Welcome to Downtime, a regular series in which we ask our favourite artists for their cultural recommendations. This month, we caught up with TSHA.
Like so many emergent DJs, London-based DJ and producer TSHA came up through independent radio, making her name through residencies on Worldwide FM and Rinse. Here, she was – and still is – drawn to the kind of records characterised by loose 4/4 grooves, drifting pads and fine-grain textures. TSHA’s own productions nail that addictive combination of warmth and joy, too, perhaps none more so than on her latest EP, Flowers, released via Ninja Tune. The EP sees her broadening her gaze with heat-hazy pop songwriting with the kind of euphoria reminiscent of Caribou, as well as collaborating with Malian griot musicians Trio Da Kali for the infectious Demba. No wonder she’s been cited as one to watch by the usual suspects. Nevermind the hype, though – here’s what she’s doing when she’s not winning over new fans.
The Happiness Lab podcastProduced by Pushkin Industries
I suffer from very bad anxiety and depression and have spent many years searching for things that help relieve this and make day-to-day life more manageable. I found this podcast during the UK’s first lockdown (which heightened my anxiety). The Happiness Lab podcast talks about what really makes people happy based on scientific evidence. I love it as it has really changed my outlook and what my priorities in life are. It is also calming and helps remind me that the way I feel is not forever.
Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of ArtmakingBy David Bayles and Ted Orland
This is a book that talks on the perils and rewards of art making. It’s a somewhat eye-opening look into the various processes of creating art. It makes you assess why it is that you’re making art in the first place, and gives you reassurance that the thoughts and worries that you face are not unique.
The Midnight GospelNetflix. Directed by Pendleton Ward
This is an animated podcast by Duncan Trussell and Pendleton Ward. The animation is based off a character and has an ambiguous storyline. The main bulk of the animation is created around a real-life podcast discussion. The subject is deep and intricate, and the people featured in the production are incredibly fascinating – all enhanced by the clever and unrelated animation running at the same time. The last episode, where Duncan interviews his mum who was dying of cancer was not only sad, but it was also truly eye-opening to see someone facing death head on and to almost seem ready for it.
Marriage StoryNetflix. Directed by Noah Baumbach
For some reason, this film hit me in my core. I’ve never seen an argument or relationship on film feel so real and so relatable. In fact, it was more than relatable, you might as well have been a fly on the wall in a real relationship breakdown. The hurt, the spite, love! I had to almost recover from watching it.
How Music WorksBy David Byrne
This was one of the first books that really got me and I feel as though it’s a must read for anyone who loves music. It’s a well written and intelligent journey through Byrne’s life as a musician and performer, outlining his influences and experiences along the way. The main inspiration that I took from this book was from his ability to transform live performance as we know it, through his use of forward-thinking choreography, technology and stage lighting. I’m so excited to develop my own live show, and reading this book definitely altered my perspective on what is possible.
Flowers is out now on Ninja Tune