International fame and critical acclaim have attached themselves to everything Ta-Ku has released for an unprecedented amount of time. With a stacked resume of late containing the release of Songs to Break Up To in late 2013, the foundation of Create & Explore, releases under the moniker HWLS, collaborative efforts with HW&W and Street Dreams Magazine, while also having a hand in the success of Australia-based Weston’s Barbershop, the Perth trendsetter has been hard at work creating a multimedia empire off of his many talents. Your favorite Music Ninja writers has covered multiple Ta-ku releases over the years: FrogsI Miss YouDown For YouLong Time No SeeLove AgainNo Reason, and Help Me Lose My Mind. His June 2015 release – appropriately titled Songs To Make Up To – exceeded all expectations in its depth and composition. As impressive as his catalog has been up to this point however, the recently released EP may overshadow them all in complexity – thanks to the lyrical infusion.

Median, stylized as (m)edian, is a concept album in the form of an EP; it’s short, succinct and tell a formative story of the dual protagonists Ta-ku and Wafia. Starting in 2015 and after much collaboration, the duo, Regan Matthews and Wafia Al-Rikabi, released their breakout take on Estelle’s “American Boy” with their aptly titled “American Girl, along with a collaboration with Charles Murdoch on “Frongs”. Shortly after, they debuted their joint live act during Ta-ku’s MoMA PS1 show. This spawned the duo’s (m)edian EP sessions in early 2016 that also included Wafia’s trusted collaborators Thomston and Ben Abraham. After solidifying a bond around their experiences with their fathers, they poured those feelings into (m)edian, which resulted in a raw confessional that unearthed a bedrock of complicated emotions.

Lyrically, the album focuses on several themes: strength in the face of adversity, maintaining a balance emotionally, and the space between familial love and forgiveness. As one of our first glimpses at Ta-ku the vocalist, the dynamic range of his singing is a welcome addition to the repertoire. While listeners are processing the limitless talents of Ta-Ku, Wafia comes into the fold, seductively harmonizing her lines intermittently throughout Median. On the introductory track, “Treading Water” a sparingly light sequence of piano keys sets the scene, before a dynamic lyric-infused ballad takes hold and finishes painting this masterpiece. Tracks two and four act as instrumental bridges between one, three, and five – accentuating the storytelling vibe of the album. Taku and Wafia sat down with TMN to discuss their experiences putting the album together, as well as inspirations behind the project, in great detail:

Ta-ku x Wafia - Matsu - hi res-1


You’ve mentioned previously that you began making music at the time of your parent’s divorce. Looking back, how did that impact your outlook – on yourself, on music, on the world – creatively?

TA-KU: It just made me more proactive to be more creatively minded. To push myself to express my feelings through creative progression. Never to be stagnant or to wait for someone else to fulfil those needs. No one will do that but yourself. I knew that was one of the things that would help me to stay focused.


You two had collaborated previously on “Frogs” and “American Girl”. Where along the process of creating music together did you realize you would like to co-release a project?

 WAFIA: From my experience, finding a collaborator who makes you feel comfortable but also pushes you to be better musician is hard to come by. Reggie is that person for me as well as an older brother and mentor figure. And when someone like that mentions the idea of working on a full project together, it’s easy to jump into it because you know it’s only going to make you a better musician but mostly, a better person.

TA-KU: Not till shortly after. Wafia and I never really push collaboration. We just connect and do what feels natural. One day we just made a decision. It was a simple text conversation.


“Frogs” was also one of the first looks at Ta-ku as a vocalist – not counting Snapchat, that is. What has inspired or encouraged you to further your repertoire and begin rounding out your productions with your own vocals?

TA-KU: I just always wanted to sing! At this point of my ‘career’ i just thought. WHY NOT? I had nothing to lose and as I mentioned before – I want to keep growing and learning. This was a new challenge for me. I was excited and nervous but it was so much fun being apart of “Frogs.”


Through the collaboration with VSCO, you shared still shots from the (m)edian music videos. Did you have a hand in the cinematic production of the music videos as well? Were you brought on to consult or was it something created with minimal input from you and Wafia?

TA-KU: The videos had me credited as Co-Director. Something that is extremely flattering. I was just watching and learning so much from Damon. He is a genius and he & I connected very much on the concept and song story boards. It was a lot of fun.


This past week, Wafia had tweeted out her profound regret in letting a more prominent artist use some of her own work to further their own career. Have you had any experiences like this in any of your creative realms where you feel you may not have had the foresight necessary or were taken advantage of?

TA-KU: Not really. I understand 100% what Wafia means however. I also agree with her. However I feel that whatever moves you make are all part of the overall progression we make as people. Those mistakes or missed opportunities build something so unique and tell a story that no one else can.


Regarding this EP, what is the message within the music that you want to convey? Is there anything the public might miss the first time listening through?

WAFIA: That sometimes love is hard and love is sacrifice… I guess it’s a tribute to unconditional love. Whether that be platonic, romantic, or family. It’s about loving someone unrequitedly

TA-KU: For me – it’s to let the kids know that no matter how hard life when your family breaks up, stay strong. Express your feelings in any way you can. Remember to love those who you feel may have wronged you. It will make you stronger… Which is never easy. Sometimes with a partner or parent or friend, you might feel like it’s a battle. But it’s a battle because you’re sure it’s the right thing to do

Ta-ku & Wafia - Aug 2016 Press Shot - Johnny Castle

Following a spree of sold out shows in Europe and Australia, Ta-ku will be kicking off his first ever national headlining US tour featuring Wafia in Los Angeles on September 21 and wrapping at Miami’s III Points festival on October 8. All shows will feature their elaborate new set with a full band and artful original visuals from frequent collaborator Sam Price. Fans of Ta-ku and Wafia can purchase the full EP over at Future Classic. For an even more intimate experience with (m)edian, be sure to catch them during a nationwide tour – dates and locations are below.

Tour Dates and Ticketing Info:

September 21:: The Novo by Microsoft, Los Angeles, CA, US

September 22-26:: Symbiosis Gathering 2016, CA

September 27:: The Showbox, Seattle, WA

October 2:: Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL

October 6:: Brooklyn Masonic Temple, Brooklyn, NY

October 7-9:: III Points Festival 2016, Miami, FL

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