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Closeups - Talitha Tan

Closeups - Talitha Tan

August 09, 2017

With a giggle as infectious as her catchy tunes and her social media handle a wordplay on our childhood icons the Teletubbies, Talitha Tan is every bit as bubbly and quirky as we expected her to be. Don’t let her girl-next-door demeanor fool you – this chick packs a punch, and a strong one at that. When she’s not flexing her vocal cords onstage or in the studio, she’s usually dusting lifting chalk off her palms at the powerlifting gym training to overthrow you, or playing Spiderman and bouncing off buildings and walls.

Which celebrity’s sense of fashion are you most drawn to?
Jhene Aiko. I’m most drawn to her sense of style simply because it’s revealing yet classy. It hides the right bits that should be hidden and shows off the parts meant to be flaunted. She’s rugged and her style just screams “I don’t give a f*ck”.

If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
I love being active, so I probably would be doing something related to sports and fitness. But, if I could I would love to pursue music for the rest of my life. I’ve always wanted to open a stunt park? Is that what you call it? A park related to parkour and gymnastics where people can practice because I feel like Malaysia lacks it. I love extreme sports and seeing places like this online makes me wanna have one here in Malaysia too. Or… possibly maybe something boring like PT. (laughs)

Did you have any fears when you started parkour?
I remember climbing Putrajaya’s bridge and looking down, and what shocked me was that I was actually more afraid of the fact that I wasn’t afraid. I was like “Is this normal? Should I be nervous?” I love the rush of adrenaline that comes along with every jump I take while performing parkour. The only thing I fear is dying and injuring myself because that would stop me from doing what I love.

What was your most memorable performance experience/memory?
Undoubtedly The Weekend At The Park in Ipoh. That was the very first time I did a backflip onstage. In a skirt, nonetheless. A slit skirt that went past my knees, to be specific. (now we’re talking) When I picked up parkour, that was the first thing I wanted to be able to do (learn a backflip). I was telling myself that one day I’d be able to do it onstage. Back to the story of the backflip, obviously I wasn’t expecting it because I was wearing a skirt. Then the crowd started chanting “backflip” over and over again. I was like, “Seriously? You guys want me to do a backflip in a skirt?” But that somehow gave me the extra push and so I just went ahead and did it. Typically when a crowd asks for something you’re not keen on delivering, you’d try to ignore it and divert their attention by starting a new song or something, but the crowd in Ipoh was really persistent and they kept insisting. So I was thinking to myself, ‘let’s just do it’, and released my inhibitions. The crowd went crazy, I think they cheered more for the backflip than for my singing.

Which Disney Princess is your favorite and why?
I like all of them to be honest, because they’re explorers. They’re getting out of the whole typical, demure ‘Hi, I’m a princess’ stereotype. If I had to pick one however, it would probably be Mulan. She’s badass, adventurous and brave, kind of like me and what I aspire to be.

What advice would you give to someone who’s going through the situation described in your song ‘Okay’?
Okay is about people coming into your life seemingly as though they’d be here for you, but instead they walk out after getting what they want. The song is about how it hurts, but I’m pretending that it doesn’t hurt, and telling myself that it’ll be okay. You’ll be okay. People come and go. Take it as an experience and learn from it. Don’t think too much about it, if people are meant to be in your life they’ll be here to stay. One day you’re gonna meet someone who will be there for you through everything. Keep those people who walked out of your life as acquaintances. Don’t hate on them. And things will get better in time, you just have to be patient.

What’s a relationship deal breaker for you/first date deal breaker?
If I were to be on a first date and say we’re dining out, a deal breaker would be someone who’s rude. Let’s give it some context. Say someone is serving you and you don’t even acknowledge them, I really don’t like that. It’s just common courtesy to say even a simple “thank you” to people who are serving me. That’s one point, feeling like someone appreciates the server instead of thinking that they’re above them. Secondly, the person I date has to be stronger than me physically. I don’t think I can date someone weaker than me. It’s a masculine element. Sorry. (sheepish laugh) 

Describe your life in a song title.
‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’ by Kelly Clarkson. I don’t really like that song though, but the title of it would describe my life best.

Catch Talitha’s set at Good Vibes Festival on the 13th of August at The Ranch, Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands. See what she’s up to here.

Shop Talitha’s outfit here.
Location credits to Pulp by Papa Palheta, APW Bangsar.


By Camillia Lim

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