Posts Tagged ‘Celine Dion’

cd-cover-front1An amazing blog review from Chuck Taylor, Senior Correspondent for Billboard Magazine:

“Singer/songwriter Tinatin, whom I featured as “A Face To Watch” in Billboard one year ago this week, has released dance single “Thinking Of Someone Else” as a four-track digital download in the U.S., U.K. & Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. This outrageously catchy song has already charted in clubs in Europe—not to mention a top 40 finish on my Taylor Top 40 for 2008. Among the collaborators on the track is Chris Neil, who produced many hits for Sheena Easton and Celine Dion. How could it be anything but a smash, eh?”

P.S. Very special thanks to Chuck Taylor for his incredible support!!


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Several minutes ago, a good friend of mine forwarded me a google link to an article by a wonderful journalist, Norm Whitehurst with whom I had the privilege and pleasure of speaking earlier this year when we did our initial interview for his online publication….

“Love Is More Than Words for Tinatin” – By http://www.ZeroGossip.com

Back in January, I had the pleasure of talking with someone Billboard Magazine touts as one the the 10 fresh faces to keep an eye out in 2008. Her name is Tinatin and she’s not disappointing. The music she puts out is from the heart and you can tell when you hear her voice. Not only that, she’s….gasp….smart! Talented, smart, speaks at least 5 more languages than me (I barely speak one) and is a born performer. She’s just released “Love is More Than Words” which can be found on her MySpace page. And for you, she’s let me post it here. Give it a listen and go add her as a friend. Tinatin will be a star in the near future. Trust me. And if you write to her, she responds. Love her!

From January 2008 ZeroGossip.com

This year will be a breakout year for musical artist Tinatin. That’s according to Billboard Magazine who listed her as one of the 10 fresh faces to keep an eye out for in 2008. In the US, she’s a well-kept secret who’s about to go public in a big way.

Tinatin was born in the Republic of Georgia 23 years ago into a family already deep in the arts. Her father is an architect and painter while her mother is a classical pianist. Now living in New York, she’s working on an album due out this year. Her music is not only enjoyable to hear, but impactful with messages—from the state of the United Nations to HIV, her voice clearly paints a picture for her listeners.

Her single “We the Peoples,” is available on iTunes and will be a part of her album. Billboard calls it, “a penultimate, contemporary anthem honoring the mission of the United Nations, perhaps more relevant than ever, given the flux of worldwide politics… a resonant affirmation that politics actually have potential to unite.” You can’t get a better review than that!

Holliston: There’s a lot of excitement and buzz out there about your music right now. What is it that got you noticed by Billboard?

Tinatin: I think ultimately, especially in New York, it’s a story. If you have a story, no matter how good or mediocre or perhaps even poor, the songs are, A.) it’s the record and B.) it’s the story and if you can put the two together then it can more or less guarantee a buzz. I think New York is based on buzz. Buzz and hype, to me signify New York.

H: The good thing about that buzz for you is that you do have a good product. And you have an album coming out.

T: I’m actually wrapping up with the material. I worked on the album both in New York and in London and initially I started the record in London with Christopher Neil, my producer. When I got to New York, what I realized immediately was no matter how many similarities between the industries in London and New York, at the end of the day a European record is a European record. And in America, unless you do things the American way, it’s very hard to convince them that no matter how good you may be, there is so much out here and you have to do something different. I had to practically re-do a lot of my material done in Europe to make it more suitable together with my team in London (Christopher Neil and Peter Adams) and the US producers, yet keep that European factor there that would make me slightly different from what’s out there.

H: What did you have to do differently?

T: We had to rethink a lot of the arrangements. Some of the production values had to change. For example, as soon as I got here, Christopher Neil immediately got American producers on board such as Bob Iadeluca and FAB, who’s actually a French born producer and songwriter, and he’s already very successful in America. He got them to really listen to the songs and see what they could bring to the table to make it a little bit more American, a little bit more U.S. oriented, yet keeping the same songs that made the record unique. At the same time we didn’t want to go too American so we could still appeal to the European market, thus writing additional material with Chris Neil and Peter Adams – my UK team – in NY.

H: When will the album be released?

T: As soon as possible! I absolutely cannot wait! We’re just wrapping up with the songs. We need a couple more songs and then we’ll be ready to put it out there and see where it takes us.

H: Does the album have a name?

T: Not yet! It was difficult enough coming up with the first single. We had to pick out a song that would not only be a record—a song, but ultimately it would tell a different sort of story about me. I think that’s when we went for the song “We the Peoples” based on the United Nations charter because it tells a little bit about me—my background as a journalist, my attachment toward the UN. To me it’s more than a song. It’s a story. It’s who I am. That song immediately creates an image of me. And based on that, we had to rethink a lot of the songs on the album because I can’t put songs that are too different from it, too girly, or too romantic. It creates a whole concept for the record.

H: What is it about the United Nations that has drawn you to it?

T: I think that the current climate that I grew up in has been a very exciting period for me. Being 23, I’ve seen quite a bit. I’ve lived through a civil war in Georgia…we moved around a lot. There was a lot that really touched me throughout the years when I was growing up. And when I found the place that really sums everything up for me into one, which is the United Nations, where it covers everything from peacekeeping to HIV-Aids to human rights, the concept of the UN is what really drew me to the organization. There is a freedom to be able to make that little bit of difference as a human being yourself, given the opportunity. And through that and in many ways also through the great idea of author and UN expert, Ian Williams, I decided that if I can work at the UN as a correspondent why don’t I write a song that will appeal to people because ultimately music is the language that is very universal. Everybody can relate to it. Everybody can understand it. Music can click with far more people.

H: With all the attention currently focused on you, how do you keep the buzz alive?

T: I think that’s the tricky part. It’s easy to attract someone to your persona and material but maintaining and sustaining that buzz, unless you have something else to offer requires a lot of work. You have to sit down with your team and say ‘OK guys. We’ve got all this attention on us but what have we got next to give to the audience and critics?’

H: Once the album is released, will you tour?

T: Absolutely. I’m rehearsing with my new band in New York. So once we have our concept together as a band we will start playing some venues both in the US and internationally.

H: Having lived in many countries, does that impact the way you write and the way you perform?

T: I really think it has an enormous impact on the eventual product. Having performed in several countries, that’s when you realize what every audience wants. I think every audience in every country is different. They have different expectations from you, different demands, different tastes…being able to target them all with one record has been the biggest challenge of all. Being able to sit down and say how can we make this universally acceptable…how do we make all these audiences feel they are a part of it…that it was done for them, not just done in a different country and imported. Having that experience of performing before international audiences has been very helpful in determining the final sound of me as an artist.

H: Do you have plans on releasing songs in different languages?

T: Yes I do. Very much so. I think that because I made my debut in France, France can be a very strong market for me. I love their music and it comes down to if you love their music and you incorporate those elements into your music that can click with them as well.

H: What brought you to the United States?

T: When I was little, when I was growing up, during the Soviet period, we were so interested in anything to do with the West. When the first Russians, Georgians, and everyone else from the USSR got a chance to travel, my parents were one of the first to be able to actually go to America through my dad’s work as an architect and painter. And when he came back, told me about it, and showed me the films he took, I was so fascinated by it. And factor in American music and musicians like my all-time idol Barbra Streisand that, to me, means America. America, to me, was the ultimate goal. It was the land that meant everything. If you want to make your dreams come true, no matter how much of a cliché that may be, trust me, this country gives you far more opportunities than anywhere else does in the world. When I got the opportunity to move to America, it was a hard decision at first. But I knew that if I could sustain myself for the first couple of years and attract enough attention to be able to stay here for another couple of years, it would mean there is something here for me. If you make it here, you’re bound to make it anywhere else.

H: And your goals for 2008 and beyond?

T: It all comes down to doing what I genuinely love and being able to share it with an audience that responds. Whether it’s through the album coming out this year, the concerts I’ll be doing, it all comes down to being able to do something I love to do.

Tinatin by Chris Lopez

Did You Know?

• Tinatin speaks six languages (Georgian, Russian, French, Italian, English and Spanish) and is working on learning Japanese. Domo arigato!
• She taught herself French through books, watching French television and listening to Celine Dion music (and translating her lyrics with a French-Russian bilingual dictionary!)
• Her three most talked about songs include “We the Peoples” (co-written by Tinatin, FAB and Arnie Roman; produced by FAB, “I Pray” (co-written by Tinatin, Chris Neil, Peter Adams, Jane Ryall; produced by Chris Neil and Peter Adams), and “Wild” (co-written by Tinatin and Ayhan Sahin; produced by Ayhan Sahin).
• Her full name is Tinatin Japaridze.

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Those of you who are still here after myspacious soap operetta – welcome back! 🙂

At times, the obligation that comes with being a myspace member (logging in regularly, checking messages, maintaining the homepage, etc.) can be a bit of a drag for some. But on the other hand, it can really turn into a wonderful tool if you use it the right away. Every now and then, you come across people, and particularly musicians, that you’ve been hearing of for ages but never actually met them (and in this case, I’m not talking about the celebrity spaces run by their loyal fans – we’re on to the real deal here!)

In my case, yesterday I connected with a musician, singer/songwriter whose self-written song became the very first professional recording I made when I started making my initial steps in the recording world upon moving to London.

Her name is Kit Hain. Kit was the vocal half of the famous duo Marshall Hain whose “Dancing In The City” was a European top 3 smash, and mind you, she’s written songs for Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Peter Cetera & Chaka Khan, to name but a few.

So when my producer, Chris Neil, initially played me Kit’s newly crafted “Never-Ending Story of Love”, I fell in love with it right away, and although Chris had in on hold for Celine Dion, I talked him into letting me do a version regardless. You can imagine my excitement when he told me that he was thinking of recording it with Celine – I was all the more ecstatic! 🙂 But I was 17 years old, you see….

Just a bit of history here (can’t be as painful as soap operas, right?)

When I was 16 years old, I was introduced to Christopher Neil, the producer of Rod Stewart, Mike & the Mechanics, Cher, Sheena Easton and Celine Dion, among many, many others that I loved and admired as a little girl. You can just about picture me all thrilled and excited about meeting Chris Neil (I used to love his backing vocals on Celine’s “Where Does My Heart Beat Now” – apart from being quite an amazing producer and songwriter, Chris started actually started out as a singer – the first Jesus Christ Superstar in the West End, in fact, no kidding!) when ITV’s London Tonight informed us that they’d be interviewing him about my music for a special segment about a Russian girl (funny how at the time being Georgian was too confusing to explain to an average viewer) coming to London to make it in the showbiz across Europe. (For those of you who are interested, the video of the TV piece is actually on youtube accessible through myspace.)

To make a long story short, Chris invited us and the television crew to Metropolis Studios in West London, where at the time, he was mixing Rod Stewart’s ninth studio album, “Human”. I was not only blown away by meeting a hero of mine, but the recording studio made such a huge impact on my 16-year-old psyche, I made a promise to myself that one day I’d recorded in that very room, Studio D, with none other than the same record producer. Quite pretentious of me, really, and ambitious too. Oh, teenage madness!

I won’t be exaggerating if I say that it took me literally 18 months to get back in touch with Chris Neil personally and to finally work with him. Guess where? In the same studio, the same control room, with the same engineer, Simon Hurrell, who recorded Celine’s first few albums done by Chris (“Unison”, “The Colour of My Love”, to be precise.) Could I be more ecstatic?

Our first attempt was, in fact, this very same song, “Never-Ending Story of Love”… As I’m writing this blog, I happen to be listening to the demo on my laptop at the same time… So many memories, and it seems like a million years ago, honestly. The recording session coincided with my falling in love for the very first time, therefore, the experience and the outcome meant SO much more to me… teenage follies, first time in love, etc. Don’t laugh, it’s not supposed to be cheesy!

So when I eventually connected with Kit through myspace last night for the very first time, it brought so many more memories back, it’s quite incredible, and she asked me to send her an mp3 of the track – my very studio recording in the west with a world class record producer… How much more significant does it get for an artist? I’m a bit nervous about Kit hearing this demo – I was, after all, 17 years old, brand new to the whole process, really.

And yet, I can remember this session in such great detail – every take, every break in-between the takes… I could not believe it was really happening to me. And little did I know at the time that it was only the very beginning of a rather adventurous journey………

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Last night, as an experiment more than anything else, I posted one of the recent songs that I’ve recorded – a demo, that is – “Love Is More Than Words” written by Martin Briley (Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, *N Sync, etc.) and since the direction of this genuinely beautiful ballad is so different from the rest of my songs of the pending album, I wondered if you, my listeners, friends, colleagues, would identify with it and not feel all the more confused by the diversity of the material! After all, the variety of directions and the need for serious filtering of my record in the making was an issue that was immediately brought up by several A&R pros (not the “accountant-turned-into-A&R” types but the real, traditional artist & repertoire professionals – too bad it’s a rare, dying breed these days!)

Anyway, getting back to the latest addition to myspace music player, although I always thought there was something utterly personal and personable about this song, I wasn’t expecting the wealth of positive response I’ve had from you all in the past 24 hours.

There’s a special responsibility, I suppose, undertaken by every artist covering a song composed by another songwriter (particularly someone of Martin’s caliber) and I felt somewhat intimidated and, to be honest, a bit nervous when I first performed the song for Martin at the studio. It was, in fact, our first face-to-face meeting, although we had spoken on the phone beforehand. So you can roughly imagine the level of responsibility I was carrying on my shoulders – he could have easily asked me to pack up and have a nice day 🙂

The demo vocal performance over the existing backing track of “Love Is More Than Words” is exactly what you’re hearing on my home page now… For a whole bunch of personal reasons (meaning those uneasy experiences that always seem to come across quite clearly through a song, but at times you wish life would be slightly easier without them!) I could truly relate to every line in the lyric, and even felt slightly “naked” because of the utter honesty and relevance of the story.

I always used to question if artists who said that they relived every syllable of a song (particularly the ones written by composers other than themselves) had really felt so connected with the piece of music to the point of achieving such intimacy and honesty with a 3-minute composition. As it turned out, every time we rolled the tape (figuratively speaking, unfortunately, as I do wish we still used the old, vintage technology!) for a new take, there was a strong sense of being one-on-one with the song, the lyric. Perhaps you’re more likely to feel that way when you’re recording a song of your own – an offspring of your very own emotions and experiences – but not too likely a phenomenon in this case!

The morning after demoing the song, I sent it to one of my true mentors – someone I have enormous respect and admiration for, and the one who, next to my executive producer, understands me musically better than anyone else I have encountered in the music world. I still remember what he said: “I strongly believe ‘Love Is More Than Words’ will become a very important song in your career – perhaps one of the most important ones for you.”

I’ve now had a chance to perform this ballad a few times live in an acoustic set up – Billy Jay Stein on piano and a nice microphone 🙂 and have to admit that deep down, I always look forward to it!

Perhaps one day soon, I will be able to share it with all of you in this very acoustic, intimate manner….

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