Sara Tamim a.k.a Tru' makes cool electronic tunes, and will be playing at our 107 Projects Fundraiser show on the 10th of November. We decided to get to know her a little better!
When did you start making music, and what made you decide that it was something you wanted to do?
I’ve been super into music my whole life. I always loved singing. I was singing around my house to all my Mum’s 80’s pop anthem mix-tapes from a really really young age. Mum used to put me in front of the tv to watch ‘rage’ on the ABC before I was walking or talking to stop me from crying. I began singing in a choir, and from there as I grew into my teens became really into the idea of writing my own lyrics and melodies - and from there I started to teach myself guitar. And the rest is history.
What kind of gear do you use?
Well, I started with guitar, ukulele, banjo (anything that resembles a guitar). But then when I started university, I became completely immersed in electronic music. I started with Ableton Live 9 (which took me forever to understand - but it’s becoming my best friend), then I’ve also just got a really basic Novation Launchkey Mini, which I really love to use when making music, sometimes it helps to have the physical piano keys to work with.
I’ve got an audio interface, it’s just the Scarlett 2i2, which is also basic, but filters the sound when recording or playing live. Lately I’ve been using an Ableton Push, which is really fun when playing live, and it lights up really pretty. I’ve also got a loop pedal, which I’m getting into using for live performance, which I plan to use with a sampler (really liking the look of the Roland SP404a) so I can steer clear of having my laptop on stage with me from now on.
What kind of challenges have you faced in the music industry, and how did you overcome them?
I’ve always just felt really insignificant and small when expressing my ideas about music or even playing music in front of a crowd. I think women are made to feel belittled and silenced, therefore performing I think can be so much harder for women because we are constantly judged, and not just on our music, but our thoughts, as well as the way we look and act.
I’ve been working and floating around the industry for a while, so I think familiarising myself with the environment really helped me, as well as making friends within the framework. Meeting so many powerful women who have been through the same kind of struggles as me really gave me the strength to pull it all together. I’ve recently started going to a workshop called “All Girl Electronic” at I.C.E in Parramatta, and all the incredible women there really built up my confidence and have been real guardian angels for me the past couple of weeks.
What bands/artists are you listening to at the moment?
My music taste is always all over the shop! For a while I’ve been really into Kućka and this is one of my favourite tracks by her - I’ve met her a few times, she’s taught me some ableton stuff and she’s always really inspired me, so it’s kind of a huge deal for me.
I always really dig tunes that my friends make, and at the moment I really love my friend Ninajirachi’s track, ‘Same World’ I love seeing my gal pals killin' it!
Switching genre’s a little (a bit of my heart is always hanging out with guitar music) I’m really into Hatchie’s track ‘Try’. It’s got this really psychedelic indie-rock vibe that is my favourite.
Along this same line of thought - I’ve loved Thelma Plum for a really long time. (Once I saw her out in the city and couldn’t help but go up and say hi [and thanks] for inspiring my music so much in my teens).
What do you do when you’re feeling sapped of creativity?
I usually clean (sounds funny) but once I’ve got a really clean work-space I feel like my thoughts have more space. Sometimes it helps if I write (or rant) down all my thoughts on paper as well, even if I feel like I have none - I kind of force myself to.
Do you have any other projects/hobbies apart from music that you enjoy doing? Do they influence your music in any way?
I really like writing music reviews and interviewing bands, so I still like to do this a lot for a blog called Project U and a few other blogs as well. I guess that’s still music but it does obviously influence my own music, as I’m constantly looking for opinions on music, I always have a strong opinion about my own. A hobby of mine is reading, I love all sorts of novels from crime to romance to art magazines. I spent most of my teenage years with my head stuck in a novel.
Do you ever get nervous before a performance? How do you shake off pre-show nervousness?
I always get nervous! I usually get really snappy and jittery. I don’t really shake them at all, because once I’ve been on the stage a few seconds they usually disappear on their own. My mind stays in the moment and is probably thinking about which note I have to sing/or button I have to press next.
What's something amazing that's happened as a musician?
Last week I got to play 3 shows at Parramatta Lanes Festival for my friends at The Plot/Cattleyard. This was amazing because they were my first ever live-electronic run of shows.
What are three things you like about yourself?
My courage, my womanhood, and my complex mind
What advice would you give to your 13 year old self?
I know you feel alone right now and like an outsider, but you will find your people and they will ‘get you’- and you will find the courage to live the life you want - outside of the box that everyone has set up for you to live inside.