Tina Arena

For 40 years, Tina Arena‘s music has always been present within Australian pop culture. Every album she’s ever released has either gone gold, platinum or multi-platinum, always reaching incredible achievements throughout her successful career.

I recently witnessed Tina Arena’s talent as she appeared on stage with Client Liaison at Splendour In The Grass last month. Joining the band for “A Foreign Affair”, the Client Liaison track she features on, following up with her track “Sorrento Moon” and Womack & Womack’s “Teardrops”, Tina Arena showed the crowd of 25,000 why she’s considered an Australian pop icon.

Ahead of her National tour in September, where she’ll be visiting Newcastle, I had the opportunity to ask the pop icon a few questions.

I managed to catch your guest appearance during Client Liaison’s set at Splendour In The Grass last month, it was incredible! What was it like to work with Client Liaison?
Thank-you! I’m sure you can guess by looking at them! It was a lot of fun, underneath all the bravado and quirky fashion are very talented musicians. I love everything about them, the music, the concept, the visuals the humour – their sets are just so much fun. They sent the 80s limo to collect me from the airport which was quite embarrassing, haha. Their off-white-limousine is very kitsch and it took me back to the 80s.

You’re celebrating 40 years of being a recording artist with the release of Greatest Hits and Interpretations. The second disk, “Reimagine” features a lot of emerging talent. How important do you think it is for these artists to be given an opportunity like this?
Well there are quite a few artists who didn’t need any opportunities from being on my album – Jimmy Barnes and Dannii Minogue, Jess Mauboy, The Veronica’s, Clare Bowen, Katie Noonan, Kate Miller-Heike they’re all established and really accomplished entertainers. There were a few more emerging talents like David Thibault and Ainslie Wills and Ben Abraham, so if being on my album can help them in any way I’d be thrilled. Conversely, I’m lucky to have them as they bring a different audience and different sonics to my album. I think what was beautiful about this record is it wasn’t contrived it just kind of grew organically and is a really well rounded album. I hope I get to perform live versions with them sometime.

Are there any other artists you wished to include on the CD?
No, I think the album is just right. There are certainly artists I’d love to collaborate with in the future. I love Barbara Stresiand, I love Chris Martin.. loads of artists..

What was it like to hear the different renditions of your tracks?
Honestly… it was a real thrill. It gave me a new appreciation for those songs. The very first one I heard was Clare Bowen (from TV series Nashville), and I got quite emotional when I heard it.

Many Australians have known you since your days on Young Talent Time, landing the nickname “Tiny Tina”. How has being in the spotlight from such a young age affected you?
It’s a difficult question to answer as it’s all I’ve ever known really. My life has been an incredible journey. There have been the downsides and the low times but I think you have that with any career and any life…

Do you wish you had done anything differently?
No, I’m pretty comfortable with how everything has played out so far.

You’ve said before that you’ve always been your harshest critic, how does this limit and/or benefit you in the creative process of writing and producing music?
I tend to write in blocks, I’m not someone who writes a song every week. I block out a few months and write my albums. I think it’s good to have high standards and it’s okay to be a critic of your own work…. I’ve written or co-written everything since “Don’t Ask” and I’m really proud of that.

We’ll see you in Newcastle! Thanks again for making time for us, and thank you for all the wonderful music you’ve shared with the world!
Great come along, these will be my last concerts for a while – the show is shaping up so well. The band are incredible, we’re playing all the hits, the lighting and production is great and there are lots of fashion moments…  It’s a real celebration.

Tina Arena is playing at Civic Theatre, Newcastle on Tuesday 12th September. Tickets are selling fast! You can grab yours through Ticketek (132 849) or the Civic Theatre Box Office (49 29 1977)