I went back to Tbilisi, Georgia in December to teach a digital journalism class, and while I was there I had the opportunity to meet a remarkable young woman named Tinatin Shurgaia. Tinatin — or Tika, as she likes to be called — is just at the beginning of what will likely be an exciting career as a singer-songwriter.
Tinatin originally left Georgia to study journalism at Louisiana State University, but after meeting with several well-known music instructors in Tbilisi who were impressed by her natural singing voice, decided to switch majors and study music instead. Although Tinatin always harbored a passion for music, she had no formal training prior to her “discovery,” making her story all the more remarkable. After gaining a solid foundation in classical music, Tinatin then decided to focus on contemporary music and pop. She is currently back in Tbilisi studying music theory and preparing for her next big move to London, where she will continue studying voice and composition.
Tinatin’s music is haunting and evocative, characterized by her operatic voice, which soars over lush electronic soundcapes. She has of late been collaborating with her partner, an established musician in his own right, who arranged the richly-layered beats in her most recent recordings. (You can hear more of his solo work on Soundcloud.) Their music incoporates elements of electronica, trip-hop, and ambient music and brings to mind groups like Cut Copy, Thievery Corporation, and Massive Attack. Tinatin’s big voice, an obvious product of her classical training, is reminiscent of indie singer-songwriters like Florence Welch, Leslie Feist, and, at times, even Alanis Alanis Morissette. Her work has already received acclaim from music critics in Georgia.
Here are a couple of my favorite tracks by Tika. Enjoy!
*Photo by Tinatin Shurgaia