A few short years ago, Tash Sultana was just a kid busking on the streets of Melbourne, Australia. Now, thanks to the success of a few viral videos, Tash has taken the world by storm as an international headlining act.
The multi-talented 24-year-old performs alone (for the time being), utilizing loops and an array of drum pads alongside skillful playing on various guitars, horns, and keyboards. All that skilled musicianship is buoyed by Tash’s dream-like voice which, depending on the song, can evoke comparisons to Macy Gray, Norah Jones, Christina Aguilera, and Chris Martin while still managing to sound wholly new and original. Tash’s material runs the gamut of genres as well, boiling aspects of rock, trance, punk, funk, reggae and more into a uniquely entrancing musical brew.
On Wednesday night, Tash Sultana hit SummerStage NYC in Central Park for a sunset performance with a heavy heart. As Sultana told the crowd ahead of a more mellow, acoustic portion of the show, a close friend had died just days earlier while attending Burning Man. Playing to such a big crowd in the middle of this iconic New York City venue during this time of mourning clearly brought up a wide spectrum of emotions for the explosive young performer.
“Thank you for being with me through this time,” Tash said toe the crowd, choking back tears. “Thank you so f*cking much, there’s so many people here.”
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What a week. I started off this run with some pretty sad news that one of my oldest friends had passed away. I’ve been all sorts of emotions the last few days, jetlag and stressed to the fkn 9’s cause we FINALLY built our own custom loop station- 2 years in the making. Highs and lows and it all hit me last night, I had never cried on stage before but last night if you were in New York, I wanna thank you for being there with me through those choked up tears that came out during the show. I could feel everybody was on the same wave length as me and WITH me. This shit is real. THANK YOU. I’m fucking ready for this
The observation was spot-on. The sizeable crowd featured all ages and walks of life, brought together by a clearly apparent adoration for this unique artist. Tash responded to the ravenous crowd energy in kind, strutting between the main riser at the center of the stage and a pair of platforms that flanked its outer edges, throwing a guitar to the ground with abandon to rip solos from above, grabbing a trumpet to layer in some brass tones.
As incense burned, technicolor stage screens cycled through geometric patterns, and Tash’s omnipresent neon adornments glowed from the center stage “command center,” the artist’s defiantly cool attitude and undeniable creativity shined almost as brightly as the lights themselves.
To see Tash Sultana perform is to enter into a certain indescribable atmosphere. It’s a lovely place to spend some time if you get the chance, as anyone in attendance in Central Park last night will tell you. If you’re smart, you’ll make a point to see Tash play as soon as humanly possible.
For a full list of Tash Sultana’s upcoming tour dates, head here.
Below, you can check out a gallery of photos from the show via photographer Andrew O’Brien.