Q: “Indigo Dreaming” blends indie folk and pop elements to create a dreamy soundscape. What was your creative process in making this track?
TARN PK: I was wanting to make something that had a really evocative lyric at its centre, so I came up with the concept of ‘Indigo Dreaming’ which was probably heavily influenced by Prince. I then came up with the bones of the track and it all just fell out pretty easily, I feel like sometimes that just happens. I remember feeling like it was a song when I recorded myself playing some brushes in the pre-chorus and I was like hey now this is a song.
Q: You worked with New Zealand artist/producer Neil Macleod on additional production on “Indigo Dreaming”. How did that working relationship come about?
TARN PK: Yeah it was super awesome to collaborate with Neil on this track and it was something I was really keen to do to get another producer’s perspective on one of my songs. I met him earlier that year via another NZ producer I collaborate with and we’d stayed in touch. So when I was thinking of people who could help bring something a bit different to the song Neil was at the top of the list. He was great to work with and really helped me with figuring out how to get the chorus to the right place.
Q: You are a songwriter, musician, and producer. What is your musical background? Do you have a musical family or did you just fall into songwriting all on your own?
TARN PK: My parents were always playing music and my dad is pretty knowledgeable about a wide range of musical stuff, so I think he really introduced me and my sister to a lot of different things. In fact I think he introduced us to Kanye and Bon Iver! I’d always had music supported throughout my childhood, they brought me a drum kit when I was like 5 and then gave me a new piece of it each year for my birthdays and Christmas, and I just found drumming was the instrument that came most naturally, although I also have been singing since I was young. Songwriting came quite a bit later and I was quite hesitant to get into it as I loved just making covers. But once I started writing songs I wish I’d gotten into it earlier cause there’s just such a big world with songwriting to explore.
Q: What influences do you pull from with your music and style?
TARN PK: For this EP/ collection tracks, I was definitely influenced in a big way by looking at artists like Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, and John Martyn. I wanted to create something that had that personal and stripped back approach and these guys were the best for that. I was also really influenced by more current artists such as Bon Iver and James Blake.
Q: Talk to us about your upcoming Monarch EP. How did it come together? What challenges did you face when making this EP and how did you overcome them? Also, what’s the inspiration behind the name?
TARN PK: Monarch came from the lockdown period in New Zealand where we were shut in our houses and it was just a great way to force myself to sit down and write. It took me a while to give myself the freedom to make something different from what I thought I should be making, but once I did that it was really exciting to create these songs and if I find it exciting I’ll really put my all into it. I think the other challenge for the collection was trying to find the visuals that I wanted to go with it, it took a bit of work but with the help of Lucy Hammond and Izzy Clarke I got some cool stuff. The name came at the very end and I think the butterfly theme really meshed with the ideas behind the EP, of the start of a new day and the idea of spring which I felt was really reflected in the tracks.
Q: What would you like new listeners to know about you and the music that you create?
TARN PK: I’m going to be releasing the last track of the collection in the near future, so keep an eye out for that and a big thanks to everyone who has listened so far! I’m already working on new music and a slightly different direction for my next releases, so follow me wherever to keep updated!
Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant