Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Talisha talks

Talisha Holmes can sing. She sings so well, once somebody told me that I had sex the way she sings. And for anybody who has had the pleasure of hearing her strong, personality filled renditions, you know I took this as a compliment. Her voice is a combination of Aretha’s angst and Jill Scott’s range with an eclectic element all her own.

Not only can Talisha sing, but she knows her sushi. Meeting with her at Haiku, on the cusp of the Short North and OSU’s campus, we discussed raw food, the inspiration behind her music and her upcoming performance at the Thirsty Ear on Thursday, November 3.

P-Funk and Asian food

My first experiences with sushi were not that eventful, as the idea of raw fish is not the most appetizing way to have a meal. So when Talisha suggested the interview be over Asian fusion food, my stomach jumped. But, 25-year-old Talisha divulged that she has bumped chopsticks with George Clinton after meeting him at a Columbus show. So that made me feel a little better. “The first time I had sushi was in L.A. I was hanging out with George Clinton and I met him through Foley,” she says. “[At the Clinton’s last Columbus show] I was on the stage the whole time. Watching everybody play was so overwhelming.” And if you’ve ever witnessed the organized chaos of a George Clinton show, you know she is for real. So I trusted her judgment, even trying eel and salmon skin sushi.

Talisha says that ever since she was a little girl, she’s had a eye for different things. “I didn’t know I was a singer. I was god at being emotional. But I didn’t think that had anything to do with my voice,” says Talisha, who recalled performing between shopping racks for customers in stores, dodging her momma’s watchful eye. “I got the most tragic butt whoopins in stores performing for people.”

Under the influence

Talisha’s mother grew up in Germany, so the music around her house growing up was more than what was on urban radio. “My mom was always into Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross, but also John Denver and Bob Marley,” she says. “So it wasn’t the typical black household.”

With that being said, Talisha’s influences come from all genres and lots of 80s music. But there is one group she just can’t tolerate: “I listen to good music. There’s not anything I just don’t listen to; except the Beach Boys,” she says. “People always tell me their later work is a lot better. But I just don’t appreciate it, I just don’t like it.”

She was able to meet Speech of Arrested Development, a group Talisha says formed a lot of how she sees herself as a performer. “I had never heard anything like that. They were so crucial to my development,” she says, admitting being a little star struck when she had a chance to talk with the band’s leader, Speech. “I was blown over. But I didn’t feel comfortable for him not to know how he changed my life.”

The Miseducation of Talisha

After the performance bug truly got in her, Talisha continued to perform in show choir in high school, and was accepted to the Conservatory of Music at Capital University. She made doe singing classical music (“I would do one song and make like $200.”) and learned techniques geared toward improving her vocal instrument. But, Talisha says, something about being classically trained just didn’t sit well with her.

“What I learned wasn’t what I wanted from my voice,” Talisha says. “I used to get in trouble for closing my eyes when I was singing, because the teachers used to say the audience needed that connection. But I was trying to connect with the music. A lot of that stuff went out the window.”


After college, Talisha began to sing with local bands and do gigs every now and then. She says her show this Thursday is the first she has organized in more than a year. Stress, music politics and finding herself have been the reason for the long absence between her solo shows.

“It’s hard to be a woman and try to organize a band. Many musicians are men and have certain views about women and views about singers,” she says, hoping that this show is a catalyst for many more to come. “I wish I could perform all the time. I want to support my life with music and live comfortable being who I am.”

And though at first, I lacked confidence in her restaurant choice, the sushi was excellent and Talisha says that a lack of confidence will never deter her in the future of sharing her wonderful voice.

“I was feeling so frustrated, angry, bitter and depressed about my lack of drive. But I’ve always felt like I was really a bad bitch at heart,” Talisha says adding that her show will include her own music as well as covers of Ani Difranco, Erykah Badu, some Blues standards and songs she’s never sung before. “I’m working with an ensemble that can do all these different kinds of music. I am so excited to be able to do a solo show again.”

If you want to check out Talisha Holmes do her thing, come to the Thirsty Ear Tavern, located at 1200 W. Third Ave. in Columbus. A full bar and bar menu (no sushi) will be available and admission is $3. The show starts at 9:30p.m. For more information, email Talisha and tell her I said the sake’s on me next time!


At 2:37 PM, Anonymous belladawn said...

what day does talisha perform? on weekends 2?

At 2:44 PM, Blogger DM said...

This Thursday, Nov. 3...this is just one show...I'll keep you posted if there are more.

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous belladawn said...

man i will miss it cuz i have 2 work!

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