Tiggy Talks Her Nomadic Life and Writing Pop Songs Without Basslines
Tiggy calls herself a nomad and writes pop songs with beautiful melodies that at times may sound fragile, naive, clumsy – in other words, uncomfortably real. "Everything you hear is written, recorded, and produced by me in my bedroom," says Tiggy's press release. We talked to the artist, now residing in New York, about her nomadic life and music.
— Your songs sound unexpectedly sparse and minimalistic. Two of the three singles you have released do not even feature bass parts. Why?
— Great question! When I produce vocals tend to be my main focus, so my production choices always look to complement my voice and the lyrics. Oftentimes I think the best way to do that is to "get out of the way" in a sense — simplify what the listener is hearing so I can let the melody and harmonies shine as much as possible. I spend a lot of time on stacking vocals and harmonies. I think all my years growing up in choir and singing opera have made me view the voice as one of the most powerful instruments. That said, I'm still experimenting with my sound every song so expect to hear more variety!
— Your press release literally starts with the words "I'm a new artist, the daughter of a diplomat" which is also the name of your upcoming EP that chronicles your life in places many people can only dream of visiting. Your songs speak the same language: "Do you remember all those flights to places we discovered?", "Passport's filled with our memories". Do you think listeners will associate themselves with someone speaking from such a privileged position?
— I've been very fortunate to experience living in all these places, of course. That privilege is never lost on me. But there's a tradeoff to this life — being a diplomatic family is not vacation. We move every two years, never know where our next "home" will be, only settle in once it's time to leave, and are often very far from our friends and family. My father has served in both Afghanistan and Pakistan during difficult times. "Two Year Stand" is about struggling to identify with where you are from. My upcoming EP explores the same themes. Will this place and all these people forget me? Do I belong here? Did I waste my time investing so much energy into something so transient? Those are all relatable questions that apply not only to places, but to relationships and life in general. Things aren't always what they seem from the outside.
— Your songwriting follows classic pop formulas. However you music exists in a sonic world of its own. What are some of your biggest songwriting and sonic influences?
— Thank you! I pull inspiration from all over. Growing up as a kid it was mainly Prince and Madonna (from my mom) and Frank Sinatra and jazz (from my dad) so from a production standpoint, I've taken that mix of pop and classical and tried to fuse it together. A few of my favorite producers are James Blake, Cautious Clay, and Dave Bayley of Glass Animals. I think they really push the boundaries of modern music. In terms of songwriting, I love the familiarity and simplicity of pop structure. Lorde is one of my big inspirations. My goal is to combine the pop style with a fresh sound that's not as easy to define. My own taste in music is all over the map: modern pop, singer/songwriter, French rap, hip hop, indie rock, you name it. I learn from all of it.
— You mentioned your parents' defining influence on your musical tastes. Seems like the figure of a parent is important for your music (i.e. EP "Diplomat's Daugther", the line "Do you remember those earl grey mornings with your parents?"). Is it true?
— Absolutely — my parents mean everything to me and I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am without their support and guidance. They are my best friends and have shaped who I am. My mom is an author and especially creative person so she has inspired me to explore that side of myself too!
— And the last question. How would you put it – why should people care about Tiggy?
— Here's how I would put it!
Tiggy brings a fresh sound to the indie pop landscape as a fully "DIY" artist and producer who's just getting started. Her music invokes a sense of warmth and optimism, tinged with hints of nostalgia for days gone by. Moving countries every two years since she was 13, Tiggy is heavily influenced by her surroundings, pulling inspiration from all corners of the globe. Her stories draw from unique experiences but have a universal quality to them. For nomads, those who need a place to belong, or those who just want to slip into the blissful warmth of nostalgia-inducing soundscapes, find a home in her music. Tiggy's debut EP, "Diplomat's Daughter", drops this fall, with first single "Two Year Stand" out wherever you get your music.