Taranaki's top female MC has been on top of her game since making a return to her beloved homeland.
MC Tali, real name Natalia Scott, returned to New Zealand last year after more than 10 years in Britain, and says the move to Auckland had definitely been the right one at the right time.
"I've had nothing but support and encouragement and positivity from everyone since I've been back," she said. "It's been awesome reconnecting with my turangawaewae and just meeting a whole lot of new people within the music industry."
However, there had been many unfamiliar faces, she said.
"I grew up with Shapeshifter and Tiki and Concord Dawn and I've come back to Six60, Homebrew, David Dallas and all these amazing acts, so it's been awesome to re-establish myself and be a part of the New Zealand music scene."
The drum and bass star plans to get even more familiar with her roots when she brings her sound home to The Mayfair this Friday.
Having grown up on an Awatuna farm, before shifting to Oakura, Scott said a visit to Taranaki was always a treat.
"My brothers, my parents live there, and all my rellies, so coming home is always amazing."
And she can't wait to share her new sound with the home crowd.
"When I was back in 2004, my performances were good but in the last eight years I've grown and matured as a person, a woman, an artist. I quit smoking, my lifestyle is really healthy now and it's all really reflected in my performances."
The woman who prefers trainers to heels, tea to coffee, and water to alcohol, dropped her latest album, Of Things to Come, in October, and said the album took more of an electro-pop direction as opposed to drum and bass.
"When you write drum and bass music there's always a certain kind of compromise you have to make because of the producer or the label, whereas this time, nah, it's all me. Being able to do it all representative of me has been really natural and refreshing and exciting because I feel like I'm finally getting to show people me, and who I am as a person."
On top of completing the album, Scott has also put together a full band and been working as a mentor in Auckland for young women wanting to become singers, songwriters and MCs.
"I thought if I ever came back to New Zealand I didn't just want to be an artist, I wanted to give back and contribute to the music industry."
The New Plymouth gig will be her first in what is a hectic summer schedule that includes performing at festivals Coro Gold and La De Da.
Scott said she would play songs off the new album and a few off the old on Friday. "We'll do a couple of covers, too, so that the people who are not that familiar will be able to groove out.
"I'm excited . . . I hope everyone turns out to support us and have a good time."
And while in the past Scott has said a move back to New Zealand might be associated with a move into motherhood, she said that idea was off the table - for now.
"Yeah . . . I really don't want to start a family," she laughed. "When I lived in the UK I guess I'd kind of done all I could in the drum and bass world and thought the next logical step seemed like, oh, I'll go back to NZ and I'll start a family."
But since she got back, her passion for music had been completely revived and any urges to have kids had fallen by the wayside. "Now I'm in my 30s I'm never gonna be a real young mum, so I don't see the harm in waiting . . ."
MC Tali Friday, The Mayfair
- © Fairfax NZ News
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