Hot Interview Alert: Tatiana Discusses Her New Single, Her Accent, Single #2 and more!
These next couple weeks are certainly going to be quite the whirlwind for singer/songwriter Tatiana Okupnik -AKA Tatiana. Tatiana released her official debut single, "Spider Web" this past week. "Spider Web" is Tatiana's debut UK single and the title track off her album, which is due out in two weeks on May 1st. Her album blends pop, jazz and R&B - at times sounding a bit like Amy Winehouse - but mostly staying true to herself. Tatiana has been busy in London promoting her single (UK fans can download it HERE) and she took a few moments to answer some of my questions.
MIMKSB: Hi Tatiana! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of my questions today. Congratulations on the release of your first UK single, "Spider Web."
TATIANA: Hi Jamie and Thank you! The 18th of April will be my special day. The date of my first international release. Spider web is out there and you can make it yours just by clicking http://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/tatiana/id429348352. Am I being too pushy?
MIMKSB: You’ve had considerable success in Poland, first with Blue Café and ultimately as a solo artist. What would you say, are the biggest differences between the Polish music scene and the UK music scene?
T: I'd say the main difference is the number of platforms you can present your music on. In the UK there are more festivals, more music shows you can take part in. One of my favourites is Later...with Jools Holland. Opening Time Out magazine you see how many options every music lover has got for the weekend. We're not talking only about the mainstream. This is what I love about London. I'd say that the competition is bigger in the UK. But hey, we all love a little bit of adrenaline. Don't we?
MIMKSB: Do you have any concerns or worries about launching yourself in Europe? As you’ve said, London is the capital of the European music business, whereas Poland is a little bit more isolated – musically speaking.
T: No concerns at all! Rather the excitement. I always wanted to put myself to the ultimate test. Performing in front of the audience abroad of Poland, in front of people that don't know me from my previous work is very challenging.
MIMKSB: You’ve listed amongst your influences: Janis Joplin, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Robert Plant – all of whom are legendary. Are there any contemporary artists on radio today that you admire?
T: Of course! Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Jessie J, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dog, Jamie Cullum, Michael Buble, George Michael, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Amy Winehouse, Raphael Saadiq... I could go on and on.
MIMKSB: I can’t help but notice you have a beautiful accent when you sing. I also know that you’re fluent in English, French and Spanish. Is your accent something that you ever worry about coming through in your music, especially as you launch yourself in an English speaking market? Personally, I think it adds certain richness to your sound.
T: always have a bit of an accent cause I wasn't born in an English spoken country. I do not worry that you can hear it in my music. I consider it as putting my stamp on the track. Making it Tatiana's.
MIMKSB: What was it like working with Tim Hutton? I know he frequently collaborated with Groove Armada (Andy Cato & Tom Findlay) who are known for their more electronic sounds. Are you a fan of electronic music? I can’t help but notice “Spider Web” has been remixed for the dance clubs…did you have anything to do with that decision?
T: I am not a huge fan of the electronic sound. I love to have my songs remixed. I think it gives a different angle to a song and a little bit of a boost sometimes. Working with Tim was great cause we both love to... eat. From our time in the studio I remember juicy sessions and juicy burgers.
MIMKSB: Are there any producers that you’d like to work with in the future?
T: There are some people I want to work with but I don't want to mention their names at the moment not to spoil the negotiations. I'll let you know when I start working with them. Might happen pretty soon.
MIKSB: It sounds like dance radio all over the world is really embracing “Spider Web,” including here in the U.S. How does it feel to have an impact across the Atlantic and in Australia without having even promoted your music here?
T: It is amazing and it gives you such a thrill. I would love to jump on the plane with my band right away and perform in these places;-) It is so rewarding when you hear such good news. To everybody out there promoting Tatiana - DON'T STOP DOING IT! Being Polish, Living in London and being interviewed for example by an Australian radio or US blogger... It just makes me smile and feel proud of where I am at the moment musically. But don't tell anyone as they will say I'm not a humble person at all.
MIMKSB: I realize that “Spider Web” just came out in the UK, but have you thought about single #2 yet?
T: I haven't only thought about it. I know which one's gonna be my next single. 'Been a Fool' is the one. I love this track! That was the first song I recorded with Tim Hutton. I think it's big. Hopefully somebody else will share my view on this track.
MIMKSB: Tatiana, thank you again for your time. I am absolutely loving your debut album and can’t wait to hear more from you in the future.
T: Thank you for you support. We need to meet! I owe you a big kiss! Maybe one won't be enough...
Amazing! I absolutely love "Been A Fool" as the official second single, although I wouldn't have minded seeing "Sky Is Red" or "Supersize Love" as a single either but all in due time I suppose. Speaking of "Been A Fool," check out this interview that Tatiana did on April 19th on BBC Radio 4's Woman Hour. Now I'm not suggesting that you skip forward at all (because then you'd miss her lovely accent!) but at the 7:13 marker, she sings her official second single, "Been A Fool" and sounds absolutely amazing. Tatiana dedicated the performance to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who happened to be in London. Tatiana is a talented artist and I wish her nothing but continued success in the UK and around the world. Here's hoping she brings her talents stateside at some point down the line.