Meet TSHA and Her Pygmy Goats
During the pandemic, the house musician TSHA shot to the top of London’s underground music scene at full tilt. It’s easy to understand why. Unlike much of its genre, TSHA’s lush sound doesn’t require the sweaty, strobe-tinged ambiance of a nightclub dance floor—although one is highly recommended—to achieve its full effect. After her 2018 single “Sacred” caught the attention of British producer-DJ Bonobo, the Portsmouth-born artist’s beats became an overnight mainstay in London’s rave scene. Since then, TSHA has released three EPs and graced the airwaves on BBC’s long-standing electronic radio show Essential Mix. Yesterday, the artist announced that her new album, Capricorn Sun, is coming this October, and released a tantalizing new single, “Giving Up.” To mark the occasion, we talked to TSHA about the album, the pygmy goats of her dreams, and what she’s hiding in her phone.
INTERVIEW: How are you today?
TSHA: I’m good. Tired, but good.
INTERVIEW: Where are you right now?
TSHA: I’m in my house in London. I’ve lived here for 10 years.
INTERVIEW: What did you have for breakfast today?
TSHA: I didn’t have breakfast. Well, I had a black coffee.
INTERVIEW: Describe this album in one sentence.
TSHA: A window to my soul.
INTERVIEW: Who is it for?
TSHA: It’s for the empaths and those that love them.
INTERVIEW: Where should we listen to it?
TSHA: You can listen to it anywhere, but it sounds particularly good in the park when the sun is shining, or late at night when the rain is pouring.
INTERVIEW: How long did it take to make this record?
TSHA: I’m not actually sure. Some of the tracks are from a year or so ago, and others were made in six months or less.
INTERVIEW: Which track are you proudest of, and why?
TSHA: ‘Time.” It’s a great instrumental track, it doesn’t rely heavily on vocals. Those are my favorite kinds of tracks.
INTERVIEW: What was the best part of making this album?
TSHA: The creative—getting to shoot an album cover that I had spent two years envisioning. I even got the pigmy goats I wanted.
INTERVIEW: What artists or albums inspired the album?
TSHA: I’m not sure anyone in particular inspired me. I like to think of it as unique in some way. I did listen to a lot of Pink Floyd while I made it, but my album doesn’t sound much like them.
INTERVIEW: How were you discovered?
TSHA: Someone sent my track to Bonobo for his Fabric compilation. He liked it, so he decided to include it. I guess that’s when people first heard of me.
INTERVIEW: How did you actually start making music?
TSHA: Originally, I just DJed kind of rubbish gigs—I used to do a lot of weddings and stuff, and I used the money to pay for little music production courses on YouTube. I had friends who were also into music, and I’d ask them questions and learn from them. I just kind of worked on myself as much as I could.
INTERVIEW: What two words describe your music?
TSHA: It is emotive and eclectic.
INTERVIEW: What’s one surprising place where you’ve found inspiration?
TSHA: I wrote a song named after my dog, is that a bit weird? Her name is Nala, like The Lion King. I was writing it at the beginning of this year. This year or last year? I don’t know anymore. When I got her, she was a puppy. She was just in the room and watching her play and be no innocent and sweet inspired me to write a song.
INTERVIEW: What is your relationship to fashion?
TSHA: How would I describe my relationship to fashion… I’m a mix. Sometimes I’m a bit of a tomboy and sometimes I like to be glam. Sometimes, that’s to make myself feel better, and other times it’s just for comfort.
INTERVIEW: What do you think about love?
TSHA: I love love. I think it’s also very close to hate, which is strange, they’re both very intense. I’ve been in love for 10 years.
INTERVIEW: What was the last dance floor that you were on?
TSHA: Ooh, last night. I was at Corsica Studios, which is in South London.
INTERVIEW: Were you playing, or were you out?
TSHA: I went to dance, it’s a nightclub. My friend Alka, who’s also an amazing producer, did a live show. And then my friend Kimmy, who is also an amazing electronic producer, did a DJ set. So I went down there to support and to dance.
INTERVIEW: What are some of your favorite spots in London?
TSHA: Phonox in Brixton is an amazing venue that brings in amazing DJs. Also, everyone’s always really up for it there.
INTERVIEW: What’s your favorite post-night out meal in London?
TSHA: Well, it’s not very sophisticated to say, but it’s probably Nando’s. It’s a spicy chicken chain and a national treasure.
INTERVIEW: What do you write in your notes app?
TSHA: In my notes app! Ooh, that’s a good question. I like that. I write setlists, I write lyrics or poetry. Sometimes I write messages before I send them, so I can make sure I’ve thought about it before I press send.
INTERVIEW: So your notes app needs to be guarded, because If anyone gets in there…
TSHA: It’s got many message drafts. When I have to say something that might upset someone, I try it out a bunch of different ways. Don’t go in there.