Armenian public broadcaster ARMTV continues revealing the names of Genealogy super group members. We have already half of the group formed! Essaï Altounian (France), Tamar Kaprelian(U.S.A) and Vahe Tilbian (Ethiopia) are already officially confirmed to represent Armenia in Eurovision 2015. We caught up with amazing Tamar Kaprelian, whose participation was announced last week.
Dear Tamar, let us first of all congratulate you for being officially confirmed member of Genealogy, the super group which will represent Armenia this year in Vienna. Tell us about your feelings about that!
- TAMAR: Thank you! Being a part of Eurovision feels absolutely incredible and I am beyond honored to be representing my country—Armenia. Eurovision has a legacy of introducing an extremely talented collection of artists to audiences worldwide, and I feel blessed to be amongst artists of such great caliber.
We know you were born in the States and you started your career there. Please tell us more about yourself and your career as a singer in USA.
- TAMAR: Simply put, I am an American-Armenian singer-songwriter. I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, but currently live in the amazing city of New York. There is an indescribable creative energy being in New York that has helped my artistry a great deal. I started writing music when I was 14, but picked up piano (by ear) at the age of 17. I grew up listening to the records that my father played in the house. One of my most distinct childhood memories is listening to him play Billy Joel’s “Lullaby,” on the piano, at nights. This was an attempt to put my brother and I to sleep when we were restless. But there was (and still is) something about Billy Joel’s music that made me want to create and write music myself. I grew up wanting to emulate the classic songwriters of the 60’s and 70’s—Paul McCartney, ABBA, Elton John and Carole King. I would listen to their records endlessly and study their lyrics and song structures. In my opinion, those two eras were the Golden Age for song and melody and I always had (and still have) this innate desire to bring that type of songwriting back, where songs aren’t merely cool because of their fancy productions, but are great even when they are stripped down to merely a single instrument and a voice.
Tell us about your experience in collaborating with famous American or Armenian artists!
- TAMAR: I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and work with numerous talented songwriters and producers, including Ben Moody and David Hodges of Evanescence; Ryan Tedder of One Republic; Dave Stewart of Eurythmics—just to name a few. One person I have actually always wanted to collaborate with Serj Tankian of System of a Down. He is such a talented writer, composer and poet. I’ll hopefully be meeting him later this year, and am very excited about that.
Dear Tamar, it’s not a secret that many Eurovision fans around the world dreamed to see you in the contest since Armenia started participating, and it’s finally a reality! Have you been following Eurovision Song Contest? Do you have any favorite songs and singers?
- TAMAR: I grew up watching Eurovision. My entire family is obsessed with the show. Every year, they stay up until 2 in the morning just to watch. To be a part of Eurovision this year is very exciting on numerous levels. My favorite Eurovision artist of all time is ABBA (1974), when they won the contest with their song “Waterloo.” Again, this takes me back to my roots—the soulful songwriters of the 60’s and 70’s.
What is your personal vision of Genealogy and the Armenian song “Don’t Deny” this year?
- TAMAR: Eurovision’s theme this year is about “building bridges” and I think that we are (as a group) defining and interpreting what “building bridges” means to us. All six members of Genealogy represent a different aspect of the Armenian diaspora. We all live in different continents, but are connected by our heritage and our culture. And I truly believe that is what’s amazing about this contest, in general, is that it allows people of all backgrounds, of all religions, of all cultures the opportunity to share a stage and to come together through music. What is more amazing than that?
And finally, what will be your message to our readers and your fans around the world?
- TAMAR: My message to readers: First of all, if I haven’t said it already, I am elated to be sharing the stage with many different singers and songwriters from different backgrounds. Secondly, if you have not had a chance to check out my music, please do so on Youtube and on iTunes. I will be releasing new music in May 2015, however, I released an album in 2010 titled “Sinner or a Saint” and an EP in 2012 titled “California”—check those out! Also, follow me on social media! This way you can learn much more about who I am both personally and artistically. My Twitter handle is: TamarKaprelian. My Instagram handle is: Tamarmusic. I’m looking forward to performing for you all in Vienna!
Give a listen to Tamar’s famous songs below: