TSC Behind The Decks | TALAL
London based DJ and Electronic music producer Talal (Talal Hakim) is making serious moves in the Dance Music World with his production skills. Talal’s releases over the last 2 years have received support from likes of Adriatique, Danny Tenaglia, John Digweed, Joris Voorn, Laurent Garnier, Maceo Plex, Petar Dundov, and Sasha amongs many others. Last year his LP ‘Exhibition’ reached #6 on Beatport and charted amazingly in well over one different Beatport and Traxsource charts. As he is now rolling up his sleeves to release a new EP ‘Two Seas’, which is a remake of the original track from the LP ‘Exhibition’, we talked with Talal, about his new release, his collaboration on the EP with harpist Tara Minton, the music industry and more.
London, one of the places to be if you want to be a musician. We know that you are currently based there, so can you tell us more about the man behind Talal and is London your musical inspiration in any sense?
Actually I grew up in 10 or so countries. London is interesting because there is not much middle area, so different sections of London focus on different sounds/genres. I spend time in some areas and venues that focus on folk/jazz/blues music and even classical, in addition to electronica/techno. Overall this helps your sense of music writing and gives more interesting collaborations down the road, it helps you focus on quality/culture rather than genre type.
Your LP ‘Exhibition’ from 2015 gained worldwide recognition and peaked at no.6 on Beatport, as well as charted in 3 different genres. Did this come as a surprise or you had big expectations for the LP?
Releasing music is a funny thing. On the one hand there is the quality of the music released, I was pleased with this aspect that the core music was good and the promo results were great. However after that comes the more political PR stage and this has less to do with the music. On the PR front I am still assessing what is a smart approach, as many PR groups focus on different sub genres and different levels so finding a right fit for both parties takes time.
Can you tell us, why did you chose to remake the ‘Two Seas’ track from your LP ‘Exhibition’, and what was your main idea behind the EP?
In January 2016 I released a collaboration with Tarq Bowen that was a vocal version of a track from Exhibition, it received surprisingly wide support from trance djs to goth radio stations (And everything in between) so I figured why not do one more collaboration from Exhibition before moving on to new writing. I sent Tara a package of songs to consider from Exhibition, I think people work better if they are not micro-managed and can run with their own ideas – so she took time to consider which track she could do the most with and as it turned out it was Two Seas.
There is a rising trend and more and more hybrid genres are emerging. You’ve worked with one of the leading contemporary harpist in Europe, Tara Minton. Would you continue working with people who bring in other musical references in your work?
We already heard the vocal mix of ‘Two Seas’ and we are buzzing to hear the other two tracks from the EP. What can we expect from them?
What would you do if you were not a musician?