ON the beat: MC Tali on tour and at Splore

Tali & Chiccoreli sending Splore 2016 goers on an epic odyssey. PHOTO: ONmag.

Tali & Chiccoreli sending Splore 2016 goers on an epic odyssey. PHOTO: ONmag.

Whether collaborating with big names such as Roni SizeGoldieFabioGrooveriderEd RushE-Z RollersThe FreestylersCalibre and DJ Marky, ripping up the stage alongside NZ electronic darlings like The Upbeats and Aroha or performing soul sets with Berlin based artist Georgie Fisher, Natalia Sheppard (better known as MC Tali) is rapidly proving there is nothing she can’t excel at in the music industry. Boasting 18 years experience, Tali is still cranking, having just completed a 10 show acoustic tour of Aotearoa with Georgie Fisher and getting the crowd fizzing at Splore this past weekend.

ON Mag’s Emma Simpson chats to Tali about what makes her tick, her recent tour and what it’s like bringing the gal power in to the MC scene.

You’ve recently completed a full blown NZ tour with Georgie Fisher- how did it go and what were your highlights?

Tali: The travelling aspect has been amazing, going right down through the North and South Island. On the few mornings where Georgie and I haven’t had to get ready to play we have been soaking up the scenery- almost like being a tourist in your home town. Every place we performed had something different to offer. Definitely Auckland was a standout-a big crowd and we got to reconnect with friends and have support from those we hadn’t seen in some time like Jay Bulletproof and The Upbeats boys. In saying that we had some more intimate shows like in Wanaka and Kaikoura which enabled us to share with the audience more than just the songs and tell the stories and development behind them which I believe is just as rewarding as a performer.

You are known as an MC, freestyler, mentor, teacher, singer and songwriter amongst a shit tonne of other musical skills; which role are you the most passionate about?

Tali: Teaching is definitely my biggest passion. I started teaching five years ago as I wanted a new challenge to compliment performing- it wasn’t enough. For me; it’s not just about the technical aspects of music and vocal ability- it’s about the full experience and journey. When I am teaching it involves everything from how to create and manage a brand to the intrinsic and spiritual side of music. Singing involves a powerful emotional component- an emotional release. I have had students who will cry every single lesson when they sing. Being able to empower, give advice and help these upcoming musicians establish themselves authentically is the biggest high and success of all for me.

What do you love about electronic music?

Tali: Electronic music has been a part of my life for the last 18 years. Especially in New Zealand I feel like rave music (drum and bass) is something that unites people from all around as it’s a genre that has a wide variety of followers from different backgrounds.

What’s it like being a female MC in a predominately male industry?

Tali: I’ve been doing this for a very long time now so when it comes to the professional side of the industry, it’s more of a case of “I’ve seen your work, and want to book you”- so my reputation and experience speaks for itself. If anything, the only time I notice it, is the [male] punters reaction to seeing ‘a girl’ on the stage which they can see as an invitation to objectify. It used to be disheartening but now I just put a middle finger up to all of that and continue on finding ways to embrace and empower females in the industry.

Tali’s recent sets at Splore festival with Aroha on the Friday and Chiccoreli on the Saturday had the Sun Shack shaking with good vibes and rad grooves. Listen to her on soundcloud and follow Tali on Facebook to keep ON the pulse when her forthcoming single, ‘How To Get High’ drops. 

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