Artist Interview – TINA

TINA is a talented singer, songwriter, actress, model and dancer from New Jersey, USA. Despite her increasingly busy schedule she kindly agreed to complete a feature artist interview for Essential Pop. Read the full interview below and find out about her time on the Style Network’s “Jerseylicious”, her academic achievements and how she helped to teach Ringo Starr to play the tabla!





Q: What is your musical background?
I’m a singer/songwriter, tabla player, guitarist, dancer, actress, and VJ.  I grew up performing in seven different languages with my family since the age of five, and then got a record deal while graduating from college with a bio degree! Since then I have been fortunate enough to work with everyone from Ringo Starr and Dave Stewart, to Fat Joe and Timbaland! I’ve had songs on lots of Hollywood soundtracks like Around The World in 80 Days, Christmas With the Kranks, Ice Princess and more, and the making of my music video for my latest single “So Good” featuring FAT JOE, was just featured on an episode of The Style Network’s “Jerseylicious”!


Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was the biggest year of my career  yet!! The Style Network’s hit show “Jerseylicious” had me on a whole episode to cover the release of my music video “So Good” featuring Fat Joe!  The episode (called “Glam Fairy Fallout”) received great response, and my single “So Good” is just beginning to hit radio! I got to open for artists such as Ludacris, B.o.B, and Ying Yang Twins, and I’ve been lucky enough to participate in some huge charitable events and give back in a major way! 2010 was simply amazing.




Q: Who inspires you musically?
My family! I grew up performing with my mom, dad, and older sister every weekend since I was five. While other kids would have their friends’ b-day parties on the weekends, I would be traveling to some huge Bollywood party to perform in seven different languages with my family! Hearing their voices at our shows as well as around our house all the time has always inspired me. I was raised constantly surrounded by music, and was taught that music is a way to make people smile, and uplift their moods, and bring the masses together! That’s probably why I am involved in so many charitable events now, and am touring high schools to make students realize how incredibly beautiful they all are!


Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
I think Shakira and I could do something really interesting and fun together ! I sing, dance, play tabla (Indian drum), guitar and more and so I think we could do a mainstream Bollywood meets Belly Dance…all with a pop/urban flair.




Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I should probably say that I sit on the beach and watch the waves  for inspiration, and just wait until a song just pops into my head! Lol! But that’s not the case! I’ve always been a straight-A student, and so writing a song is more like a really fun assignment for me. If we need a song, I will write it and get it done when it needs to be done! Luckily I play several instruments so a song can start with a wicked drum/tabla beat, or a few guitar chords, a melody in my head, a lyrical idea, and more!


Q: Where are you based?
Where ever my suitcase is!  Lately, I’ve been all over the place! Opening for Ludacris in Atlanta, hanging with the cast of “Jerseylicious” in New Jersey since they just featured me on an episode, Philly since that’s where part of the Timbaland Productions family is, and of course Cali and NY since there is just so much of the music biz happening in those spots!


Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I would have to say getting called to Ringo Starr’s house to sing and play drums on his album was a huge highlight! There is actually video of me showing Ringo how the tabla (Indian drum) is played on my youtube. He is absolutely hysterical in the video! Ringo even called me back a few weeks later as a “thanks” for being on the album, and there was even unbelievable home-cooked Indian food! He is totally beautiful and humble, and it was an absolute honor!


Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I want to gain a massive fan base so that I can give back in a massive way. I know that’s a very “Miss America” answer, but it’s the truth! When you have a voice that can reach a large amount of people, there is nothing better than using that voice to give back. I do a lot of charitable work, and I know the bigger I get, the bigger I can give!


Q: What do you do to relax?
Relax? What does that mean?  This past year has made me realize that the harder I work, the more “luck” I seem to have! On the rare time off I do take, I love relaxing with some jack-on-the-rocks and a really good NFL game.


Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I would love them to know that I graduated college with an honors Biology degree. When I graduated, I got a record deal as well since I was pursuing both academics and music at the same time. Point being, you really can do it all, and you don’t have to give up school for music, or music for school! Balance is key! I also have to thank everyone for the support with my new single. The love on my Facebook, Twitter, etc etc has been overwhelming! THANKS!!


Editor’s Note: TINA has an array of artistic talents that few artists in the music industry can match. Whether it be on television, on the radio or at a live show 2011 will undoubtedly be a continuing success for TINA as she gains more exposure and fans worldwide.


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