U.K.-based singer/songwriter Tiki Black released her debut record, OUT OF THE BLACK, on 16 July via No Sugar Added Records. The revelatory collection introduces Tiki as a profound songwriter/composer and affecting vocalist.
OUT OF THE BLACK explores the process of moving from silence to expression, using creativity to express and exorcise fear and pain. “I feel like an empath, everything makes me feel something,” says Tiki about her songwriting process. “If my music starts from personal experiences, it draws more universal lessons by looking across time and place at similar situations and emotions.” Sometimes the lyrics tell the story of a relatable character’s trials, like the clown in “Powder Masks” and sometimes they seem to speak directly to the listener, as in “Free Like Smoke:”
But when the truth is stuck in your throat, Bad breath
Are you a victim, a scapegoat? Bad faith
And when your life is stuck in your throat, Bad death
Are you born to survive? Bad fate
This enigmatic theme is stunningly supported by Tiki’s live acoustic instrumentation. It is minimalistic, carried by lush and intimate piano but lifted by delicate strings and worldly percussion. The listening experience is slightly deceptive – so easy on the ears, a quiet, warm and resonant voice in your ear – but what that voice is saying is powerful, and challenging.
“Hypnotic.” The Echo “…lovely, meaningful, soulful…” radio host Bob Meyer
OUT OF THE BLACK performers are:
- Tiki Black: all lyrics and music, lead vocals, background vocals; piano for Powder Masks
- John Ellis: piano for all tracks except Powder Masks
- Sidiki Dembele: nkoni, djembe
- Michael Christopher Calvert: cello arrangement
- Rachel Shakespeare, Leos Strings: cello and cello arrangement
- Matt Owens: upright bass
- Chris Hamilton: percussions (sticks)
The album is produced by Chris Hamilton and Tiki Black.
Tiki was born in Paris, raised in France and Cameroon, and currently resides in Manchester. She sings in English, French, and her native Douala. Because of and in addition to her multicultural background, Tiki’s “acoustic fusion” sound is inspired by artists such as Charles Aznavour, George Brassens, Frederic Chopin, Manu Dibango, Bob Marley, Sting, and Fiona Apple. In 2009, her original song, “Swollen,” was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
OUT OF THE BLACK will be available on iTunes, Amazon, and other online retailers and select retailers. For more information and to connect with Tiki, visit tikiblack.com.
OUT OF THE BLACK TRACK LIST
- Free Like Smoke
- Out of the Black
- Le cinquième élément (in French)
- Powder Masks
- Silence, No More
- Open Your Eyes