"Tamar Kaprelian's songs take a lesson from Billy Joel, Carole King and Paul McCartney." - Interview

A lot of times I see musicians come out of nowhere only to find out that their uncle’s wife’s brother’s son is really a record producer for a major label. For Tamar Kaprelian, however, she became successful the old fashioned way – talent.

Q – You were discovered when you did a cover of OneRepublic’s “Apologize.” Not only did you cover the song, but the band chose the winner. Describe your feelings when you found out you won.

A - Well, the funny thing about this whole situation is that I recorded the cover of “Apologize” without even knowing that there was an actual contest going on. So when I entered and won, I was shocked!! Winning the contest ended up getting me a meeting at Interscope Records, which led to me signing with Interscope, which led to me making the record that I always dreamed of making.

Q – Even though this was an overnight thing, you have actually been writing music for a while now. How and when did you get started in music?

A - I've been writing music for a very, very long time. I really started to hone in my craft as a songwriter when I was 17. A couple years back, I was fortunate enough to have the chance to work with some of the best songwriters in the world - Kara DioGuardi, Ben Moody, David Hodges - and from those sessions, I learned the importance of a great hook and a great lyric.

Q – Adding to the contest, which helped give you notoriety via YouTube, your single “New Day” was featured on MTV's “The Hills” in the Season Five finale. It was also the theme song for “Feeding America's Drive Out Hunger Tour,” which you performed in 30 cities in 30 days. This all happened without even putting out an album, right?

A - Yes. All those opportunities came to the table really organically. The feature on “The Hills” came about after one of the producers of the show heard the song and really connected to it. “The Drive Out Hunger Tour” was an opportunity that the Cheesecake Factory (a former employer of mine) brought to the table and asked me to be a part of. They were all pieces to a big puzzle.

Q – What was the response like from the song?

A - “New Day” is a song about overcoming struggle and finding an inner-calm and peace out of a negative situation. It's really nice to see people connecting to something that I wrote my life experiences about and see them applying it to their own. It makes what I do really gratifying.

Q – Did you life change from it or were you able to stay somewhat grounded?

A - I think it's very important to stay humble and grounded - never take things for granted.

Q – Your debut album comes out this year through Interscope Records and the songs were co-written by OneRepublic’s Brent Kutzle and Ryan Tedder. Was this part of winning the contest?

A - The collaboration wasn't a part of the contest. I met Ryan and Brent after one of their shows in San Diego and a couple months later, ended up getting into a room with them and writing. The song we wrote together, “Sinner or a Saint,” is now the title of the album.

Q – How exciting was it to work with the guys from OneRepublic?

A - It was a really cool process. Both Ryan and Brent are insanely talented and I learned so much from that session.

Q – What did you learn the most from them?

A - Speed. The importance and the art of writing a song quickly.

Q – What’s the album going to be like?

A - The album is an honest, smart, and sexy interpretation of all the pop music that inspired me growing up. Classic 70's singer/songwriters from Billy Joel to Carole King to Paul McCartney. It’s a hopeful record. Classy too.

Q – Will there be a tour with the album?

A - Definitely! Working out all those details as we speak.

Q – Anything you wanted to add?

A - Dream. And dream BIG. Nothing is impossible when you believe in it and you stay focused.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.

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