Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana (born 15 June 1995) is an Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist,[1] described as a "one-person band".[2] Sultana is best known for their 2016 single "Jungle", which was voted into third place in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2016.

Tash Sultana
Sultana performing in 2017
Sultana performing in 2017
Background information
Birth nameNatasha Sultana
Born (1995-06-15) 15 June 1995 (age 26)[citation needed]
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
Instruments
  • Guitar
  • vocals
  • bass
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • trumpet
  • drums
  • pan flute
  • mandolin
  • saxophone
  • percussion
Years active2013–present
Labels
Websitewww.tashsultana.com

The following year, Sultana had three songs voted into Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2017; "Mystik" at number 28, "Murder to the Mind" at number 43, and their Like a Version of "Electric Feel" at number 78.[3]

Sultana grew up in Melbourne, and has been playing guitar from the age of three,[1] beginning a career in music through busking.[4] An active musician on Bandcamp since 2013,[5] Sultana's recordings were viewed millions of times on YouTube in 2016. Sultana's EP, Notion, was released on 23 September 2016, followed by a sold-out world tour in early 2017.

Personal life

Australian of Maltese ancestry, Sultana was born and grew up in Melbourne, and received a guitar from their grandfather at the age of three. Sultana can play 20 instruments including guitar, bass, trumpet, flute, percussion and saxophone. A self-described drug addict, Sultana developed drug-induced psychosis at the age of 17 and had to undergo several months of therapy to recover.[4] Sultana is nonbinary and uses the pronoun they.[3]

Career

 
Sultana playing guitar at a live performance in Melbourne

Early career: "Jungle" and home, busking videos

Unable to find regular work, Sultana turned to busking on the streets of Melbourne to make a living.[4] From 2008 to 2012, Sultana was the vocalist of the band Mindpilot with Patrick O'Brien, Emily Daye and David Herbert. This band won several Battles of the Bands competitions in Melbourne. The band split in 2012.[6]

In 2016, Sultana shared a video on social media of "Jungle" that garnered one million views within five days.[7] In the same year, they won the J Award for Unearthed Artist of the Year and had two tracks voted into the Triple J Hottest 100, 2016: "Jungle" (No. 3) and "Notion" (No. 32). Both are singles from the EP Notion. Sultana performed at the Woodford Folk Festival, Southbound, and St Jerome's Laneway Festival.[8] Sultana is managed by Lemon Tree Music with whom they signed in June 2016.[9]

A home recording of the single "Jungle" has gained over 40 million views. Sultana went into the studio with producer Nikita Miltiadou and began working on the EP release Notion. In September 2016, they released the EP through their own independent record label, Lonely Lands Records. The EP reached a peak position of number 8 on the ARIA Charts.

2016–2017: Debut world tour, and singles

Due to the success of Notion, Sultana announced a world tour, including hundreds of shows in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Their father resigned from his job in order to become their roadie. Working with Miltiadou in April 2017, Sultana released "Murder to the Mind", the first single since the release of Notion. It reached number 59 on the Australian Singles chart.[10] Not long after the release of "Murder to the Mind", Sultana was diagnosed with laryngitis, and was forced to cancel and postpone shows across Australia.[11]

In a June 2017 interview, Sultana told Fairfax that the debut album is slated for release in April 2018, after which they had planned to tour, record a second album, tour again, and then take a break and return to normal life.[12] On 25 July 2017, Sultana announced the Homecoming Tour. As part of the tour, they visited Adelaide (Entertainment Centre), Sydney (Hordern Pavilion), Fremantle (Arts Centre), Margaret River (3 Oceans Winery), Melbourne (Margaret Court Arena) and Noosa (Noosa Sporting Grounds), with the Pierce Brothers and Willow Beats as supporting acts.[13]

In October 2017, Sultana announced the premiere of a new single "Mystik" on Triple J.[14] Also in October, Sultana made a television debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers, performing "Jungle".[15] They were nominated for four ARIA Awards: Breakthrough Artist, Best Independent Release, Best Blues and Roots Album and Best Australian Live Act).[16]

Following the Homecoming Tour, Sultana continued work on their debut LP, Flow State, released on 31 August 2018.[17]

2018: Debut LP Flow State

On 13 June 2018, Sultana sent out a Facebook private message to selected fans, with a video of a sneak peek of a new single titled "Salvation", accompanied by footage in the studio.[citation needed] Sultana announced in June 2018 that the new single would premier on Triple J on 21 June, and was released on 22 June.[17]

On 21 June 2018, they announced the album's future release date of 31 August, 2018, and made pre-orders available. Sultana also announced the album's tracklist, including the already-released tracks "Mystik", "Murder To The Mind", "Harvest Love" and "Free Mind".

The album was released on 31 August 2018, and charted at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Charts.[18]

2019: Flow State Tour, "Can't Buy Happiness", "Daydreaming" and "Talk It Out"

In February 2019, Sultana played their biggest Australian shows yet, including a sold out show at Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl, and Brisbane's Riverstage. Sultana's first release for 2019 was the standalone single "Can't Buy Happiness", released on 4 April. Then, on 10 July, Sultana released their first collaboration "Talk It Out", which featured Australian singer Matt Corby. Sultana's final release for 2019 was the single "Daydreaming", a collaboration with Milky Chance.

2020–present: Transition to live band format, and Terra Firma

Early in 2020, Sultana announced they were recruiting for live band members on social media, and that they would play no more solo performances for the foreseeable future. On 26 February, Sultana played their final solo live show at Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl as part of the one-day music festival Down To Earth. The show was raising funds for bushfire relief, and included performances by Gang of Youths, Angus & Julia Stone and more.[19]

In April 2020, Sultana announced that they had found band members, and would be releasing their first single for 2020, "Pretty Lady" on 9 April. The track was premiered on triple j Breakfast the same day.[20] Subsequently, that day, Sultana released the music video, featuring a selection of fans, friends and family from across the world dancing.

Sultana's second studio album Terra Firma was released on 19 February 2021.

Discography

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions shown
Title Details Peak chart positions
AUS
[18]
CAN
[21]
GER
[22]
IRE
[23]
NLD
[24]
NZ
[25]
UK
[26]
US
[27]
Flow State 2 22 18 67 18 12 67 51
Terra Firma 1
[29]
7 38 16
[30]

Extended plays

List of EPs, with release date and label shown
Title Details Peak chart positions
AUS
[18]
Yin Yang
Notion
  • Released: 23 September 2016
  • Label: Lonely Lands
  • Formats: CD, digital download
8

Singles

List of singles, with year released, selected chart positions and certifications, and album name shown
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
AUS
[18]
NZ
Heat.

[31]
NZ
Hot

[32]
US
Alt.

[33]
"Higher"[34] 2015 Non-album singles
"Brainflower"[35]
"Gemini"[36] 2016 Notion
"Notion"
"Jungle" 39 39
  • ARIA: 2× Platinum[38]
"Murder to the Mind" 2017 59 8 Flow State
"Mystik" 77 8
"Salvation"[39] 2018 200 10
"Harvest Love"[40]
"Free Mind"[41]
"Can't Buy Happiness"[42] 2019 25 Non-album singles
"Talk It Out"
(with Matt Corby)
13
"Daydreaming"
(with Milky Chance)[44]
16 Mind the Moon
"Pretty Lady" 2020 8 Terra Firma
"Greed"[45]
"Through the Valley (The Last of Us Part II)"[46] Non-album single
"Beyond the Pine"[47] Terra Firma
"Willow Tree"
(featuring Jerome Farah)[48]
"Sweet & Dandy"[49] 2021

Other charted songs

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NZ
Hot

[50]
"Seed (Intro)" 2018 28 Flow State
"Big Smoke" 25
"Cigarettes" 15
"Seven" 31
"Musk" 2021 37 Terra Firma
"Crop Circles" 38
"Dream My Life Away"
(featuring Josh Cashman)
39
"Blame It on Society" 13

Awards and nominations

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), "honouring composers and songwriters".[51]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2019 Tash Sultana Songwriter of the Year[52] Nominated
"Mystik" Blues & Roots Work of the Year Nominated
2020 "Blackbird" Most Performed Blues & Roots Work of the Year[53][54] Nominated
2021 "Pretty Lady" Most Performed Blues & Roots Work of the Year[55] Nominated

ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards are annual awards, which recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987. Sultana has won one award from eleven nominations. (one pending)

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2017 Notion Best Independent Release Nominated [56]
Breakthrough Artists Nominated
Best Blues and Roots Album Nominated
Notion Tour Best Australian Live Act Nominated
2018 Flow State Best Female Artist Nominated [57]
Best Blues and Roots Album Won
Homecoming Tour Best Australian Live Act Nominated
Tash Sultana for Flow State Producer of the Year Nominated
Ben Lopez for Flow State Best Cover Art Nominated
Glenn Mossop and Tash Sultana for "Salvation" Best Video Nominated
2019 "Can't Buy Happiness" Best Soul/R&B Release Nominated [58][59]
2020 "Pretty Lady"" ARIA Award for Best Soul/R&B Release Pending [60]

J Award

The J Awards are an annual series of Australian music awards that were established by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's youth-focused radio station Triple J. They commenced in 2005.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
J Awards of 2016[61] Themself Unearthed Artist of the Year Won
J Awards of 2018[62] Flow State Australian Album of the Year Nominated

National Live Music Awards

The National Live Music Awards (NLMAs) are a broad recognition of Australia's diverse live industry, celebrating the success of the Australian live scene. The awards commenced in 2016.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
National Live Music Awards of 2016[63] Tash Sultana Live Roots Act of the Year Won
National Live Music Awards of 2017[64][65] Tash Sultana Live Country or Folk Act of the Year Nominated
Live Guitarist of the Year Won
International Live Achievement (Solo) Won
Best Live Voice - People's Choice Nominated
National Live Music Awards of 2018[66][67] Tash Sultana International Live Achievement (Solo) Nominated
National Live Music Awards of 2019[68][69] Tash Sultana Live Blues and Roots Act of the Year Nominated
International Live Achievement (Solo) Nominated

Pop Awards

The Pop Awards are presented annually by Pop Magazine, honoring the best in popular music.[70] Tash Sultana has won two awards from two nominations and is the first artist to win multiple Pop Awards.[71]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2019 Flow State Album Of The Year Award Won [72]
Tash Sultana Emerging Artist Of The Year Award Won

Touring

  • Gemini Tour: Australia (2016)
  • Notion World Tour: Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand (2016-17)
  • USA Tour 2017: United States (2017)
  • North American Tour: United States (2017)
  • Aus/NZ Tour: Australia, New Zealand (2017)
  • UK/Europe Tour: United Kingdom (2017)
  • Homecoming Tour: Australia (2017)
  • World Tour 2018: Europe, United States, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom (2018)
  • Flow State World Tour: Canada, United States, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand (2019)
  • Tash Sultana And Friends: Australia, New Zealand (2019)
  • UK And Europe 2020: United Kingdom, Europe (2020)

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