Producer, musician, online content creator and writer, Miss Tahloulah May is considered to be an allround creative within her field. As a Hip Hop music producer she stands for respecting Hip Hop’s heritage and culture. DAWless production of Hip Hop music with a twist is her signature. With her old school and new school samplers (SP555, SP404, SP1200, SP808, MPC2500, Maschine+), drum machines, bass guitars and (modular) synthesizers she produces music straight from the soul. From building her brand independently and without a team, starting a (visual) radio show to support other independent artists, doing shows at Beat Cinema and for Roland and creating Hip Hop music with her own unique sound, she is on her way to becoming a valuable contributor to the Hip Hop community and culture.
Miss Tahloulah May (Gwendela van der Wel) was born September 1986 in Paramaribo (Surinam). Inspired by her mother, she developed an interest in Soul, Funk, Jazz, Kaseko (Surinamese traditional folk music) and Caribbean tunes at a young age. Around 1994 she started to develop her love for Hip Hop music and the culture. The way creative boundries were pushed within the entire Hip Hop culture and all of it’s subcultures inspired her to look for her own musical and creative identity. This lead to her finding her musical voice decades later.
At the age of 14 Miss Tahloulah May began analyzing all sorts of musical genres and styles and started hosting local radio shows. She also started getting serious about dancing and practiced different dance styles like Ballet, Jazz Dance, Afro Jazz and Hip Hop.
In 2016 she started a successful international blog, Kick out of the box, about the Sneaker culture as a subculture in Hip Hop. Miss Tahloulah May made it her goal to outline the history and journey of the Sneaker culture. To do so, she had to shine light on the journey of the Hip Hop culture as a whole, eventually leading to the start of her musical carreer.
Her sound is known as old school Hip Hop, but with a unique twist. It’s a mixture of Boom Bap, Lo-Fi and Electronics. Until about 2019 Miss Tahloulah May made instrumental Hip Hop music solely using sampled material. But because she felt that this limited her creativity, she started studying bass guitar, synthesizer, keyboard and drums.
In 2019 MTM introduced herself as a solo artist with her debut album “Music is food for your soul, don’t starve!”. Boom Bap album "Amsterdam" followed quickly.
Other releases are:
- Kangoloops (Lofi album, 2020)
- Ms. Ana Logue (Hip Hop / Electronics EP referring to her love for (analogue) hardware, 2020)
- Rugged (Alternative Hip Hop, 2020)
- Reboot (Electronic Alternative Hip Hop, 2021)
- Cute but Psycho (EP, Electronic Alternative Hip Hop, 2021)
Rugged is MTM's first full album made without a computer. Beatmaking, vinyl digging, (vintage) hardware and raw Hip Hop are the ingredients and cornerstones that make this album come to life. MTM sees Rugged as a creative rebirth, because of the complete DAWless workflow she adapted from then on.
Her latest release "Cute but Psycho" is an ode to the different sides we all have as human beings. It's an ode to the balance between the dark and the light side of the force we all have within us.
Cute but Psycho is all about being your true self. Everyone has more than one layer. More than one face. That is okay. The tricky part is keeping the balance. In a rough world where Miss Tahloulah May is often perceived as cute and sweet, she has learned that sometimes it's the psycho part that keeps you safe and sane. Now it was time to let the world meet Cute but Psycho.
MTM feels it’s important that with every project at least one extra layer of her soul is being shared.
While making Cute but Psycho Miss Tahloulah May continued to use a Dawless setup with what she calls hardware with a soul. She's not one for the polished sound. For this project she added synthesizers like the Moog Grandmother, Roland System 8 and her modular system called SapG as well as live drums.
"Everybody has two faces, ain't nothing wrong with that. It's just that balance is key."
During the lockdown due to the COVID-19 epidemic, MTM started her (visual) radio show Room 404 Live in 2020. By 2021 she started a collaboration with Run Dem Radio (by London based running crew Run Dem Crew). On September 13th 2021 the first broadcast of Room 404 Radio aired on Blast Radio. With her online radio show she strives to provide a platform for other independent and underground artists.
In addition to her musical projects Miss Tahloulah May designed presets for Native Instruments' Community Drive 2021.
Miss Tahloulah May is all about respecting the Hip Hop culture’s history and heritage, while making alternative Hip Hop. This is the foundation for her music. “I strive to compose and share creative Hip Hop instrumentals that ooze passion, authenticity and my love for the history of the culture and all of it’s subcultures. The Hip Hop culture’s foundation lies in creativity, skill and thinkin’ outside the box. That’s a powerful base that needs to be preserved.” - Miss Tahloulah May