Tanita vs Fans

 Q. Why did you make such a big break between the albums "Lovers In The City" and "The Cappuccino Songs" ?

T. Because I was... I had left my management company and my record company. And I was also renovating my apartment in London, which took a year and a half. And I was just hanging out with friends doing... simple things (laughter). Very simple. I was not in the mood to do any music, I was really trying to see if I can do different things and...

Q. ...the cappuccino things...

T. Yeah, I was drinking cappuccino...

Q. What do you mean by cappuccino things? [this question was asked by Jacek, the radio presenter]

T. (very loud laughter) Nothing! No, I mean... life is like cappuccino... No, I was... I met Marco, who is Italian, and we started to write together, so eventually a lot of these songs were written over cappuccino. So that's why we called it "The Cappuccino Songs".

Q. Uh huh.

T. Yeah.

Q. But the idea of cappuccino was somewhere earlier in your head, wasn't it?

T. (long laughter) Sorry...

Q. You were talking about sitting in Paris (T. Uhm...) near the river and drinking cappuccino (T. Yeah...) and then something (T. Yeah, absolutely) and then cappuccino and then something...

T. Yeah, lots of frisson [?], as they say in France.

Q. Uh huh.

T. (very loud, riotous laughter) Sorry...

Q. When did you move from Paris to London?

T. No, I still live in both cities, I still have a very good flat... No, I have a flat in London and then I have...

Q. ...another one...

T. It's not mine...

Q. Double life?

T. La double vie... (loud laughter) Sorry, this is really funny

(riotous laughter)

Q. Now you have your 10th anniversary of being on the stage and in the music business, so how do you see your life from this perspective, what has changed?

T. In my life? (Q. yeah). Well, I'm older, I suppose, I'm probably living the life I want to live, I have a very good social life, a good relationship with musicians, everything is very balanced. And when I was 18 nothing was really balanced. I was just a kid.

Q. All parts of your body were in different places...

T. Yeah, exactly, I was all over the place, really.

Q. And what about the change in your music now - is it connected somehow with your life?

T. Yeah, I think so. I think all your experiences form your songs. Definitely.

Q. In which album can we see the biggest change in your life and your private activities? Perhaps "Everybody's Angel" or "Eleven Kinds of Loneliness"?

T. (laughter) Sorry... "The Cappuccino Songs", really...

Q. Because it's the latest?

T. No, all the records have a kind of element, really.

Q. Why did you slow down so suddenly after the release of "Eleven Kinds of Loneliness"?

T. Because I wanted to ... I'd been working since I was 18, really... without stopping and I just thought, "Oh my God, I'm just gonna be like a tennis player, I won't know anything about life or..." you know, you don't enjoy your time any more, you just work all the time and I always wanted to get a kind of free life, and then I thought, "My God, now I'm in a position to have a free life, I don't have to worry about the next thing I do all the time."

Q. Don't you worry about your privacy? If you weren't a singer, you could be more private and people wouldn't be so interested in you, don't you think so?

T. No, I don't think people are very...

Q. You don't have such a problem...

T. No, I think if you're like Madonna or somebody like Michael Jackson...

Q. But this is strange because your music and your songs somehow influence some people's lives and they truly influence, I can say it really (T. is laughing, other voices join in, "yes, yes") and at the same time you still keep your private things, you're not like Madonna or Michael Jackson, you're just Tanita Tikaram, you can walk calmly on the street and there's no problem, but still you have such a *big* influence (T. is laughing, other voices join in) and we wanted to thank you for that.

T. Oh, thank you, that's lovely.

Q. So how do you manage to keep this balance between privacy and public life?

T. Because I've never, ever talked about my private life. Never, even when I was younger. And I think once you start to talk about your private life to the press you open and they won't stop and I never did that.

Q. Do people recognize you on the streets?

T. Yes, they look at me and say, "Hey, Tanita!" (laughter) No, people recognize me in a funny way, they just..., they look (Q. Uh huh) and it's like (a gesture) but they are not, they don't get excited (laughter). They just say, "ah" (a gesture), "ah". That's...

Q. Point at you...

T. Yeah, which is all right, which is quite nice, people are very nice.

Q. And what about your music phases - do you still have them?

T. Music phases? Yeah, yes. Absolutely. I mean now I'm writing with Marco again.

Q. But this is again a difference because now you're writing with somebody else and earlier you said it was very difficult to co-operate.

T. Yeah, yes it was.

Q. So this was a change, somehow...

T. Yeah, but with Marco it's like we're a brother and sister. Very close. We don't really have... I don't feel like I'm... er... It doesn't seem like a separation, the way we work together.

Q. One soul. Two bodies.

T. (loud laughter) Sorry...

Q. Why didn't he come with you?

T. Because (laughter) Because he's going on holiday to Italy to be with his family. And I said, "hey", so - you know.

Q. And what about your holiday this year? Are you going anywhere?

T. Yeah, I'm going on holiday.

Q. Where?

T. Probably Italy.

Q. You told in some interviews that you love holidays in Italy. Is it true?

T. Yeah.

Q. Where exactly?

T. I usually go to the south of Italy. And, er, to see friends. Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria. It's not a very good time, August is a very difficult time in Italy cos there's so many tourists, so probably September. But usually if I go anywhere on holiday, I go somewhere very ... er... Actually, it's funny because only recently I got into the idea of holidays, but now I go to the sea and Italy is my perfect holiday.

Q. Not too hot?

T. People are hot, yes! I like this! (loud laughter) Yeah, I like places where the people are hot cos I think it's very cute (good?)

Q. Are we hot, Tanita?

T. (very long laughter) Sorry, anyway, yes. It's good to go, er... Recently I went to Barcelona and this was amazing. I had such an amazing time. And I like generally to meet people who live there and to hang out with them, cos it's nice to find yourself in a country with the people who live there and this kind of thing.

Q. Let's talk about the new album. (T. yeah). Why "The Cappuccino Songs"?

T. Well, I thought it was a good way of expressing the concept of the album, which was very light, frothy and a bit dark, that kind of idea. Just the idea of cappuccino. And I think it's a kind of a sexy title.

Q. With some sexy pictures.

T. Yes, very sexy... (laughter)

Q. You said previously to Radio Scotland about "Ancient Heart" and "The Sweet Keeper" that at that time you were very angelic. (T. Yeah) Does it mean you're very diabolic at the moment?

T. (laughter) Not enough. No, I'm not diabolic (laughter) No, not now, not at this minute (laughter)

Q. Let's wait (laughter)

Q. Let's talk about the song "I Don't Wanna Lose At Love". What are the roots of this song? I think it sounds like folk music.

T. Yeah, it's Finnish, it's a sample of a band from Finland called Varttina, who ...er, which I heard on a CD called "Global Celebration" and I was... I thought it was an amazing string introduction and so I slipped it, snipped it and used on and on and on. And it's very hypnotic and I like it very much. And it's very strange because you don't really know where it comes from. People think it's Celtic or Irish and there's also a very strange, er, especially the remix for the next single is very strange because it's almost quite hip-hop but it sounds very folky so it's a very strange mix.

Q. Whose idea was it to put a part of "I Like This" at the end of the album?

T. Marco's...

Q. Because there's a very long break. And this is beautiful.

T. Thank you. He wanted to do it because he has, er, he remembered this from another album where they had a big break and then they had something. And it's quite nice, because CDs, you usually leave them on the CD player and then people get "ah" and there's a surprise.

Q. Yes. T. (laughter)

Q. Do you still listen to Leonard Cohen and that sort of stuff, or Jennifer Warnes?

T. Actually, well, I'm still a big fan of Jennifer but she doesn't do anything now, she just hasn't, er, I don't know what she's doing. It's a very big pity cos she's got an amazing voice. I listen a lot to Brazilian music and eh, Khaled Aich, I'm a big fan of Khaled Aich, I don't know if you know him, he's very good. Er.. ABBA, everything, really. Gypsy Kings... I like anything quite cheesy and you can dance to it. Gladys Knight, I'm a big fan of black music, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding. I've seen Khaled Aich live, it was like the maddest concert. And I like Goran Bregovic, do you know Goran Bregovic?

Q. Yes, he's very popular in Poland right now.

T. And he's brilliant live, I saw him recently.

Q. So you like world music? (T. Yeah) Jazz also?

T. (sigh and some clicking meaning 'not really' or 'so-so')

Q. Do you know Polish artists?

T. Er...

Q. Basia? Basia Trzetrzelewska?

T. Basia, yes, Basia is very good (laughter) I know Matt Bianco as well, he's...

Q. Let's talk about the song "The Day Before You came". I think it's a fantastic cover (T. Thank you) Why did you do this?

T. Because it's a song that intrigued me when I was a child. I remember when it was a hit, I think it was the last song ABBA had a hit with and it was a very strange pop song, it really wasn't very typical of ABBA and it seemed like a very strange love song, very sinister and very erotic. And I thought with my dark voice I could sing it, cos it's really a list of a woman's very boring life and then something happens, but we don't really know what happens, but we assume it changes everything. So I like this image.

Q. The whispering part is ah, glorious...

T. Thank you (laughter)

Q. And it's totally different, you cannot recognize it. It's totally new musically, it's a good point.

T. Thank you. Thank you. You know why we had to do it like that, it's cos the song is so long that we had to make it shorter (laughter) because when you hear the original version it's a lovely, lovely song but it shows you how much music has changed, because it's so.., it seems so long now. Unfortunately.

Q. But why wasn't the song "Feeling Is Gone" included in the album, too?

T. Because it was...

Q. Because it's a very good song...

T. [coyly] It's a *very* good song, yeah.

Q. Yeah, it's a pity, I have to change (T. laughter) my CDs

(T. laughter) to listen to this song and this is truly wonderful.

T. Well, I wanted, eh, it was like that, we had 10 songs and I wanted to make this a 10-song album and it was just another song and I said, "Okay, we wanna balance the album, we don't want it, this is too sad with everything else, we wanna light songs, so...

[Tanita starts drinking cappuccino, Maratik takes a picture and

Tanita bursts out laughing]

T. Sorry...

Q. How do you like Polish cappuccino?

T. Very nice.

Q. Nice? I don't like Polish cappuccino.

T. It's better than the one in Vienna (Q. Really?) where they use

sour cream which is really heavy. This is more Italian.

Q. Would you like to sing with someone else in the form of a duet

like with Jenniffer Warnes?

T. Yeah, er...

Q. With whom? Q. Except Elvis Presley.

T. (laughter) Actually, I'd like to sing a duet with Agnetha.

Agnetha from ABBA.

Q. Uhu uh.

T. But I'm sure she doesn't... She's not gonna do a duet with me

(laughter)

Q. Why not try...

T. Yeah, no, she's a bit absent. I'd like to do a duet with the Marverics - do you know the Marverics? (Q. Uhm) I wouldn't mind doing a duet with them because they're quite funny. I'm really a big fan of the Marverics.

Q. Do you like French pop music?

T. Oh, Veronique Sanson, I'd like to sing a duet with her. Do you know her?

Q. ??

T. Eeh?

Q (Jacek) Veronique Sanson - I play a lot of French music on my radio...

T. Okay.

Q. ...and I do a French chart...

T. Oh, Paolo Conte...

Q. This is not hit music.

T. Oh no... Okay. I don't know. Yeah, but... Luccio Battisti. I don't really like things in... I mean, I like chart music but not... not to do a duet with. I mean you wanna do a duet with somebody more permanent... that ever gets in the charts (laughter) Sorry...

Q. Is it important for you now to have a big, huge success or just 'calm' maybe, because now when I look at the charts, the people who are at the top, this is a terrible sound, terrible music and sometimes I think that if Tanita were among them, it wouldn't be very good...

T. (laughter) It would be good if this record was a success. It would be very good because it gives you freedom to do more things so yeah, I'll be very happy if this is a success but...

Q. Your last song is very successful in Poland, it's now in the top ten of the most popular Polish radio chart.

T. Really? Brilliant!

Q. It's on and on. On and on. (T. laughing) And it was the power play.

T. Oh, brilliant, brilliant. And I think it's gonna pick up playing in Germany and I'm very happy if it breaks in Europe, really, because I think it's quite a sophisticated song, not in a pretentious way but it's not really, er, fall on the floor house so it's nice if it breaks but it is still quite too early, I think.

Q. What features do you praise the most in your friends and do you have any friends that have four legs?

T. Four legs. Ah, animals. (laughter) I have. Er, yes, kindness and humour and generosity. I'm very nervous about people who aren't very generous and er, yeah, humour, kindness, generosity and a kind of, almost a bit of recklessness - does that make sense? When they do things they shouldn't do. Quite like that.

Q. And what about animals?

T. Animals - I have two friends animals who are cats but they don't live, I don't live with them, unfortunately, but they are very sweet. I like cats but I don't have a cat cos my mother is allergic to cats so I can't keep them.

Q. [a woman from Polygram opened the door and said this would be the last question]

Are there any new comparisons about you? Because when you were younger you were Leonard Cohen in a dress (T laughing), then you were Elvis Presley and now you are cappuccino (T laughing)

or what this time? Any new ideas?

T. For a...?

Q. For you...

T. (loud laughter) What? Sorry... - Any more ideas for?

Q. Comparisons...

T. Ah, sorry... I don't know. I don't know yet.

 

Tanita was interviewed by Margi, Maratik, Krzysztof and Jacek (Radio Eska Wroclaw)
during her visit in Warszawa, "Bristol" Hotel 26.06.1998

 

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