Photos by Hannah Jor
Ta-ku may have been the furthest distance possible from his hometown of Perth, Australia, but that didn’t stop him from making the sold out Opera House feel at home. During his seventh of ten shows on his debut North American tour, Ta-ku and his supporting acts graced Toronto with a variety of sounds, taking the audience on an emotional journey from start to finish. Although Ta-ku was supported by HWLS, Masego, and Wafia, Ta-ku’s genuine personality reminded us that rather than supporting him, they’ve rather supported each other as a team during their first North American tour.
Starting the evening off was HWLS, a Perth-based artist also signed to the Sydney-based Future Classic label. His trap and hip-hop vibes got the crowd excited and set the tone for the night as the sold out Opera House began to fill up.
As Masego took the stage, the entertaining and talented beatmaker freestyled loops, laying down some riffs on the saxophone and keys. Tossing plastic saxophones and shooting money using a money gun hyped up the sold out crowd while his “trap-house-jazz” sound and catchy vocals got the crowd bouncing before Ta-ku took the stage.
The room was dark and the crowd was loud as the long awaited Ta-ku took the stage. Starting his set off with “I Miss You” from his 2013 EP, Songs to Break Up To, Ta-ku had the audience reflecting back on the artist’s earlier tracks. The bold visuals (of course reflecting Ta-ku’s recognizable floral aesthetic) juxtaposed his music while adding a surreal mix of imaginative realism to the live performance.
Ta-ku welcomed Brisbane artist Wafia to the stage where they started singing some beautiful harmonies. Signing live was historically something Ta-ku shied away from prior to collaborating with Wafia, however, their beautiful music exemplified what can be accomplished when others support the creative process and try new things together. Ta-ku addressed the audience and encouraged creators to keep pushing themselves into areas of uncertainty.
Ta-ku welcomed his opener, Masego, back out to the stage, where the energetic entertainer jammed out on the saxophone one last time, playing his unique and mesmerizing “trap-house-jazz” sound with the rest of Ta-ku’s band.
Ta-ku and Wafia finished off the evening with three songs off their most recent EP, (m)edian, Treading Water, Me in the Middle, and Love Somebody, leaving the audience yearning for more from the Australian artists. Ta-ku’s sound, aesthetic, and love is idealized in the city of Toronto and we can’t wait to welcome them back for more.