‘The voice is the instrument that draws us in, it can challenge or comfort us, awaken us or lull us, inspire or reassure. Tiki Black has a voice that can do all of this and more… Warm, embracing and timeless’.
‘Tiki Black is the perfect poster child for what it means to be a genuine Indie performer . Black’s music speaks to a generation that needs a voice that knows their pain, joy, achievements, failures, and struggles. She sings from the heart, and Black’s music pours out her soul to her listeners… this publication is in love with this artist’s music’.
‘Songs that tug at the heartstrings without ever giving the impression they were written purely to do so’.
Sometimes an artist emerges with a sound so different that it’s hard to figure out where it came from. Tiki Black is such an enigma, her unique voice and expressive keyboard style having led some to compare her to the poetic, soulful sound of Nina Simone or the narrative lyricism of Leonard Cohen. When you delve a little deeper into her background you realise this was never going to be someone who fitted easily into genre labels.
Born in Paris to Cameroonian parents, family hardship required her to be self-reliant from an early age. Constantly moving around and shifting between both countries, music provided a precious haven of consistency in her life. Tiki treasured the resonance she found in Cameroonian artists such as Manu Dibango and Eboa Lotin, and opened herself to the melancholic beauty of French Chanson, an influence also on the likes of Scott Walker, Terry Hall and Elvis Costello. Furthermore, when at the age of 14 she discovered there was a piano in her new school in Paris, she immersed herself in a musical instruction book donated by a friend and discovered the work of Chopin.
While the upheaval of regularly moving around proved unsettling, it also led her to embrace and explore music as a world beyond borders or boundaries. During a period of her childhood spent in Africa in the port of Douala, she fondly recalls hearing music from far-flung places like Latin and North America and going to watch Bollywood or Chinese films in local cinemas. Later she would reverently translate and study the lyrics of artists as diverse as Caetano Veloso, Bob Marley, Herbert Grönemeyer and John Lennon. As Tiki reflects, ‘If my music starts from personal experiences, it draws more universal lessons by looking across time and place at similar situations and emotions.’
Now resident in Manchester, Tiki’s stunning debut album ‘Out Of The Black’ on NO Sugar addEd Records is a remarkable collection of songs that celebrate both the strength and fragility of the human spirit. Enhanced by a delicate blend of Western and African rhythmic and stringed instruments, the songs and arrangements convey a singer-songwriter who has the ability to frame her music and lyrics in meticulous and intricate detail without ever losing an intense, twilight intimacy with the listener.
* Swollen – Finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Session I (Sep 30, 2009)
* Out Of The Black – Winner Best Album FOLK/ SINGER-SONGWRITER – The Akademia Music Awards (Nov 2013)
* Out Of The Black album – Nominated, Fatea 2013 Best debut album – Fatea Awards 2013