Interview: Taj Ralph, The Corso at Manly, 2013

Image courtesy of Taj Ralph
Image courtesy of Taj Ralph

Taj Ralph

In Manly today, as I took a few minutes in a favourite perch high above the Corso at the New Brighton Hotel, I heard a young singer-songwriter setting up in the prime position at the eastern end of the famous strip, with his back to a fairly choppy swell.

Taj Ralph just did the one bracket, a mixture of covers and his originals. The voice announcing the songs was powerful but undeniably young. And as I made my way down there, I heard him answer sheepishly to what must be a common question: “I’m 12”.

There’s something highly engaging about the way a 12 year old says casually: “I wrote this one a couple of years ago”. And he had a couple of those.

In my bar-side perch, I thought I heard Taj say that he had been selling CDs the last time he was busking, but the rains had come and he couldn’t sell them anymore. But down on the street level I got the real story: the “ranger” had come along to tell him he wasn’t allowed to sell his CDs.

What the H E double hockey sticks? What gives, Manly Council?

More of that for another time.

Here’s our chat; it’s brief, though as his Dad [Simon] pointed out as he was packing up Taj’s gear, Taj was overdue at the skate park.

Check out Taj’s music and chalk the name down as one to watch in years to come.

TJ01
Image courtesy of Taj Ralph

*** Audio file will be removed at the end of February 2020 ***

Bill Quinn: I was sitting high up in the New Brighton Hotel when I heard a wonderful singer-songwriter who I thought might have been about 24 years old, but I looked down and heard him say, “I’m 12”. We’re talking with Taj Ralph. Hi, Taj.

Taj Ralph: Hi!

BQ: Tell me about your music; how long have you been playing music for?

TR: About three to four years.

BQ: And in that three to four years, when did you start writing?

TR: About two years ago.

BQ: Two years ago and you’re twelve years old? How do you find the topics that you want to write about?

TR: I don’t know; it kind of just comes to me.

BQ: Tell me about that last song that you just played.

TR: My friend’s been travelling overseas for over a year now, and I kind of miss him. So I started writing a song about it.

TJ2
Image courtesy of Taj Ralph

BQ: So when you were ten years old, what was it that made you think you’d like to write some stuff?

TR: I don’t know; I kind of just picked up my guitar and thought, “Maybe I should start playing my songs”.

BQ: How about other people’s music that you play? What artists do you like?

TR: Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Train, heaps of other people.

BQ: And is that through mum and dad, or just stuff you like?

TR: A bit of mum and dad but me as well.

BQ: And did you grow up in this area?

TR: Yeah, I lived a couple of suburbs from here.

BQ: Dad says you’ve got a website.

TR: It’s tajraplh.com, and you can find my Facebook and my Twitter and my iTunes from there, and you can also listen to my songs for free.

BQ: Excellent. And how often do you do the busking?

TR: Whenever I can!

BQ: And what’s in the future? Where would you like your music to take you?

TR: Anywhere; wherever it wants to go!

BQ: That’s a great Manly answer! Taj, thanks for talking with Overheard Productions this afternoon.

TR: You’re welcome.

*** Audio file will be removed at the end of February 2020 ***

Taj Ralph on The Corso, Manly
Taj Ralph on The Corso, Manly

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