Each month we try to do what we can to connect you more with our features, here is an interview we did with the talented musical feature Entirely Talia! Don’t miss the show this coming Friday!
1. What is your favorite song? What are you listening to right now?
I love Samson by Regina Spektor, As Cool as I am by Dar Williams, Wash it Down by K’Naan, Storm Comin’ by the Wailin Jennys, Killing me Softly (all versions), Nightime by Daveed Diggs
Artists specific to right now: Lorde, Meklit Hadero, The Civil Wars, Sara Barreilles
2. What’s your biggest struggle – artistic, work or otherwise?
In high school I made a boy cry because I turned him down for a date- pretty bluntly. I wasn’t trying to be mean, but I couldn’t imagine he actually liked me and that it could hurt his feelings. Not that I needed to say to say yes to placate him, but I realized later it was more about the fact that I had no conception of actually mattering to him than anything else.
That’s the struggle: remembering I matter. I’ve come up against this in many ways- forgetting to let a friend know I wouldn’t be at their party, not showing up to a protest because I didn’t believe I would make a difference, neglecting to keep my monthly artist date with myself… all ways that I’ve forgotten my own importance.
3. Name an artist you admire, or have learned a lot from?
My mom, Linda Hirschhorn. She taught me how to prioritize art, and how to make performance not just about the performer but about the whole room. She’s helped me grow and stretch my voice to make sounds I never before imagined! Since before birth she has instilled in me my love of singing, harmonizing and writing.
4. When did you decide to be a singer songwriter, what made you decide that?
I’ve been singing since before I could talk. I sing more than I talk. If I ever stop singing you should probably call 9-1-1. I’ve always been a writer, but I never put the two together until I started taking guitar lessons a few years ago. My guitar teacher (Lisa Zeiler) decided it was ridiculous that I wasn’t a songwriter. She said “Don’t come back until you’ve written a song.” I was back the next week and have been writing and performing ever since.
5. Aliens or Terminator 2? X-Men or Avengers?
I love X-Men. Everything else is too scary (I’m kinda a wimp).
6. Dream job?
The one I’ve got: I’m the Executive Director of Jewish Youth for Community Action (JYCA). I get to support young folks to become awesome, powerful, creative activists.
7. What is your favorite spot to perform in the Bay Area? The world?
The SF Queer Open Mic, obvi. But if I had to say anywhere else….I got to perform at Occupy London and that was pretty rad. A few summers ago my friends and I went to the Cenotes in Mexico- these underground caves you can swim in. They had the best acoustics I’ve ever experienced. I sang my heart out the whole time, much to the chagrin of our fellow travelers.
8. If someone said, “I want to do what you do,” what would you warn them about? What would you tell them?
I’d say that hella shit will always get in the way of making art come first. Society isn’t exactly set up to support artists. It makes us think there are limited resources and we have to compete. So give a big F-U to those messages, reach out for lots of support, make regular artist dates with yourself and hold tight to them.
Also, a big thing that has helped me has been deciding to prioritize quantity over quality. Really. I just tell myself that what matters most is that I write 1 song a month, and I don’t care how terrible it is. This has been a great way to defeat the voices in my head that make me want to give up with every shitty line I write. It means I have a lot of songs I never want to share with anyone, but also songs I’m proud of.
9. Do you have a favorite food?
Satsuma sweet potatoes are the best thing that ever happened to me.
10.What singer songwriter should we be reading right now!?
Eli Conley former band mate, fellow SF Queer Open Mic regular and past feature.
11.Do you go to Burning Man? If yes, why? If no, why?
Never been. Here’s why I would go: for the art art ART. Here’s why I wouldn’t go: my love-hate relationship with hippies, how annoying it is when people say things like “sharing is caring” when really they just mean they’re privileged assholes and want your shit, how annoying it is when people think everyone is loving and connected and actually their just drugged to oblivion, the sand, the sand, the heat, the sand.
12.What’s wrong with the music world today?
That there aren’t enough resources for artists and we get set up to be in competition with each other. When I start feeling jealous of other talented musicians, I try to remind myself how great the world would be if everyone was encouraged to do lots of art. Still, it’s hard.
God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
14.What is your funniest memory?
More sweet than funny: I have this memory of my parents teaching me how to take a bath, and showing me how to rub the soap on the washcloth. I asked my mom why I couldn’t just wrap the soap in the washcloth like a burrito and my mom laughed so hard the whole bathroom echoed with it.
15.What would you like to see happen in your lifetime?
An end to racism. Hot tubs for the masses.
16.How do you get in the mood, when you write a song? Do you have any rituals? Favorite writing blanket? Superstitions? Tea you drink before you pick up your guitar?
I like to drive up to the Piedmont Cemetery with my guitar and write songs overlooking the Bay. That’s where I am right now!
17.If you could perform with any celebrity, who one would it be? What about a famous artist, who is not a celebrity, which one would it, be?
I would love to perform with Dar Wiliams. She’s one of my heroes.
18.What are some of your favorite smells?
I’m more auditory than olfactory. I do like the smell of a satsuma sweet potato in the oven, of walking by a house and getting a surprise whiff of jasmine, and of the Pacific ocean.
19.Historical figure you would want to be in a YouTube video with?
Melvia Maric Einstein. Einstein’s wife. I wrote a song about her once after learning there is controversy over how much of Albert’s thinking actually came from her. I bet she could work it!
21. What are you most proud of?
Friends- I have a tight crew of girlfriends called the Gaggle. We’ve been friends since high school or earlier.
Music- I’m proud that I have songs that make people laugh
Work- I’ve been at my organization for seven years and have restructured it in cool ways. It’s been really fun and challenging.
Future- I’m proud of my decision to move to NY (this February) in pursuit of my next adventure!
Now accepting: professional, music and housing connections in Brooklyn…
Check out Entirely Talia and her amazing stuff here! http://www.reverbnation.com/entirelytalia
Don’t miss The San Francisco Queer Open Mic this October 25th at Modern Times Bookstore, in the heart of the Mission!
Also that night, spoken word feature, FRANNY CHOI!!
Go click going on the Facebook invite here! https://www.facebook.com/events/189963201190526/