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Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Taylor’

The year is almost over and I’m still reeling from everything that’s happened in the last 12 months… I couldn’t feel more blessed about this past year’s adventures, unexpected twists and turns, surprises and the most exciting news that kept flooding in, week after week. Looking back on it now, after the month of May, it all changed – drastically. The build up, granted, was intense and very gradual but nevertheless, I couldn’t be more grateful for every bit of it.

After our song, “Is It True?” came second in the Eurovision Song Contest, was later voted the Eurovision Song of the Decade and most recently (or precisely – today) hailed by ESC Awards in Europe as the Song of the Year and yours truly, alongside co-writers Chris Neil and Oskar Pall Sveinsson, Lyricists of the Year, and was also recorded by Swedish Idol winner, Erik Gronwall for his debut record which was released this past Monday, it seems that unlike what we had expected, the song has really brought on some major changes that would have been totally unheard of a year ago. Nothing comes easily, of course, and the amount of work that I had to undertake shortly after the tune took off has still got me reeling from excitement, sleepless nights and incessant creating, planning and executing 24/7.

For those of you who have waited patiently for the book (a work of fiction that is now being reworked as a memoir) – well, I can’t wait either! I’m now on Chapter 9 and quite frankly, writing and rewriting the same story can be a little daunting at times, but also super-exciting. Plus, now I’ve got a fantastic collaborator by my side, Chuck Taylor (if you look him up on Google or Wikipedia, your jaw will drop, I’m so blessed!) so it doesn’t feel all the overwhelming anymore… But it is a major responsibility, nonetheless.

In addition, we’ve got a Broadway project in the works, a record (some very surprising song choices, unlike what you’ve heard on MySpace! Stay tuned for details!) and of course the solo gig at the Metropolitan Room… Be sure to make it! Can’t believe it’s already happening in a matter of weeks. So many songs to master, lyrics to learn by heart (ooooh, hate that part, but it’s a must, what can I say!) and fortunately some of the most incredible musicians to rehearse with in the coming weeks… That’s the best part. Billy Stein, my musical director, co-writer, producer and the most amazing, creative and witty person I’ve come across – it’s really something working with Billy… We played at SteveStocking 2009 last Tuesday and that was so much fun!! Especially the Christmas number… “White Christmas” …. One of my all-time favorites!

So much more to report but daren’t keep this too long. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, Happy Holidays and above all, may the New Year bring you all more happiness, joy, prosperity, inspiration, health, stability (oh yes, in every way!) and peace….

Countless blessings and thanks so very much to each and every one of you for your incredible support throughout this year and all the years past,

Tinatin xxx

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Tinatin & Chris NeilThe last couple of days have been so intense and “full on” – there is absolutely no escape from the Eurovision madness. Wherever I go in Moscow, it’s unbelievable! 

Constant press conferences, interviews (TV and radio, even across the other side of the world… but more on that later!) rehearsals and parties – I truly am having a blast! But on the same note, as you may already know, I haven’t been getting any sleep – only 3 hours per night at most – since I arrived here over a week ago. Dare I complain? Hell, no! 

Spending quality time with our Icelandic delegation has become so addictive! I honestly can’t imagine not seeing them every day, come this time next week. What a great crowd of fun, creative, and professional people! If teamwork is what this is all about, then I feel extremely fortunate, especially now that we’ve really, really clicked. We have all hit it off in a big way – each and every one of us, collectively and individually. It’s so wonderful to work together with a group of people toward a common goal!

The Greek Party at our local hotspot Euro-Club was great fun last night. Some of the highlight acts of ESC 2009, including the Eurovision heartthrob himself, Sakis Rouvas, performed (mostly) live. Others mimed as well (should I just zip my lip?) and introduced their upcoming entries for the competition. This was a very particular audience, consisting of obvious Eurovision fans from all over the world.  We were no exception! 

Christopher Neil and Maria Bjork Yohanna's ManagerChris Neil, Oskar, Alma and I stood on the balcony overlooking the Euro-Club stage. We watched Yohanna blow everyone away with her performance, yet again. It would be fair to say that she blew us away too! I don’t know why, but the overall impact of the song, and the performance itself, well, both are getting stronger and stronger, instead of turning into a daily routine. This is quite unusual, I think. But then again, I’m getting so excited about the upcoming semi-final (and particularly the big final night) I can barely wait for another 48 hours!

Tonight is the official opening ceremony of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, and the welcoming party will be held at Moscow’s historic Manezh Hall, in Red Square. Although a lot of the former Eurovision stars were lip-synching all night long, it turned out to be a very entertaining event. We all had a great time just “chilling out,” as they say. The vibe was cool and the finger food was very impressive, too. 

Unlike yesterday’s pre-Eurovision promo program, tonight’s gig featured only one of the entrants this year; Anastasia Prikhodko from Ukraine, who will represent Russia in the finals. Bizarre, isn’t it? Everyone’s representing everyone else, including our “not-so-purely Icelandic delegation!” It’s very exciting, though, since we are all so multi-national. And even though I’m Georgian-born, and not of Russian heritage at all, I am the most Russian of all the Russian representatives this year, being an official citizen of the Russkiy Land. This is all according to the local and national periodicals and news agencies. Is it true? Yes, it is!
ESCDuring the opening ceremony, my producer and co-author of the Icelandic song (our new universal term for “Is It True?”) suddenly pointed out a gentleman standing in the corner by the bar – it was Chuck Taylor, one of the leading music journalists in the United States! Or so I thought, at first…

But soon enough I realized it wasn’t Chuck; it was his secret twin brother! In all honesty, I had sworn it was really him, and then I zoomed in on the poor look-alike. I harassed him with my digital camera for the remainder of the evening, still secretly hoping he’d turn out to be Chuck Taylor’s relative in Russia!

 
Chuck Taylor look-alike on the rightJust before we all decided to call it a night, before yet another manic day (and it really is going to start getting more and more intense, from tomorrow onwards) Chris and I were interviewed over the phone by the UK’s very own Dave Charles, at HFM. It was unusual and even spooky to a certain extent, but great fun – we stood next to Lenin’s Tomb as we chatted away with Dave. We talked about my songs, our Eurovision tune and “la vie” in Moscow. Pure magic!

It’s scary, but just a couple of decades ago, conducting an overseas interview from Soviet Russia with a capitalist world journalist would have been virtually impossible! I do feel incredibly fortunate to have witnessed a tad bit of that era, but I’m even luckier to be alive in a semi-democratic world as a young person. I can say or do whatever I like… well, some of the time! 🙂

As Britney’s new single is playing in the background on Russian MTV (yes, I still watch Russian MTV once every couple of years) and as I’m slowly but surely beginning to realize I haven’t blinked an eye since the madness kicked off, first thing this morning, here’s a quick reminder before I drift off into the night: The official 6-day countdown to the main event has just begun, right here on BTR. So whatever you do, please be sure to keep your eyes on Iceland – you just NEVER know!

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iceland1Tinatin’s self-penned song “Is It True” co-written with Iceland’s Oskar Paul Sveinsson (Bjork, Steps, S Club 7) and my hero Christopher Neil (Celine Dion, Sheena Easton, Mike & the Mechanics) has been chosen as the Icelandic entry for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Moscow May 12!

“Is It True” to be performed by Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir, was chosen from 217 Icelandic entries, which were pared down to 16 songs for a televised heat in January, leading to the national final.

Iceland will compete in the ultimate Eurovision contest against songs written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Diane Warren and Patricia Kaas. All the details of Tina’s journey to the top are on her blog. Tiinatin and Ayhan Sahin have worked together many times and I have reviewed her work in Billboard on several occasions. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

– Chuck Taylor, Billboard Senior Correspondent

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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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