With the name Tara meaning ‘star’, Toronto-based Persian alternative pop artist Tara Jam is quite literally fulfilling the prophecy of her name. Making a name for herself as an independent artist already with 800k views on YouTube for her artistic music videos and over 500k streams on Spotify in less than a year with no label or manager, just 4 songs that radiate Tara Jam’s passion and imagination. 

Now Tara Jam returns with her vibrant third single of 2021: ‘SYNESTHESIA’. In the new single Tara shows off her language skills by singing in both Farsi and French as well as English. Evoking a spiritual and celestial atmosphere, ‘SYNESTHESIA’ is the psychedelic dark-pop track not to be missed. 

Tell us about the genesis of your project. How did you get to where you are now?

The genesis of this project began when inspiration arose out of an emotionally releasing psychedelic experience. With shedding new skins begins the metamorphosis of being, which is exactly what I wanted to write about in my song “SYNESTHESIA”. My partner and producer SPVDE (@aceofspvdes) made this psychedelic track along with my engineer ZVZ (@_laguil) who never fails to add his futuristic flare. There was a massive evolution of this song, but with all of the changes came about this final that we’re all so proud of.

How would you describe the highs and lows of being an artist? 

Perception is one thing that can either be chaotic or easily controlled, and for me being an artist is about being immersed in my element. The lows of being an artist are equally as vital as the highs in terms of self-growth and reflection. One low is being never satisfied- we are all our own worst critic. My engineer LaGuil knows that I will always come back to a song to tweak something minor. The finished creation will always be a high- knowing that you created something beautiful that arose from the soul.

Who are your all time musical icons?

My all time musical icons (although generic) have to be The Beatles, The Smiths, Avril Lavine, Beyonce, Leonard Cohen, The Strokes, Tyler The Creator, Frank Ocean… there are so many names I can name. I have learned and picked up on aspects of their sound that I blend into my own. From Leonard Cohen’s powerful poetry to Odd Future’s approach towards structure, each artist plays a part in where I stand musically. Writing music is definitely my forte, and all of the artists named are lyrically powerful artists. 

What are some sources of inspiration for you?

A source of inspiration for me is just being awake in the night time. It’s an unfortunate thing that has definitely made my scheduling difficult, but it’s currently the only way inspiration arises. I don’t necessarily always write about experiences that I have endured myself, but I empathize and try to write from the place of someone directly affected.

Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?

An artist that I look up to more than others today is definitely Willow Smith. Although she is younger than me, her tonality, poise, and the philanthropic work that her family does are all equally inspiring. Jayden Smith recently opened a restaurant for the homeless, and homelessness in Toronto is definitely the first cause I want to support and fund when my platform arises.

Favorite activity to blow off some steam?

My favourite activities include skateboarding all over the city of Toronto, photography, painting, and cooking. My beautiful mum is a chef and has taught me many delicious vegetarian meals. I have been vegetarian since birth and stand with animal rights activists!

Tell us about your latest release and how it came about

“SYNESTHESIA” is about the transformative potential of the psychedelic experience and how it can unveil spiritual realms and the multidimensionality of our existence. The sentiments endured came about after experiencing it myself. Every colour that was passing by had a distinct taste in my mouth, and I remember wanting to write about the overwhelmingly exciting confusion of being able to perceive one sense as another. It was as if the compounds of colour were embedded into my taste buds. 

What’s the future looking like for you?

With this track I felt compelled to write about the trust, openness, curiosity, surrender, and acceptance that is practiced and cultivated in psychedelic journeys because of the ways these states of being have revealed my own inner power and healing capacity, which was pivotal in my process of overcoming depression. I am blessed to no longer worry about a drastic fall in my mental state. Experiencing any emotion on the spectrum is valid, but being ok with feeling it is where the mindset switch lies. Meditation is a wonderful and healing practice that I encourage everyone to dive into. Taking control of your breath is the first step towards gaining control of your reality. Creative blocks are completely normal and definitely do still occur, but acceptance of the present is much more meaningful than being able to forcefully create.

Who inspires your style and aesthetics?

Most of my closet is from thrift stores so my style and aesthetic switches daily! My aesthetic can range on a spectrum from colourful hippie to goth, it truly depends. I’ve been told that my closet is more like a costume box- every year the day after Halloween I will raid costume stores for outfits, makeup, or accessories to wear throughout the year. Lady Gaga, Doja Cat, Salvia (@001011___), Matieres Fecales (@matieresfecales) , have all been massive inspirations for me aesthetically.

What is the achievement or moment in your career you are the most proud of and why?

I am most proud of the fact that I even released music in the first place. I like to celebrate and remember the start of it all, what I will always look back upon, the start of my journey towards releasing my art. Sure being on the radio and being placed on editorial playlists are all exciting moments, but there is something special about taking the first step towards being vulnerable enough to share personal creations. “Motion Sickness” was my first single, and I’m grateful to be able to look back on it and appreciate my personal growth.

What do you think is the best way to make it as an artist nowadays?

I don’t know the best way to make it as an artist myself since this is an individualistic question. I sit in that feeling and manifest, but success is subjective so I believe that every step of being an artist should be celebrated. Your aspirations are entirely your own, and if anyone tells you otherwise, it is merely a projection. Someone else’s perceived success shouldn’t have an impact on whatever stage in life you are currently in. 

Where do you think the music and entertainment industry is headed after this past year?

The music industry has been fused with this technological era for a while, and so I believe it will only delve deeper in this direction. I believe that artists will understand that independence is a possible route so that you may have complete control of your creative direction. Although financially it is strenuous, you have to remember that labels need you more than you need them. Stand by your art, and believe that the leverage you carry with your sound is worth more than a contract.