The pull to create music can occasionally be so strong for some people that they will uproot their lives and move around the globe just to make it happen. This is exactly the scenario French musician Tarah Carpenter found herself in when she headed off to Los Angeles with just a guitar and suitcase of clothes.
For many people moving to one of the busiest cities in the world would be an incredibly scary decision, especially without knowing anybody, but for Tarah that never crossed into her mind.
Once in LA Tarah immediately set out to gain a footing in the music scene by using the prevailing medium at the time, MySpace. During that early period in LA Tarah was performing in other people's bands as a dummer or bass player but was simultaneously learning how to play the guitar and write songs of her own on the side.
“Even today I still don’t consider myself a singer but I have a lot of emotions that I need to express out loud and those thoughts become songs,” explained Carpenter.
As she honed this new skill and craft Tarah wanted to get these songs out into the public.
“I thought I should make a demo of songs to see what happened, so I placed the demos on Myspace and little by little met people who wanted to help out and make this bigger and better than what it was.”
The two most important people Tarah met along the way were Coralie Hervé and Joey Southern, who would go on to join Tarah in the forming Tarah Who?
“Even though we only met Joey in April this year the three of us had an instant natural connection. We work great together musically, we all get along really well and have great chemistry on stage so it feels like we’ve actually been together for longer than what it actually is.”
Before forming Tarah Who? there were offers on the table from record labels, both in France and LA.
“In France they wanted me to change everything, in particular they wanted my lyrics to be in French which I really didn’t want to do,” said Tarah, “Then here in LA they wanted to turn me into an Avril Lavigne type but that’s not who I am.”
Although not accepting these previous offers Tarah, and the band, are certainly not against singing with a label in the future if the circumstances are right.
“We’re open to the idea as long as whoever it is let’s us be who we are, because that’s the only way we can do what we do.”
Read similar interviews by subscribing to J.A.M Zine over on Patreon.