Who is Tarah Who? The name pulls you in instantly. The answer is a rock duo consisting of Tarah G. Carpenter (vocals, guitar) and Coralie Herve (drums), bringing the energy and rawness we adore in indie-rock. Their new single, "Sell it to the world," released June 30, 2023, brings a powerful message.
The mix of thumpy, driving drum grooves alongside the distorted guitar riffs successfully drives the conveyed idea. It resonates on the same frequency as the classic punk theme of bringing awareness to how we live in a world of consumerism.
The release includes a lyric video stressing the importance of focusing on the simple story of any artist's soul who struggles to make a living through their endeavors. The technological age of streaming has made it difficult for artists to survive on music alone.
Tarah says, "This song is a dedication to all artists who must work a day job(s) because their art doesn't pay. It's not about choosing a career vs. another; it's also not about changing fields so you can live more comfortably and letting go of your passion. It's for all the people who can relate to not being able to survive without their craft and passion."
Tarah Who? tells it like it is, never holding back with their emotional and thought-provoking lyrics. "It's a constant struggle to be understood," a powerful line that encapsulates the thought of the modern-day creative as they try to find new innovative ways to have a vision and "Sell It To The World." The focus is no longer on the talent or abilities of an artist but more on what can be sold successfully as a brand/product.
Fight to be heard with "Sell It To The World," as Tarah Who? lights the flame of determination and tenacity.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Tara Who?, and congratulations on your latest release, "Sell It To The World." Your latest release shines a light on a crucial topic of consumerism in artistry. Was it a personal experience or more of a collective understanding between other artists that inspired you to write this record?
It's more of an observation. Being independent and surrounded by very talented and hard-working independent artists of all kinds (music genres and art - whether talking about photographers, painters, actors etc...) People think that TALENT is what sells and how you are discovered, but the reality is not the talent, since talent without being broadcasted, stays unknown.
What sells is the media and investment around the product, and now you can add the numbers on social media. This is why independent artists usually don't have a chance next to signed artists, for instance, just because the budget is incomparable. Then you add the number of requests they get per day, per location, and you, as a "small independent band," will not be seen or heard unless someone with a reputation represents you. In today's music industry, you must add social media to that equation, so forget about being creative, having a message, and practicing your instrument. For instance, your new required focus, if you want to get noticed a bit, is spending a LOT of time posting and creating new, original content.
Do you find it challenging to have an idea and "Sell(ing) It To The World" while standing out yet keeping your authenticity? What keeps you fighting for recognition?
Yeah, I find it really hard and extremely frustrating, actually. Any musician who does not do the work before, during, and after the release of promoting themselves almost just releases for themselves, close friends, and family. Which is fine; we don't all want the same outcome for what we put out there. I started writing my music (rather than playing drums and bass in other projects) because I had something to say, and music works like therapy.
Posting on Instagram is easy, fun, and "natural" It's like a journal for people who want to follow and are curious. But the whole tik tok, viral, influencers, and all of that is too much for me. I am a musician; I want to play, I want to write, I want to record, perform... I want to spend my day on something other than the phone making videos. That's not what music is about. I want people to relate to or influence the message through my music. To me, the social media aspect is so that fans, for instance, can get an insight, or behind the scenes, into how it all happens.
Like I would have loved to know how specific tours or albums were made and get to see an artist; for instance, instead of waiting for a documentary from a director's perspective, you have the artist's P.O.V. So if someone is interested, they can follow all of this in real-time, and we get to know each other. That is how artists are REAL to their fans, the whole creating content to get views: That is selling out, and that is not why I write. It's not about fame. It is about connecting with like-minded people.
How long have the two of you been creating together?
Who? I write alone. Then Ash has been joining the live performances on the bass, and Christine and Vincent have been playing the drums. Unless you are talking about Angie Joseph, who has been helping me for years on the visual aspect. She saved this music video. I had this whole idea that did not work out because I trusted the wrong people, who essentially just ripped me off, then tried working with another team who did not understand my vision. I was super excited to release this single, but the video has been such a disaster, heartache and money-draining, trying to save what I could from the first attempt that I was just happy that Angie was able to make something. I don't know if it is because we are from the same musical background and generation, but she gets me and it has been so easy to work with her. She is like a Tarah Who? member. She does not play in the band, but she does all the graphic design. We did write a song together; We collaborated on 'R.A.D.I.O., 'the French song of the album.
We love the emphasis on the lyric video, focusing on the message of "Sell It To The World." Was this known from the beginning of the record's creation, or did the idea come with time?
When I tell you, nothing happened as planned for this video... lol! I can finally laugh about it. Initially, Coralie was still in the band. So we shot a music video. We had this whole concept, and I wanted to try someone new, a friend of a friend... So we shot the video, but then... well, unfortunately, things did not work out. No need to get into details, but it was a big disappointment. I tried saving the project so that I would not waste the money already invested in it; I contacted an editing team who, this time, just did not understand the vision or the message. So I talked to Angie, and that's why we were like... Let's make a lyric video because this is the type of song where you want people to focus on the lyrics.
What does the future hold for Tarah Who?
Only time will tell! But I am currently writing new songs and preparing for a new recording session. We also have a European tour in November, opening for Prong and Life of Agony; we are also headlining a French tour, which is really exciting!