The King is Back: Ta-ku enlists Panama for first single in two years, Cruel

The King is Back: Ta-ku enlists Panama for first single in two years, Cruel

While the Perth favourite has been quiet on the musical front, he certainly hasn't been unproductive.

There's no-one who encapsulates the multi-faceted creative world of Perth quite like Ta-Ku. The long-time favourite is very much representative of an entire city's drive to be the best at everything - it's difficult to find a creative wearing just one disciplinary hat, over here on the west coast - and in terms of Ta-Ku specifically, he's proved a master of many trades across the years: music - quite obviously - but also realms such as video and photography, launching his very own Pretty Soon creative studio - of which he's the creative director - a few years back.

While the beat-maker has been relatively quiet on the musical front, he's been nothing but productive. In addition to launching the aforementioned creative agency, he's spent much of the last few years elevating others; his 2019 EP Black & White being a chance for him to indulge with close friends and collaborators such as Masego and Matt McWaters, while other appearances over the years have helped push musicians both local and international, whether that be in production and creative roles, or just as a friend and influence.

Now, however, Ta-Ku is emerging with something of his own, and it's time for him to rejoin the spotlight. After sharing a down-tempo cover of BENEE's Glitter earlier in the year, his Ta-Ku's new single Cruel is the first official, original single from the musician in a few years, and one that sees him re-enter the forefront aided by a label-mate Panama. 

Cruel - out today - proves that even after a few years, Ta-Ku hasn't lost his charm. It's intoxicatingly smooth; an opportunity for the Perth musician to flaunt his prowess as a songwriter and producer as he delicately carves a rich, piano-centring instrumental, while also diving into his abilities as an under-rated vocalist, as his presence leaves somewhat of a haunting charm in the single's opening minute. It's definitively Ta-Ku, sharp where it needs to be with its traditional hip-hop percussion, but smooth around the edges, and as warm and homely as you'd expect from the seasoned musician.

"Panama and I have always shared musical circles and I have admired his music for many years from afar. Through mutual friends we linked on this song & it all happened so quickly," says Ta-Ku on the single, which comes with the tease of plenty more to come. "The song really resonated with me amnd the idea of the cruelty that can result from giving your heart so freely to others sometimes.

"Cruel is a direct song about relationships, describing an antagonist who tends to make up their own rules and makes the other feel like they are suffering," he continues. "Although feeling (overly) sensitive at times, the song describes being on the receiving end of when a person turns on you in the heat of a moment or during an argument. Dealing with those raw feelings and processing them can be hard and alienating at times. Even relationships of the past stick with you and the love you had for certain people stays in your heart. It feels like I'm looking at life and people and feel like I'm moving slowly (being left behind or playing catchup - I want to be part of it but can't). Sometimes it’s easier to convey our feelings through music instead."

Take a dive into the single below:

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