Sequoyah Tiger’s Tuscan debut

Live at Prato’s Centro Pecci, Leila Gharib’s musical project unites music and performance

Michelle Davis
December 21, 2016 - 18:38

On Wednesday December 21 at 9pm, Prato's Centro Pecci for the Contemporary Arts will be launching the last concert of the season. This time, the museum's spotlight will shine on Verona-born polyhedral artist Leila Gharib AKA Sequoyah Tiger, who will be presenting her debut EP "Ta-Ta-Ta-Time", a unique specimen of organic Synth-Pop that is bound to take the year-end charts by storm. We interviewed Leila on the verge of her Tuscan debut.


Glitchy portraits of Sequoyah Tiger Glitchy portraits of Sequoyah Tiger


Michelle Davis: So tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to create this new multifaceted project.

Sequoyah Tiger: I started out in 2004 in my hometown of Verona, playing in a rock trio called Bikini The Cat. It was pretty intense - we totally dove head first into the world of touring, rehearsals, music clubs, printing albums... So I made the most of this experience until I turned 25. Then I decided that I wanted to go deeper into the musical matter and alongside dancer and performer Sonia Brunelli I founded Barokthegreat, a performing arts group focused on probing the relationship between gesture and sound. With Sequoyah Tiger I want to combine these two different contexts and take my work to a whole new level thanks to the clashing of worlds that give way to unexpected directions and solutions. My recently released debut EP "Ta-Ta-Ta-Time" is the result of this research.


MD: Sequoyah Tiger - your name evokes both the animal and the plant world, does it not?

ST: It combines two words that I found in books and struck my imagination. Sequoyah actually is the name of a native Indian Cherokee chief. He was the first among the American Indian tribes to create a written alphabet - the great Sequoia redwood forests are named after him, so there is a bit of a plant-related reference after all.  I liked the idea of making a reference to the invention of a new language - it was of great inspiration to me during the development of the project. I chose the word Tiger because of this animal's narrative strength, its sleek movements and character. Put together, I think these two expressions give off an even stronger exotic allure. 



Leila Gharib's artwork for the cover of debut EP "Ta-Ta-Ta-Time" Leila Gharib's artwork for the cover of debut EP "Ta-Ta-Ta-Time"


MD: "Ta-Ta-Ta-Time" was released by prestigious Berlin-based record label Morr Music. How did you achieve this amazing goal and what can you tell us about your debut album?

ST: It all started with two zines I had self-produced. These small hand-bound publications featured my drawings and offered the possibility to digitally download some of my tracks... but at a certain point I felt the urge to physically produce my music so I started looking for the right label. I immediately thought of Morr Music because of its way of fostering direct vocality and electronic experimentation. I contacted them via mail and it was as simple as that: Thomas replied and accepted to print an EP with 5 of my songs. It was a very special moment for me, given that I'd never met him and I had no kind of prior notoriety whatsoever that could push his decision. The album's title "Ta-Ta-Ta-Time" reveals the EP's fun and expanded dimension. It has nothing to do with the word "Time" as a concept of past and future - it rather wants to focus on the present moment and on the variable amount of time it takes to pronounce it.


MD: What should our audience expect from your concert at Prato's Centro Pecci this evening?


ST: This actually is my first gig in Tuscany as Sequoyah Tiger. The set includes a sampler and both electronic and vocal elements. I will be with dancer Sonia Brunelli, who has decided to follow me even in this solo venture and will be performing live. It will be pretty raw - I'm looking forward to interacting with such an interesting space.


Find out more about Sequoyah Tiger on her bandcamp page


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