Asia Spotlight: "My music-making began in the shower" – Talitha on life in quarantine, with her cats and music

Asia Spotlight: "My music-making began in the shower" – Talitha on life in quarantine, with her cats and music

She's known for her incredibly active lifestyle, her bubbly personality, and of course, her love songs. Her name's Talitha, your girl-next-door, proud mother of two cats, and rising Tik-Tok star.

Sitting in front of her laptop in her living room, the Malaysian singer-songwriter walked us through snippets of her life at home, in a 20-minute video call on Zoom, each of our exchanges filled with buckets of laughter. She definitely knows how to make someone's morning.

While many of us struggled with being productive at home, Talitha brought self-discipline to a new level. Though she misses scaling rock walls and going out with her friends, she clocks in a mandatory morning workout every morning and keeps strictly to her intermittent fasting window. She also treasures the time she gets to play with her two cats and her culinary adventures in the kitchen. 

When asked what she's been cooking so far, Talitha said, "I love kimchi pancakes, so I really wanted to try. I got the taste and everything, the problem is that I can't flip the pancake. It's hard man. So every time I try to flip it, it flips halfway and it just goyak...and I'm like...sadness..."


During the interview, Talitha also introduced her cats:

Talitha's musical journey began 'in the shower'. She enjoyed singing from a young age and grew up listening to cover artists on Youtube with the likes of Tyler Ward, Boyce Avenue, and Sam Tsui. "It's just like a small kid's dream - I want to be a star! I want to sing for the world kind of thing," she said.

She then started recording covers of herself singing and playing the guitar which she uploaded on Youtube. At that time, she did not even know about the existence of the music scene in Malaysia.

When Talitha played her first open mic, she had to beg her parents for permission to leave the house. This ultimately paid off, though. As she made more frequent appearances at open mics, more people started to notice her music.

Music opened so many doors for me to actually go out, so I'm very thankful for that." 

Her first single in 2017, 'Okay', was streamed by local radio stations and she continued making waves in the Malaysian music scene.

Talitha has since performed at Urbanscapes, Sky Music Festival 2016 in Japan, Good Vibes Festival 2017, SEA Games Closing 2017, and the Marina Bay Sands Open Stage 2018 in Singapore.

The 23-year-old went on to produce her first full-length album BOYS in 2018. In the same year, she produced  'Would You', her single that currently has over 1.5 million streams on Spotify.

However, her journey would not have become a reality without some of her biggest inspirations from the local music scene.

"When I first started, it was definitely Yuna, because Yuna was the only Malaysian artist I knew at that time. I love SonaOne and I'm so thankful to be working with Sona, and Darren Ashley makes amazing music."

While Talitha's music may come across as soothing and uplifting, she revealed that dark, sad music is her cup of tea. "I used to follow Ali Aiman quite a lot, he writes really, really dark sounding music, but he hasn't been releasing anything, unfortunately," she said.

Music-making is the one thing that Talitha swears not give up on, even during this tough period. Unfazed, she is still recording and writing songs at home. Her latest single 'openup', made in collaboration with SonaOne, has just been released on 15 May.

"This song was written four years ago and I've wanted to release it for so long, and now I finally get to release it," she said, as she set her guitar on her lap. "So it's about opening up your heart, basically. Opening up a door to finally allow yourself to love or allow yourself to have fun."

Seeing Talitha play a preview of her single made us wonder about her thoughts on performing live. We asked Talitha about her bucket list of music festivals to perform at. "Coachella? We The Fest? Laneway? I would love to perform at all of them, every existing music festival," she said while attempting to stifle her laughter.

She is a big dreamer. But with the hard work she puts in, the beautiful voice she possesses, and her personality that's just equally beautiful, her Coachella dreams might just come true one day.

'openup' your heart to Talitha's latest single with SonaOne here: