TF Archives

Agent Mad Presents: MC Tali with Hollie G & Zaniah

Author: Agent Mad
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Sat 15.01 - Sydney
Thu 20.01 - ChCh
Fri 21.01 - Wellington
Sat 22.01 - Auckland
Sun 23.01 - New Plymouth
Tue 25.01 - Perth
Fri 28.01 - Adelaide
Sat 29.01 - Byron Bay

Full Cycle crew member and honorary Bristolian, Tali, is no ordinary MC. You're more likely to hear the native New Zealander bursting into song than you are to hear her throwing down artless skibedee bibedee bops over a tune. And the combination of great songs, melodic vocals and rugged flow that she brings to raves translate perfectly onto her Roni Size-produced debut album, Lyric On My Lip.

Tali, real name Natalia Scott, has certainly paid her dues. Back in the late 90's she started attending drum & bass raves in her home country of New Zealand, and caught the bass bug, falling particularly hard for Krust's bass classic 'Maintain'. Soon she was mainlining tapes sent over by pals who had left the island for England. "I studied it like I was going for a degree in MCing. I'd listen to old GQ tapes, and I'd read magazines like Knowledge from cover to cover." Tali started her own radio show and joined a promotions team, bringing British DJs to play all over NZ. In 2001, Tali moved to Melbourne, and quickly established herself as one of Australia's foremost MCs. Then, at a Reprazent gig fortune and confidence collided. Tali plucked up the courage to approach Roni Size and prove her skills. He was so impressed that he took Dynamite off the mic and let the novice Tali blow the minds of her hometown crowd. It was, as they say, the start of a beautiful friendship. However it wasn't one that Tali intended to keep as long-distance.

The crew had suggested that Tali come and work with them in Bristol. Deciding to run with her gut instinct, Tali upped sticks and came to Britain. Six months after their first meeting, she turned up on Roni's doorstep armed with three notebooks full of songs. Before long, Full Cycle convened an emergency meeting and decided to ask the girl from the other side of the world to become their newest crew recruit. "I was totally obsessed with their sound," she says. "It's soulful, deep, but never too dark. It's funky and uplifting. All the elements that I would say reflect me are what they put out." Soon she was in the studio with Suv, creating memorable singles 'Do You Remember Me-' and 'Inta Outta' with Sao Paolo's DJ Patife.

Lyric On My Lip is certainly both soulful and deep. On 'High Hopes (All Over Now)' she sings about burning her feet on hot pavements over a hyperactive bass shower courtesy of Mr Size. "I wanted to make a summer smasher" she grins. "It was stinking hot, I was hoping it'd be a wicked weekend and I had high hopes for another high day." On the title track, which sold out on it's first day of release, she drops confident, larger-than-life rhymes "I chop and change quite a bit," she explains. "I'll do some double time, then some ragga style, then I'll break into song. I keep my lyrics clear and I bust different styles." It's evident on tracks like 'Blazin' where she comes across like a super-accessible Ms Dynamite circa 'Booo!'.Then there's club banger 'Satyric Styles' and the smokey straight-outta-the-jazz-club vocals of 'Kool Nites'. While the lions share of production duties were handled by Roni Size, other Full Cycle members also had a hand. Krust worked the desk for the the supersonic lushness of 'Grey Days.' And DJ Die took control for the hip hop love song 'Don't Wake Me Up'. Along the way, she picked up a new nickname from the crew, who were impressed by her precision and style. She's now occasionally known as 'One-Take Tali.'

Lyric On My Lip is an all-out energy blast from a supremely confident new talent. It's an individualised sonic boom which connects super-sweet vocals with moments of freestyle MCing, and melts crystal-tipped production skills into perfectly pitched songs of escape and love with the allure of a party that never finishes. "I'm a diamond in the rough," says Tali with a