Shoegaze songstress Tamaryn reveals why her music career isn't how she makes a living, and what's paying her rent right now

Shoegaze songstress Tamaryn reveals why her music career isn't how she makes a living, and what's paying her rent right now

Singer-songwriter Tamaryn talks to Young Post about the many ways she has evolved as an artist

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Tamaryn Brown will be coming to Hong Kong.
Photo: Post Wave Culture

On Tuesday, shoegaze songstress Tamaryn Brown will be making her live debut in Hong Kong, performing at The Hub in Wan Chai, in what will be her first performance in more than two years. The musician, who performs as Tamaryn, is set to play the hits from her first three albums – 2010’s The Waves, Tender New Signs from 2012, and her 2015 breakthrough, Cranekiss – as well as new material from her upcoming record, due to be released at the end of this year.

“I’m excited for my first show in so long to be [in Hong Kong]. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m ready to explore the city and play the best I can,” the New Zealander tells Young Post.

Cranekiss brought Tamaryn a lot of exciting opportunities, mainly the chance to release music and play shows in different countries; but the album brought an even more important personal benefit. “It allowed me to evolve as a songwriter, and show that I’m always going to try new things, and integrate my influences in ways that excite me,” she says.

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As well as writing and recording new music for the new album, and preparing for this latest run of shows, Tamaryn has been pushing her own boundaries, having recently produced and collaborated with alternative songwriter Sky Ferreira, and scoring soundtracks.

“It’s been fun! They’re both very different – I’m not sure when the Sky Ferreira tracks will be released, but I like the songs we wrote a lot,” she said, without giving so much as a hint towards what to expect from the duo.

Tamaryn is more forthcoming about her scoring escapades though. “You make soundtrack music to build tension and subliminally suggest emotions. It’s all about being subtly persuasive. It’s quite liberating after making structured songs for so long – but it’s also a lot of work, so I prefer to make regular albums, honestly.”

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Writing songs isn’t the only part of her musical career that the New York-based songwriter has a creative hand in: she also shoots and directs her own music videos.

Despite all her successes and growing international acclaim, you might be surprised to learn that Tamaryn doesn’t make a living from her music, confessing, “I’ve always had jobs. Music doesn’t pay my rent, but it feeds my soul. Right now, I’m managing a perfume company.”

This sense of personal drive and willpower has clearly stuck with her, as she offers some advice to aspiring artists, “You shouldn’t worry about being ‘good’ at anything. Just sing or play whatever interests you; just try it!

“Sometimes not knowing how to do something gives you room to be more creative and emotional, and sometimes knowing too much can break the spell and kills the magic. Keep the magic alive!”

Tickets for Tamaryn’s show are HK$320 from putyourself.in

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
A Jack of all trades

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