Breaking up & Making Up: Ta-ku

It’s been an incredible year for Regan Matthew’s, the musician and photographer more commonly known as Ta-Ku. With the release of his emotive sophomore EP ‘Songs To Make Up To’ and the debut of his live show at MoMA PS1 in New York one couldn’t blame Ta-Ku for taking a moment out before stepping back into a roster of gigs over the Christmas break.

When we catch up on a Saturday afternoon a relaxed and softly spoken Ta-Ku is at home in Perth enjoying some well-earned downtime with his family. We speak first about his history; about growing up in Perth and finding safe-haven in music during a “rough” period as a teen. As we talk, it’s easy to get a sense of the same disarming honesty that is ever present in Ta-Ku’s beats. At the tender age of 19, Ta-Ku began turning his love of music into a career and in 2013 released his first EP ‘Songs to Break up to’, the record received widespread acclaim and established Ta-Ku as a new light in the Australian music industry.

More recently Ta-Ku has channeled his creative energy into photography. Picking up a camera for the first time during his travels just a year and a half ago. Ta-Ku credits his friend Chad Imes as a major influence on his photographic style, which has manifested as a minimal and filmic study of lines and abstract form.

When approaching music and photography from a creative perspective, it’s apparent that Ta-Ku’s method is a measured one, framed around the idea of responding to nuances within a sound or subject in a unique and highly personal way. “With music and photography it’s important to commit to making something that is a representation of you” he explains, “I feel a lot of people get so caught up wanting to be like others that they forget that they have a creative direction all their own. I never want to make music or take a photo that I don’t find appealing myself.”

This season, Vanishing Elephant worked with Ta-Ku to create the imagery for their Autumn/Winter 16 collection, the result of an ongoing creative partnership between the man and the brand. Ta-Ku speaks about the synergies between his style of photography and the creative direction of Vanishing Elephant and a mutual respect that lead to the collaboration.

As we finish our conversation, Ta-Ku looks towards the year ahead with a gracious optimism and a desire to continue to share more of his work with the world. “It really is the people that you meet along the way.” he concludes.

By Matthew Lennon, “Making up & Breaking up: Ta-Ku” taken from Vanishing Elephant Issue #2