By Tallia Storm
There’s no denying it: I love LA. In fact, I adore it. Not simply because of the sun, sea, hunger for success and vibe, but because I can breath there. Our Scottish climate is just rubbish for my asthma and after a few days in the Californian sun, my lungs open, capacity doubles and wey hey, I’m off!
This trip seemed to fly by. The flight is always hysterical. Think four kids aged between six and sixteen years, a frantic mother, dad, papa and, somewhere in amongst that, me. It’s a long journey – eleven hours or so. I have mastered the art of flying after asking Santa for a flight simulator programme last Christmas, when my fear of flying was at its peak. Once I started to understand how the plane actually gets off the ground I was soooo much better.
We flew out on a Sunday, had a recovery day on the Monday, and by Tuesday it was all go. Our first stop was at a photo shoot for Annex Magazine, so it was early in the morning when I walked into this studio with my mum, and there was already a shoot going on. It was with Roshon – AHHH! “Who’s that?” asked mum, whilst I composed myself, still shocked to see the Disney star. We chatted and I discovered that this was actually Roshon’s dance studio we were shooting in, which he was launching the following weekend. He’s very cool. I was clearly trying to pretend I was as cool as him, but all the while I couldn’t wait to text my sister to let her know who I had just met.
So the shoot started and they had me wear thee most amazing gowns I have ever seen. We were out on a balcony in downtown Los Angeles, overlooking the skyscrapers, and I was thinking, “Is this really happening?” There was a massive team of people fussing around me, from stylists to hairdressers and make-up artists, and the thing I really noticed was their positivity. Not just for my singing, but also for life, for their own dreams, ambitions, laughter. It was just such a great atmosphere – this really is what everyone’s like in LA.
Next we headed off to AXS TV beside the Staples Centre, which is of course on my to do list for performing… This was a live set. There I was on their balcony, overlooking the Nokia Plaza, girls were screaming below, shouting out my name (how did that happen?) and there I was, Tallia from Killearn in Glasgow, about to go on live TV. That was really cool. I did an interview there and then performed two live tracks. I was pretty petrified, but I did enjoy it, and got such an adrenaline rush from it.
The next few days were spent shooting about in a car (with dad the driver) from interview to interview in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. We were invited to the Paul Frank launch party at the W Hotel in Hollywood and it seemed like the entire Disney clan were there, plus Perez Hilton! I caught up with Bella Thorne again, but was secretly just dying to jump into the swimming pool that we were all standing around, never mind eat a canapé!
One of the highlights of the trip was the Lakers game – my first ever time in the Staples Centre – and what
an experience that was. The whole family went and it was awesome. My wee brothers have come home bona fide Lakers fans, as if they have supported them all their lives as opposed to for five minutes…
The next night we were given VIP seats to see Rihanna back at the Staples Centre again. Tessie nearly had a meltdown as A$AP Rocky was supporting her, but it was RiRi who brought the house down. Only in LA can you walk to the toilet and bump into Kylie Jenner, who I had met briefly last year at the Teen Choice Awards, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t have a clue who I was but she acted as if she did, and was really nice too!
Thank goodness for my sister Tessie. She styled my looks throughout the trip and yes, we did bring too many suitcases, but they were full of great Scottish designer pieces – doing our bit for homegrown fashion. Some borrowed, some new, some hand-me-downs too!
There were no free days on this trip; it was full-on acoustic sets, photo shoots and interviews, with the
odd hour off here and there, but by goodness was it a great ride. When I was off the plane in Glasgow and back on the bus to school, all I could think was, “Did that just happen?” But it sure did and I loved every moment of it. This is indeed ‘my thing’ and I’m going to keep working, keep singing and keep going till I go all the way. Watch out, the Storm’s comin’!