tokyo round Xmas time and can proudly say I made all of 0 Yen!
Where's your favourite place to go dancing?
Deviation Club, run by Benji B is a wicked night, always good music going on. It's the first Wednesday of every month (so tonight!) at Gramaphone on Commercial Street..
What other new London bands / artists should we be checking out?
The world is ending in 24 hours, what would you do?
I would pray "I've been cool yea God.. I can jam with you init!!! yea??". Do a gig, go on the London eye and look at London for the last time aaaah.
Then eat from Yauatcha in soho. OMG so nice, but so dear but would it matter? I'd spend my last pennies on that food. Then I'd star gaze with my nearest and dearest and some hard liquor, and spend the last hour with whoever I'm married to!
Where can we see you playing next?
To perform live is why I record and write... I love it!!! You can catch me next at the One Touch Collective Night at the Jazz Cafe on 12 June. Full deets here.