" Tamara is a fantastic talent...I'm a big fan of her writing and singing...always refreshing to hear a new sound and style of music in a world full of homogeneous singers. 60 Seconds is still one of my favourite songs, and looking forward to her new CD." - Steve Sexton, Composer (John Williams, Anne Murray, David Foster)
CD RELEASE - 'Changing Lanes'
FRONT PAGE NORTH YORK MIRROR
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, 2010
Female Solo Artist Tamara Miller Interview
Listen to Tamara Miller '60 Seconds' on MakeAStar.com
MAS: Congratulations Tamara Miller for your song ’60 Seconds’ and the win in the July Female Solo Artist Contest! Tell us how you got started as a singer and how your recording career began.
Tamara: I began playing taking classical piano lessons at six. I loved playing classical music, but I was always more interested in composing and playing contemporary music. I also loved composing pieces for piano and voice and loved to sing! I continued my musical studies at York University in Toronto, where I was awarded an entrance scholarship to attend the Faculty of Fine Arts at the age of 18. I enrolled in a songwriting course that allowed me to experiment. For the final assignment, we had to compose an original piece of music and perform the song for the class. It was such a wonderful experience and it was at that point during my studies that the light bulb went off; this was something that I wanted to do. I began performing my music in various live shows, released my EP – 60 Seconds in 2008, produced by Juno Award winner Ron Lopata (Jacksoul, Simon Wilcox). The CD has been featured on CBC Radio and on community-campus radio stations across Canada. I was also very excited to have my song “60 Seconds” featured on the hit teen drama series, Degrassi: The Next Generation - airing across Canada, US and worldwide.
MAS: That is a stunning accomplishment and well deserved. How did you develop your sound? Are you the primary songwriter, or is it collaborative?
Tamara: I am often the primary songwriter, but I also really enjoy collaborating with other musicians. I think it’s a fantastic way to see what other people are doing, how other people write, and find different ways of saying the same thing. Sometimes I think artists can get stuck in the same “style of writing” if you are always writing by yourself in the same environment. Co-writing is an excellent way to find new inspiration. I think I developed my sound along the way of studying classical music and finding what inspires me to write (from traveling, to walking by a large open lake, to watching a film etc..). I write and play what comes naturally to me and go from there! I have found that it’s really important to stick to my instincts and stay true to what I want to express.
MAS: What’s the story behind the song you’ve entered in the Make A Star contest?
Tamara: The song that I entered into the Make A Star contest is entitled “60 Seconds” - the title track to my latest CD “60 Seconds,” This is a song about making it on your own, leaving the past behind, and moving forward. I believe 60 Seconds is a journey that all of us at some point in our lives have taken.
MAS: Beautifully expressed- you won by judge and fan votes. How does MakeAStar.com compare with other websites for music fans and musicians?
Tamara: MakeAStar.com is a fantastic medium for artists to learn about each others' work and for fans from all around the world to become involved in their success! It’s great exposure for artists and for fans to find new music. It just goes to show the amazing impact of the internet and its importance in the music industry. There are so many music sites out there, but I think MakeAStar.com stands out in that it really supports the independent artist and I just love the incentives of points/gift cards for voting for your favorite artist!
MAS: Which musical influences have other people compared you to?
Tamara: I have often been compared to Natalie Merchant and Chantal Kreviazuk.
MAS: What sets you apart from other artists in your genre?
Tamara: I believe I have a unique soft-pop sound both in my music and voice. Sometimes I get “your song can go country” or ... “you remind me of this teen pop star” or... “I can hear your song in a Disney film.” It’s so flattering to hear that so many different age groups/ people feel that my music can be marketed in various ways. It’s such a wonderful compliment, and I am just so thankful to be able to share my music. I really enjoy chatting with fans on Facebook so be sure to look me up!
MAS: Who do you get inspiration from or wish to emulate in music and life?
Tamara: My inspiration can come from anywhere at any time! Just last week I picked up a beautiful art book called “Great Escapes Italy.” Immediately, I melted with so many beautiful pictures of Tuscany. I taught music in Italy one summer and it was so nostalgic to look at these photographs. Seeing these beautiful wooden benches, giant fig trees, fresh basil (I love basil :) -- I immediately got flashbacks to my time back in Italy that I forgot about until I saw the picture. I was immediately inspired with these delicious photographs and uplifted from these pages - It’s almost like seeing an old diary you haven’t picked up in a long time. Anything from watching a film, attending a concert, photography -- all these things inspire me to think.. and then I simply need to write. I love exploring and the curiosity in that inspiration makes me want to play music and express what I’m feeling. I simply have to get it out! :)
MAS: Who were your favourite musicians as a child?
Tamara: I attended camp for many years and I always loved the sing-songs (sitting around a campfire and singing a bunch of classic songs from -- If I had a Hammer,Dreamer, to James Taylor...I loved all the classics! I also loved listening to music from plays such as “Little Shop of Horrors” “Les Miserables” “Phantom of the Opera” - and played with various sounds on my keyboard to arrange the pieces - loved to explore with the synthesizer!
MAS: What is the best and worst part about being a musician?
Tamara: I think the best part about being a musician is being able to sit down at a piano or pick up a guitar and just relax and play. I love where the music takes me. It’s so nice to be able to share my music with others. Another great part about being a musician is being able to create something from scratch, watch it develop, and take it outside the “creation room” where it first began and play it for others- that’s the greatest feeling in the world. Being able to create something that no one else has created is itself very rewarding. I love seeing where the music will take me next! It is a tough business, but I think if you have the drive, love, and will to keep going, there’s really nothing that anyone can do to get in your way - just stay focused!
MAS: Thank you Tamara Miller for your eloquent words and music. Now tell us something completely random.
Tamara: I love melting chocolate in the microwave and dipping it in fruit!
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