INTERVIEW | Tara McDonald21st August 2012
You will most likely know Tara McDonald’s powerhouse vocals from the high energy hit (now Anthem) ‘My My My’ and David Guetta’s ‘Delirious’ but Tara Donald is unique in a world of Pop Princesses. Her distinctive vocals over shadow those of her contemporaries and her creativity could possibly leave Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Jessie J and Katy Perry a little weary… We met up with the busiest lady in Pop to talk about her music and her upcoming performance at Manchester Pride.
Ok… Your video for your brand new single Give Me More – is amazing.. Talk us through the inspiration behind the video and song?
Give More More is a real blend of dance styles, its got electro beats a touch of dubstep and pop sensibilities. The song is quite sexual the lyrics are so tongue in cheek that it’s not crude and it’s a song that I wanted to have fun with, the whole thing is a flirt from start to finish. The video focuses on three themes give me more food, give me more money and give me more sex and I was really influenced by the work of Tim Burton so the video has quite a dark eerie feel even though its bright and colourful. I play a modern day Alice in Wonderland who is always “curious and curiouser” and so always wanting more.
It’s very Britney/ Katy Perry /Jessie/Gaga – what do you think of any comparisons to those ladies?
I love that comparison as I respect all the ladies you mentioned above! Thank you <3
You are English, but have found major success in continental Europe, do you think it’s harder to break the UK market, or was concentrating on a European profile more important to you?
Starting my solo project from Continental Europe was a conscious decision as my last record releases were supported more in Europe than the UK. I had a big track that I wrote with David Guetta called “Delirious” which was a hit all over Europe but wasn’t released as a single in the UK, this really boosted my profile across the pond and at the beginning of this year I signed my first major record deal with Mercury/Universal which has been a life long dream and now I finally get to make my own album. I wouldn’t say signing a deal in Europe is easier than the UK, its just that I had more recognition over there and that made it easier for me begin my project there. Its crazy as the single is out in 6 countries and my debut album will be released around the end of this year.
Will 2012 be the year of Tara McDonald on home ground?
I would love that of course, I’m just concentrating on making my album and taking each day as it comes but I’m working my arse off and I’m very ambitious there’s so much I want to do and I’m ready to put the work in. This is no over night success, I have been making dance music for the last 10 years and so to finally have my own album signed is a dream come true.
Your smash hit My My My is still played today how does it make you feel if you hear it in a club?
It still feels really special to me. In the UK My My My is my best known record to date and I feel really proud of it. To work with Armand van Helden was amazing and the fact that this track is still getting loves today is incredible as times change so quickly. I guess its become a bit of a club anthem 🙂
How did My My My come about?
I was approached by Armand’s label after they heard me sing the Axwell record “Feel the Vibe (til the morning comes)” This was my first record that did well commercially and was a break through track for both me and Axwell. I had written the song about wanting to forget my troubles on the dance floor and luckily we got great radio support on the track so finally I was on the map as a vocalist and that was my lucky break that really opened new doors for me. Axwell’s label were nervous about having me as the vocalist on the track as I was initially just pitching the song from a writing perspective but had sung on the demo which they liked, I had to prove to them I was capable of promoting the record. Luckily I had worked with Planet Funk the year prior and had some good TV footage from an MTV festival in Ibiza when I was singing “Chase the Sun” which gave them the courage to take a risk on me as an unknown name.
Talk us through the writing process, you’ve written with some impressive names!
The way I look at songwriting is very simple, its all about the vibe, inspiration and going with your heart. It can take courage to trust in yourself sometimes but you have to go with your gut instinct and just see where it leads you. Not everything that I write is great, I’ve learnt to constructive and keep an open mind. I love to collaborate with writers and sometimes two heads are better than one and you give yourself a higher quality control as in a collective effort everyone has to be happy with the results.
Is the rest of your forthcoming album going to be like Give Me More?
My album is a real mix of everything I love, it’s really inspired by my love of EDM, lots of dance beats and hopefully infectious hooks. I talk about things that are happening in my life, love, sex, money but its fun and its real. I’m aiming to make an album that can cross over from the radio to the dance floor and there will be some unexpected features on the album too. I say unexpected as I haven’t finished the project yet 😀
Any crazy fan stories?
My fans are just so gorgeous! I love them so much. I call them my stars, they have started calling me star mother or mother star which I’m not 100% into but it’s really sweet. It started as my name Tara is Irish and means star so I started wearing stars as a sticker on my face then some fans started turning up wearing them too and then I was literally seeing stars everywhere…so my fans are my stars now. I wouldn’t say I have crazy fan stories only great moments. I did have a guy who followed me from gig to gig one week. I saw him in the front row in Egypt and then the next day he was at the front row of a show in Moscow, I recognised him and got him on stage, he said he came all that way to give me a red rose. I was so touched. Who says romance is dead!
Who are your musical inspirations?
My number one is Freddie Mercury, he is like an idol to me really. He was the complete package, a brave and determined artist, performer and really was someone that artistically made a lot of risks. Can you imagine a rock band making a track like “Bohemian Rhapsody today? I also really respect the reigning Queen Madonna, to remain relevant after all this time is something that I admire and totally respect.
You’re performing at Manchester Pride next week – have you performed at Prides before?
I have performed at Pride’s before, but this will be my first Manchester Pride and so I’m really excited about that and its also going to be the first time that I perform “Give Me More” live in the UK and I have heard that Manchester pride is crazy, I can’t wait!
Are we seeing the birth of a gay icon here?
I would LOVE that, I mean who doesn’t want to be a gay icon??
Here here… Well you can catch Tara McDonald in all her glory at Manchester Pride.