PERFORMANCE DATE: SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28
VENUE: BLACKBIRD: 119 W Main St, Urbana, IL 61801
Singer, songwriter, and producer Tatiana Hazel crafts eclectic, atmospheric bedroom productions often marked by layered vocals, guitar, electronics, and sparse beats. Topping of her arrangements is her intimate vocal delivery, which she occasionally punctuates with a distinctive, fluttering vibrato. After sharing original songs on YouTube beginning in her early teens, she released a more alternative singer/songwriter-oriented EP in 2012 just before turning 16, then settled into a low-key indie electronica with the Wavelengths EP in 2017.
Tatiana Hazel grew up in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago with parents and siblings whose musical tastes spanned hip-hop, metal, and duranguense. Tatiana took all of it in, as well as singers she enjoyed including Joanna Newsom, CocoRosie, and Kurt Cobain, and more obscure artists that she discovered on her own. She started playing guitar and writing songs at the age of 11, and at 13, she began posting videos of herself performing her songs on YouTube. In the meantime, she also taught herself keyboards and ukulele. She slowly accumulated several thousand followers, and as a 15-year-old in 2012, she released the My Story EP, which framed her lilting melodies in a more typical band setting with guitar, piano, and live drums. Hazel eventually began performing locally and collaborating with other members of the city’s music scene. In early 2015, she was featured on Chicago rapper Kweku Collins’ track “The Wayside.” Later that year, she appeared with Ju on “Murphy’s Law” by Melo (aka Carmelo Cianflone), and her single “Wanted” was produced by the city’s Dantian Beats. She continued to release more atmospheric, electronics-based singles while attending Chicago’s Columbia College, which she soon left because she felt she was getting enough practical knowledge about the music business on her own.
In mid-2017, Hazel issued the cumbia-inflected “Dimelo,” her first single to be recorded in her first language of Spanish. She followed it later in the year with the Dantian Beats-produced EP Wavelengths and another Spanish-language single, “No Me Encuentras.” Featuring the shimmering, lyrically conflicted “Doin’ Fine,” the Toxic EP followed in July of 2018.