Monday, February 8, 2016

Tiffany: 'Doing love ballads is a lot of work' Mike Nunez, For FLORIDA TODAY 4:15 p.m. EST February 2, 2016

'80s pop princess best known for “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Could’ve Been.”

Pop princess Tiffany, the '80s icon scored back-to-back hits and No. 1 singles with “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Could’ve Been” at only 16 years old. Those were soon followed by Top 40 hits: “I Saw Him Standing There” and “All This Time” along with other hits just outside the Top 40. Now Tiffany, at 44, is wrapping up her latest album, "A Million Miles," which comes out March 31.
With the mall tours that made her famous in the 1980s behind her and a son (Elijah) graduated from college, Tiffany’s music lives on. “I like to challenge myself and see what boundaries I can push and see what I can accomplish as an artist,” she tells me.
I spoke with Tiffany about her new album, her style of music through the years and her first foray into co-producing. So let’s “Shake, Rattle & Know”: Tiffany
QUESTION: When I interviewed you a couple of years ago, you expressed your desire to explore different types of music. Your "Rose Tattoo" album explored more of the country music side. What will the new album explore?
ANSWER: I have always wanted to do something that would showcase my voice. That is something I have wanted to do on all my records and always had love ballads that did that. It is hard to do when you tour so much because it is demanding, though. I created this album with the “evening” in mind; what would an intimate show setting be like with Tiffany? I wanted to create an atmosphere. I still do the songs you will remember from the '80s during my show, but I wanted to offer a more intimate setting. I wanted to create the type of night music I would want to go to myself. A lot of the songs on the new record are piano-driven songs, and I just sing. Lyrically the songs are about my life and a lot of what has been going on the last five years of my life, the passing of friends and changes in life. Vocally, it is still in that pop-indie vein, but it’s a very different album for me.
Q: What genre do you feel most comfortable singing?
A: Really, I am comfortable in all of them. Doing love ballads is a lot of work, though; if you don’t hit those power notes, everyone knows it. You can’t hide mistakes like you can when singing rock or even pop. When singing ballads, you are so much more exposed, and I wasn’t so disciplined when I was younger. Now, I treasure that. I think my shining moment is in singer/songwriter land. When I was younger, I may have recorded music that I might not have always been comfortable with, but now I don’t compromise myself.
Q: Just like a child actor who becomes famous for a certain role and then has trouble transitioning into adult roles, did that happen for you as a singer as well?
A: Oh, yeah. Unless you just forfeit or abandon your talent you should not be punished just for growing up. The fans aren’t the ones who do it, they stand by you. It is the industry that does it to you. The industry limits you and that is just not right, especially to artists that love what they do. It can be harsh. Some can’t handle it, but I was lucky that I just kept going anyway. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “well, this could be a great song or a big hit, if it wasn’t Tiffany.” I don’t let it get me or get depressed. My dreams came true, and they will come true again. You just have to have an open mind and keep doing what you love. I am lucky to be working with people who believe in me and I will just build again.
Q: Since we last spoke, you closed your boutique clothing store in Nashville. Did you close the store so you can focus more on your music?
A: I did. The charm of the store was that customers or fans could come in and have a shopping experience with me personally. With me being gone so much recording and touring soon, I knew the experience would not be the same, and I did not want to do that to people. I am going to focus on touring and we will have a Tiffany Boutique truck so we can bring that shopping experience to the fans. I will still have a lot of the vintage pieces the shop was known for and the same specialty designs, but the experience will be cooler and will be mobile. Fans might not have been able to come to Nashville to visit the shop, so now we can bring the shop to them.
Q: What drives you the most these days?
A: My love of music. It is my identity. I am a mom and a wife now and an aunt to twins. I have great family and friends and my life is great, and the music really helps make up who I am. I love creating. I am also proud to be a businesswoman and as co-producer of the album it is me in the driver’s seat. I am designing my life and a part of the day-to-day operations. There is so much more I still want to accomplish and I realize I have to have my head in more than just the studio to make it happen. I love doing the sci-fi movies I have been in, I love music, and I want to see where everything takes me. I feel I am still a blank canvas and there is so much more to come. When I first started out and doing the mall tours, I was a blank canvas then, and no one else had ever done something like that. We had something to run with and there were no limits. I still feel like there are no limits on what can be accomplished.
Q: Outside of music, what do you do to unwind?
A: Yoga. I like to write in my journal. I love to cook. I love to spend time with my family and friends. I have 8 dogs, so I am very much a dog person. I like chilling out and I just like being. I like to relax and unwind and just turn my phone off and let the world go sometimes. Sometimes you have to do those things so you don’t burn out. I love spending time with nature and just being me.
Q: You once told me doing a movie score is on your musical bucket list. Are you close to that dream?
A: I think so. Co-producing this album is a first for me and is a great learning experience in music. I don’t really play any instruments so it doesn’t come natural for me. My instrument is my voice. I play a little piano, but I need a lot of practice. As a producer, I hear ideas and I am stepping into new realms. I am an “ideas” person and working with Steven Lieweke. I have learned so much and believe this album will branch me off into other things.
Q: How important is social media to an artist today?
A: It is very important. I have never been great at it and consider myself a late-comer to the game. Technology-wise there is so much that I have to rely on people to help me with that because it is so important. I am lucky to be working with Pledge music now because they help with all of that. They value their artists, and they help with the media. Because they are media-driven it is golden. They expose you to a million hits a week. The opportunities have made me look at it from a different perspective, and I have to rise to the occasion. I am on Twitter more now, and I am enjoying it. I notice the fans enjoy it, too, and it allows people into my world and into the making of this record.
If you have an artist/band you’d like to recommend for review, contact Nunez at of follow Mike on Twitter: @srkmusicflorida
The details
For more information on Tiffany, visit To pre-order the "A Million Miles" CD and for other special offers, visit Send a Tweet to@tiffanytunes
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