Ears Wide Open: Girl God

Girl God

Taki Gold is a fashion designer, painter, poet, surfer and musician whose evocative art traces his personal journey from his native Liberia, where he was captured by rebels as a youngster, to his current home base of Los Angeles. He works under the name Girl God, an homage to the women who cared for him and influenced his life. It’s also the title of the seven-track EP he released earlier this summer.

Crafting tunes with piano and finger-plucked guitar, Girl God weaves his silky voice in and around gently rhythmic tales of his youth (the lead track “Liberian Boy”), his current home (“Full Cup,” a tribute to L.A.) and the female protector his calls his sister (“Golden Tickets”). The EP was self-produced with an assist by Grammy- and Emmy-nominated Elliott Lanam, who helped to mix and master it at his Santa Barbara Studio.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who played the first concert Gold ever witnessed, Paul Simon and Jack Johnson are the music’s touchstones. “My inspiration is the celebration of what we could become if we never forget how magical we are,” he says of his work.

There’s substantial magic and warmth to the 35-year-old’s, too, even if you come to them not knowing the artist’s backstory as a refugee.

Watch for him as part of Echo Park Rising’s live-streamed festival Sept. 26.

||| Stream: “Girl God” in its entirety