Translation of the interview from
www.polygram.com.pl (June '98)

TANITA TIKARAM

She is 28, recorded 5 albums, sold in seven millions worldwide sales. She is an actress and model. She played more than 1000 concerts all around the world.

When I was a teenager I recorded my first album, which was sold in 4 millions sales. I went from town to town, living in the best hotels, I played promoting my songs in more than 20 countries. That sounds magnificently and fascinating, and there was so, but at the same time I felt very alone - all my friends were then at college and unfortunately had not a part of my life. It was very hard to stand on my own feet with all these things which were around me. Sometimes I felt dreaming all my life.

Turning-point arrived some years ago.

I travelled much in the middle of 90's. I could go for three months: it was the obvious signal I wasn't happy and satisfied of my life. I cut my hair, changed my dressing style and started to do things free of music.

Tanita developed her interests in arts and designing. She also appeared in the short-feature Monik Treut's film - "Taboo Parlour". But music was this area in which she felt the best. But there were necessary sweeping changes. The artist changed the management and the publisher. She also found the new producer - splendid Marco Sabiu, which worked with so great artists as Kylie Minogue, Take That, Dubstar and Moby.

I was in the point when I didn't enjoy so much playing. One of my friends told me I should find the new sense in music. And just then I met Marco.

Their friendship and partnership proved very fruitful.

Marco is very concrete and serious in music, but also has great sense of humour, which helped me to get ahead of what I do. Marco studied classical music, but didn't treate me patronizingly. He loves pop and tries to mix different elements as simply as possible. So looks the best pop music. Besides we have very similar way of work and recording was never stressing, just the opposite. In the same way we described music and talked about our work. In the same way we imagined the picture we tried to create.

This time of changes and revision of values gave the fruit of the hard work - the new album CAPPUCCINO SONGS, where first among dark tones, which are so typical for Tanita, is listened cheerful innocence.

I had much happiness. I could revalue my life far from the limelights and again find passions and desire of later singing.

The cultural variety was always a part of Tanita's life. The artist was influenced by different styles (Tanita's mother is Malay from Borneo and father was born on Fiji), which are more important on the new album, where we can find sounds of Scandinavia, Latin America and Mediterranean area.

I listened to lot of Brasilian music. I liked their style performing ballads, which I used in "Amore Si" - a kitsch melodramatic song about love. "Back In Your Arms" and "If I Ever" are examples of European pop.

Tanita wanted to experiment and find right sound of every song, independently of their origin. At the song "I Don't Want To Lose A Love" she worked with Finnish string-quartet and their presense drives listeners in strange climates.

I was intent on discovering new sounds, music, which wasn't present in my life. In Paris I can experience English and French pop, which I always liked. I also like ABBA and Fleetwood Mac. I listened to all - especially things, I don't understand. A tone of my voice is very "dark", so always try to introduce something what makes it lighter. It is really hard to find a balance between both factors. This way the album is in the middle between light and darkness, is anywhere between Marco and me.

However this "dark side" of Tanita is still present on CAPPUCCINO SONGS. The first single from the album - "Stop Listening" tells about love to someone, who is rather the past, about impossibility to talk to someone who is so loved.

One of Tanita's ambitions was creation and co-operation with other artists. She recorded with Moodswings and lately with Asian Dub Foundation. Some of her last songs were remixed by Ashley Beadle.

Actually I feel younger than I was 18. Earlier I accelerated too fast, now I successed to slow down, to look behind. I expect nothing new, it seems I start again from the beginning.

Interviewed by Slawomir Szczesniak

Translated by: Boleslaw Januszko .31.05.1998

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