In a revealing new Q&A, TASH SULTANA, the gender fluid multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer and engineer, has offered more details and perspective about their upcoming album--MTV UNPLUGGED, LIVE IN MELBOURNE, out June 3 on Mom + Pop--and North American tour launching June 10 in Las Vegas. The Q&A is below, along with more info about the album and the tour dates.
TASH SULTANA Q&A:
Q: Congrats on the upcoming release of the MTV Unplugged album. Can you let us know why you feel this live album is an important work for you?
TASH SULTANA: This is important to me because it's the first record I've mixed. I honestly just wanted to give myself a project when I had nothing on the horizon and see what I could do. It took me three months because I was fussy with it, story of my life--I mean there's always things you will change looking back but I just wanted to have that under my belt.
Q: American concertgoers know you as a solo performer. Can you talk about the dynamic of having a band onstage with you for this live recording?
TASH SULTANA: I think it’s important to make the distinction that I am a SOLO performer. I always write everything on all my records. I've played all the instruments on everything I've ever written (apart from the obvious collabs) or released as well as produced, arranged, co-engineered and so forth and I wanted to stay true to the record by extending the groove. I just physically ran out of arms and legs to play everything and that's where these session musicians came into the equation.
Q: The MTV Unplugged album shines a light on your body of work so far including your version of Bon Iver’s “Flume.” Can you tell us why you selected these particular songs for this performance and why you feel they work together as an artistic statement?
TASH SULTANA: The actual set was an hour and 30 minutes long. The producers and I had a great time trying to work out what we had to condense for what got shown on air which was another reason why I wanted to release the record in its entirety. It's just a little bit of everything, it's a bit of the oldies, the newbies, looping, acoustic, band stuff. I wanted to do the EXACT opposite of what everyone else has done, so as you can see it is not "Unplugged"--it's very much PLUGGED in and that was the point.
Q: Your upcoming tour has already generated an array of sold-out shows immediately upon announcement, including your return to Red Rocks in Colorado which sold out in a matter of minutes. Can you talk about how deeply satisfying this must be for you as an artist who knows they are connecting with a discerning audience who wants purity over commerciality and who wants to experience musical transcendence instead of seeing a slickly choreographed show?
TASH SULTANA: I think that's a question better answered by the audience themselves. From what I know, given what they tell me is that they come because it's REAL. It's an emotional, physical, metaphysical, spiritual journey from the beginning until the end for myself and everyone bearing witness. It's how I feel when I play. I am not performing the songs, I become the music. The stage is the pinnacle of my existence and my highest place, I revolve everything in my life around stepping out on stage. I treat my mind, body, spirit like an athlete treats themselves for the gold medal they've always dreamt of having. I see the vision, I create it, I work for it, I manifest it, I prepare for it, I train for it and therefore I attain it.
Q: You’re known as a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer and mixer. By being so multi-faceted and talented—in a way that brings to mind Prince—nothing gets in the way of your artistic vision. At the same time, are there any challenges for you since you oversee all these aspects?
TASH SULTANA: I appreciate other people’s feedback, respected feedback obviously. I would never listen to someone critiquing me who had no positive impact on my life, I don't hear the hate, I hear the construct. But I suppose the downfall is being a perfectionist, the bar is always set higher, and I never reach the end, so I only compete with yesterday's version of myself and sometimes I can be hard to satisfy.
The North American headlining tour kicks off June 10 in Las Vegas at The Chelsea. Marking their first concerts here in three years, the run includes sold-out shows at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Sandy, UT (Sandy Amphitheater), New York City (The Rooftop at Pier 17), Portland, ME (State Theatre), Boston, MA (House of Blues), Victoria BC (Royal Theatre BC), Forest Grove, OR (McMenamins Grand Lodge), Seattle (Paramount Theatre), Oakland (Fox Theater) and Los Angeles (Hollywood Palladium).
The tour also includes stops in Chicago, Philadelphia, the Bonnaroo Music Festival (June 19) and more. These dates follow TASH’s 2022 global ‘Terra Firma’ shows in the United Kingdom and Europe this past March/April with TASH set to return there for additional shows set for September.
The MTV UNPLUGGED album powerfully shines a light on TASH’s body of work and underlines their impact as a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer and mixer. By being so multi-faceted and talented—in a way that brings to mind Prince—nothing gets in the way of TASH’s artistic vision. The MTV UNPLUGGED, LIVE IN MELBOURNE album track listing is as follows:
02 Big Smoke
04 Sweet & Dandy
05 Pretty Lady
06 Crop Circles
08 Willow Tree
09 Blame It On Society
11 Dream My Life Away
TASH SULTANA has been dubbed one of the hardest working music exports in Australia. Selling over 500’000 tickets globally in 2019 alone, they are back to make their mark on the world. Their #1 ARIA-charting sophomore album Terra Firma arrives three years after ARIA-winning debut album Flow State--which spawned the 2x Platinum single ‘Jungle’ and the Platinum-selling single ‘Mystik’ as well as accumulating over 1billion worldwide streams.
TASH’s 2022 North American dates are as follows:
Date | City/State @ Venue
6/10 | Las Vegas, NV @ The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan
6/11 | Sandy, UT @ Sandy Amphitheater SOLD OUT
6/12 | Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre SOLD OUT
6/14 | St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
6/15 | Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
6/17 | Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Theatre
6/18 | Newport, KY @ Promowest Pavilion at Ovation
6/19 | Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
6/21 | Pittsburgh, PA @ Roxian Theatre
6/22 | Buffalo, NY @ Asbury Hall at Babeville
6/24 | Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
6/25 | Washington, DC @ The Anthem
6/26 | New York, NY @ Pier 17 SOLD OUT
6/28 | Portland, ME @ State Theatre SOLD OUT
6/29 | Boston, MA @ House Of Blues SOLD OUT
6/30 | Montreal, QC @ Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
7/2 | Sherbrooke, QC @ Sherblues and Folk Festival
7/4 | Toronto, ON @ HISTORY
7/5 | Toronto, ON @ HISTORY
7/7 | Quebec City, QC @ Festival d'été International de Québec
7/8 | Ottawa, ON @ RBC Ottawa Bluesfest
7/10 | Winnipeg, MB @ Winnipeg Folk Festival
7/12 | Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Convention Centre
7/15 | Victoria, BC @ Royal Theatre SOLD OUT
7/16 | Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theatre
7/17 | Forest Grove, OR @ McMenamins Grand Lodge SOLD OUT
7/19 | Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre SOLD OUT
7/21 | Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater SOLD OUT
7/22 | Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
7/23 | Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium SOLD OUT
7/24 | Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater