Embodying goddesses: Taimane reflects on the women who inspired her, and the women she inspires

Womens History

HONOLULU (KHON) — Taimane Gardner is often called an ukulele virtuoso, and the description is accurate. In her recent NPR Tiny Desk concert, music writer Bob Boilen called her performance magic: “Within the first moments of Taimane’s stunning set, we hear her play fiery flamenco, a famous phrase from the opera Carmen, a touch of Bach and more than a nod to her Hawaiian homeland, all on her ukulele,” which he describes as “an extension of her body.”

Taimane has sold out concerts across Europe and North America, racked up millions of views on her YouTube channel, performed with music legends like Ringo Starr and Robbie Robertson, and has had her music featured in The Smithsonian. Oh, and she was also a featured model for fashion giant AllSaints.

For Women’s History Month, Taimane took time out of her busy schedule to talk to KHON about what femininity means to her and how it has informed her artistic journey.

KHON: Coming up in the local music scene, did you see the type of strong woman artists that inspired you?

KHON: How has femininity and womanhood informed your art, or manifested in your performances?

KHON: You mentioned using both feminine and masculine energy in your performances. What exactly is feminine in your art, and what is masculine?

KHON: Has being a woman performer posed any challenges to your success?

KHON: You said you looked up artists like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. How does it feel to now be in the position where young girls now look up to you in a similar way?

Taimane is scheduled to go on tour in Europe later this year. Her NPR Tiny Desk concert can be seen here.

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