Friday, October 24, 2008

The Aftermath

Are apologies in order on my part?

Yesterday I openly shared my excitement about "Thinking of Someone Else" approaching the Top 20 slot in the UK on my blog, and my gosh, did I regret doing so shortly afterwards!

A series of comments and immediate feedback from some followed within minutes (thankfully, behind the scenes and not plastered across the myspace wall!) and a lot of the messages, except for a few lovely notes, were surprisingly... Judgmental, if that's the right word?

They say if you want to be successful in any shape or form, you've got to learn to take it all in, good or bad, within your chin up and mouth sealed tightly. So instead I flipped through the private messages with a smile on my face. Or wait, was it me smirking in front of the screen?

To make the long story short, I was reminded that art is only art and not a gamble nor a race for the desperate. Some accused me of over-reacting to a mere Top 20 in the making, "big hairy deal", etc. Funny, truly funny, and taken with vast amount of humor and a big smile on my face.

But deep down, let's be honest, who'd want to be rained upon their ultimate parade in that rare moment of... well, yes, bliss...? Not me, not I!

Initially, I seriously thought about apologizing for making the chart results public, but then I realized there's nothing really worth feeling guilty about.

On a slightly more professional note, I may have said this before but perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind to know exactly what I was referring to. Commercial success of any kind, especially when we decide to make music or any other form of art a career as opposed to a mere hobby can be a very stressful process. In fact, it should be handled like a business, not a creative venture for one's own satisfaction.

The chart results are as important as the quality of of the product itself being marketed every which way in the industry. Not only do our personal egos thrive of commercial success or lack of it, but it's the team of people involved in making this happen that need to see the outcome and always hope for the best results.

Quite frankly, who would want to invest time, money and effort into something they don't believe will ultimately generate income that surpasses the initial advance budget? Again, we can't ignore that music is also a business - even more so now than ever before, as it is shrinking as an industry day by day and those involved in it are, mildly speaking, becoming desperate for that extra bit of dosh.

If you are among those treating any form of art as a hobby rather than a career, that is of course a personal choice, and you can feel free to disagree with all that's been said above by a relative beginner in the field. I am not simply writing based on my limited experience (or arguably, the lack of it) but it's the reaction, the feedback and at the end of the day - reality - of what we have to face in order to either make it or break it in an industry that's unfortunately not at it's best nowadays.

This is all subjective, of course, but the beauty of living outside of the Soviet lock is undoubtedly the freedom of speech!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From 30 to 23 - Backward Mathematics!

"From #30 the week of October 25th onto #23 as of Nov. 1st - Tinatin, Thinking of Someone Else" Music Week's official Pop Chart, UK.

Ecstatic, anxious and, well, keeping my fingers crossed greedily for the Top 20 slot. But humans are greedy by nature, aren't we?

This evening on my way home from a meeting, I walked by an ancient hotel (based on NY standards, of course) on 54th street famous for its lovely breakfast café overlooking the Avenue of the Americas. And it suddenly hit me - just over a year and a half ago, while having brunch with my producer and going through the songs, old and new, he made a quick suggestion.

"Why don't we submit 'Thinking of Someone Else' for Kylie's upcoming album? She'll cut it for sure, and anyway, although it's a hit, I think it may be a bit too poppy for you..." I was distraught? Are we taking the song off an album that's no even made yet, without even giving me a chance with it? "Otherwise we'll sit on it for ages and..." No, no, I couldn't give in, I wouldn't! Even though I knew it was also in my interest as a co-writer to land a potential single on Kylie Minogue's comeback album.

Being stubborn as hell, I refused to give in, and so did my producer - he couldn't be asked arguing about it with a stubborn post-teenage soviet! :-)

A year and a half later, walking past this same place I asked myself if this was one of the few good decisions I've made over the years (not proud to admit it's rare!) ... And this same record producer, Christopher Neil, is in so many ways responsible for "Thinking of Someone Else" now in the UK. Fate? Or persistence? Or both?

Keeping my fingers crossed for next week but not forgetting to multiply this by 100 in the meantime... Gotta build on it and follow it up, otherwise what's the point? No good charting for the sake of charting! At least not in this case........

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sharing is Caring - Is It Really?

A few hours ago, I posted a link to an unknown UK seller's advert for an original Promo Only copy of "Thinking of Someone Else" on ebay.

Yes, some of us may argue that a leak, particularly of a physical copy as opposed to a digital download, could possibly signify interest, for there's never a product that survives certain mediums and formats unless there's real, tangible demand for it out there. Partly true, I agree.

But here's the big dilemma - when you're not an independent artist making your own records, writing your own songs solo and basically doing your own thing without a team behind you, how can you possibly expect to keep everyone happy while your music is getting played - and sold, albeit secretly - behind your back? All it does is promotes you as an artist, and the song gets exposed without allowing you to compensate those who were there to make it happen. Let's face, art is great but it's also a business, especially nowadays.

I have now got my producer, the remixer and co-producer of the track, the co-writers, publishers, etc. who are collectively furious about this - and quite rightly so. For while I'm getting my name and ego exposed all over bit by bit, they are losing out on the royalties.

Is that fair? You tell me.... I'd love to hear your views x

Now on a serious note... voila the charts!

Below are just a few of the pop/club chart links, while in the meantime we're awaiting this week's Music Week UK Chart and the latest results...

Watch this space! :-)

DJ Pages Chart - DMC World

No. 4 - DJ Neil Harland!

No. 13 - DJ Neil Brown

And a little bonus surprise....

"Thinking of Someone Else" on Bear Essentials Mix of Oct. 08 - Pop Remix Mixes of the month by DJ Charlie on iTunes

EBAY? Already? Too, too funny!

An excerpt posted by an Ebay seller:

This is your chance to get hold of this rare 2 track promo cd single by Tinatin, who is a U.N. Radio correspondent in New York !

This cd has been played once but is still in excellent condition and comes supplied in a plastic sleeve wallet which will be well protected for posting.

Includes mixes by Dr Octavo.

Catalogue no. none listed.

Tracklisting : Thinking of someone else

1.Dr Octavo charmix

2.Dr Octavo extended charmix

I always offer postage discounts for multiple purchases.

Please feel free to check out my other items!

Be sure to add me to your favourites list!

Recorded delivery is optional to all UK bidders, buyers from other countries please ask about insurance as 'Airsure' or 'International signed for' can be arranged should you want it.

Proof of posting is always obtained. Good luck with your bidding !

Grab a real bargain !!

direct ebay link

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Song Titles

A close friend of mine asked me to come up with some of my favorite love song titles (for whatever reason, let's not get into that!) and I thought I'd share this random list...
Some of the songs, I'm sure, you know very well... others - check them out online!

In no particular order:

Slow Recovery
Why do you have to be so hard to love
Seduces Me
Right next to the right one
I'm not the man you think I am
Until it's time for you to go
Map to my heart
One day you will
Don't let me be the last to know
If I Had You
Still haven't found what I'm looking for
Same script, different cast
Edyta's song had a lyric "deliver me to the day I get over you" - nice line
I'm gonna find another you
Dreaming with a broken heart
Have you seen me lately
Why they call it falling
Don't think I'm not
I don't trust myself with loving you
I don't think she misses me at all
What are you doing the rest of your life

Have you got a favorite song title to share here...? Anything at all, let's see what we can come up with. Surprise me! :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Early in the Morning...

There is place in Chelsea that I have fallen in love with... Not for any particular reason other than for its resemblance of another equally cozy and unusual place with the same three-digit name that I had so loved in London.

Fashionable duds and charming antiques surround diners at this restaurant nestled within a designer clothing store.

It was the place where I had my breakfast every morning and enjoyed late brunch at weekends in Westbourne Grove... Every waiter, ever item on the limited but exquisite menu, every chair and every table are so familiar though across the ocean, nonetheless.

And now I have discovered the exact same spot in the heart of NY's Chelsea - same menu, same building number (three-digits!) and the identical concept: a clothing shop, a furniture boutique and a lovely cafe/restaurant - all in one! Truly delectable!

Saturday morning over a cup of freshly brewed coffee, orange juice and scrambled eggs with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, a good book, and the one and only Blackberry - just enough to start a new day!

The worst part? My closest of friends I used to have these breakfasts with in London - particularly the one friend (you know who you are) ... they're still in England.

But there's no going back - new friends, new songs and new projects - yet the favorite breakfast place remains the same on both sides of the Atlantic!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Midnight Journey of the Mind...

I have always found writing in solitude, whether it's a song, an article or just a blog, incredibly soothing and relaxing for both mind and soul. If you also manage to play the music you love in the background and let your inner self take over the tangible "you" ....

To me, that's heaven on earth!

It has just gone past 1 a.m. EST, and being a natural "owl" and not an early bird, it's not surprising to find myself in front of the laptop with a cup of tea clutched in my hand, and piles of paperwork and this week's press cuts scattered across the table.

The music in the background? (No, not my own! I wouldn't be able to relax in that case.) "Color Me Kubrick" movie soundtrack is anything but commercial and dull (no, the two don't always go hand in hand!) although it does require a certain degree of concentration, peace and quiet. Granted!

Nothing gives me more satisfaction in my rare moment's of complete solitude like spending an hour flipping through brand new music, as well as previously undiscovered and perhaps not so commercially successful songs and artists and downloading the selection onto my iPod. I get almost as excited as I used to when I was a little girl, driving with Dad to the out-of-town record story in Russia ever other weekend to purchase the latest releases from the "capitalist world".

Do you ever come across a song that you really didn't like before and totally dismissed upon hearing it initially, but years later realize it's a real gem? That's precisely what I went through this evening as I listened to all sorts of records I've owned for years but never really took the time to "get into". And I suppose that's when you realize it's so worth making music, doing what you love the most, even though sometimes it's hard and next to impossible - like banging your head against the wall until you finally get your message across after trying relentlessly for so long.

Just before I started writing this blog, I watched a music video on youtube that really had inspired me on so many levels as a child, it's staggering! It was filmed in a recording studio in the early 90's and there's a puppy in the video - attending the session! - that I had so envied as a little girl, wishing I were him for an hour or two. I was fascinated by the concept of recording and the equipment took my breath away - it was so unlike anything else we had seen on MTV prior to that. One of those moments when you say to yourself: "This is it, that's what I want to do for the rest of my life!"

Of course it doesn't always work out that way, but when it does, albeit very rarely and perhaps not 100% according to the plan, there's nothing more gratifying for the soul and generally for the "inner child" whom we owe so much of our dreams, aspirations and where we are today - the reality at present.

So many of my friends wanted to become doctors, teachers, actresses and policemen when I was a kid. Whereas some of them had absolutely no idea what they wanted to do when they grew up.

For me, on the other hand, there was never a plan B. And I don't think that was necessarily a great thing, either. I was deprived of the flexibility to make one's own choices as an adult - in my case, there was no alternative option quite early on. It was either music, music or music - period.

As a result, I ended up trying a few additional tricks here and there to make sure it wasn't just a childhood whim or mental obsession of sorts. I studied journalism instead of music after high school, pursued foreign languages instead of concentrating on piano lessons and got a job as a UK Correspondent for a French women's interest magazine in Russia.

End result? I always kept coming back to what I loved the most deep down. It wasn't really about fame or mega success. In fact, I still don't have the urge to see my face on magazine covers.

True, it will be nice - we all have egos, after all. But the true purpose of the journey, the big goal down the road is somewhat different - and it's not so easy to express it verbally, to be honest.

Cynics will always say it's a cover up, but there is nothing more banal than defining one's goal in a mere sentence.

A certain degree of positive feedback, a minimal success is undoubtedly gratifying, I am sure. Yet what counts the most underneath it all isn't superficial, although it may be slightly cheesy for some to digest.

This wasn't really supposed to be an ode to childhood dreams, so please forgive the mumbling at this late hour.

As overdue work won't submit its own deadlines by itself, it is now time to get back to the real world and switch the music off once again.....

Good night, sweet dreams x

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How to Celebrate UK Top 30?

What an amateur way to go out on Thursday night and celebrate the Top 30 entry of "Thinking of Someone Else" in the UK's Music Week Pop/Club Chart as of next week... KARAOKE bar for two - yes, karaoke!

Top numbers of the night? Let's see... Our "celebration" playlist was diverse (and impromptu) ranging from "Beauty and the Beast" to "Hey Jude" and then on to a couple of Russian songs that neither of us thought we'd remember after all these years!

The strangest part of the big celebration was the following - I never told my friend about the single charting in the UK alongside today's commercial hits, such as Anastacia, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Boy George, etc. Why? I was too embarrassed to come across as pretentious, I guess. Not a very solid excuse, I agree, but I wasn't quite sure it was appropriate.

The night was spent in the karaoke bar celebrating the "X News" except I forgot to mention it... But what a blast - and the worst part of it was that I actually took it VERY seriously and sang most of the songs as if it were a proper performance. Sad, really, but hilarious!!

So once we're in the Top 20, where shall we celebrate it? (Openly, I hope.)

Still wondering... Can't come up with the best possible venue as of yet... And the most unusual one, too!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Long Time No Blog!

After 10 days of absence from the blog scene, I was startled to discover some of the sweetest, funniest inquiries about my unexpected silence.

Had I disappeared after the crash of Wall Street having been affected by the financial crisis first-hand? Am I well and healthy? Is there a specific cause for the longest-running silence ever since I first launched the blog?

The unexpected volume - and warmth - of these messages caught me by surprise, although I have to admit, it was immensely flattering - and inspiring, too!

Truth be told, my days and nights have been absolutely frantic lately, ranging from official debut single release preparations and first reactions from England, UN and radio work, manuscript development and editing, personal matters of the heart, etc. All positive, exciting and hectic - so no worries at all, I'm still here! :-)

The major source of excitement is, of course, obvious to most of you by now - the UK radio & club rotation of "Thinking of Someone Else" double single: initial feedback and reviews from some of the top-notch clubs across the country, as well as additional commercial Top 40 compilation albums in the UK and Canada which will also feature the track as one of the upcoming highlights of Oct/Nov/Dec '08.

There's one particular massive compilation album that will feature the song as an upcoming hit of the season... All confirmed but not yet released, so forgive me for not being more precise :-)

Absolutely over the moon, to say the least!

What has made it slightly less enjoyable is the lack of sleep and zero time to actually celebrate the first results... Except, I'm a true believer that there's always time to celebrate somewhere down the line - but first things first: work, work, work and multiply the initial reaction by 100, building on the first bits of success!!!

Well, what can I say? Too early to feel dizzy and dazed based on all of this madness, but all the more to work on and develop, day by day, minute by minute. There will always an opportunity to sit back and relax, but not now - far from it, in fact.

Instead, what I should do is find more time to blog more often, keep you all posted and above all, maintain our fascinating, fun discussions about this, that and the other... That's what I miss the most!

Thank you all so much for reaching out, caring to ask if everything is in order, and for proving once again that online correspondence can, indeed, turn into friendship both online and offline - regardless of the medium of communication! I can't quite describe how wonderful it is to know that you're all there, regardless of the silence - we're all just a click away, one way or another.

Getting back to the frantic reality now, but do promise to write again sooner than you think - and then we can collectively complain about how often Tinatin posts her blogs without giving anyone sufficient time to go through them all, one by one! Hand on heart, I've missed that - badly.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tinatin’s NEW single: Euro Solution Press Release, UK

An excerpt from the official Euro Solution website:

Some of you will already be familiar with Tinatin's hot dance tune, "Thinking of Someone Else" as we mailed very limited copies a few weeks back now to absolute rave reviews!

Now, get set for a brand new promo and a brand new set of mixes to back up the already massive Dr Octavo remixes from firm Eurosolution favourites - Riffs & Rays. The guys are yet again on fire and have produced one hell of a peak time mix for you to hammer out to the max! Make sure you are on it guys!

Track listing:

1. Riffs & Rays Club Mix
2. Dr Octavo Charmix Extended Club Remix
3. Riffs & Rays Radio Mix
4. Dr Octavo Charmix Radio Mix

Listed are some of the other projects Euro Solution are currently promoting......

Anastacia - I Can Feel You (CD) (single)
Boy George - Yes We Can (single)
Chaka Khan & Mary J Blige - Disrespectful (single)
Dolly Rockers - Je Suis Une Dolly (Full mail-out) (single)
Francesca Kimberley - Chasing Cars (single)
Honey Ryder - Fly Away (single)
Kardinal Offishall - Dangerous ft Akon (single)
Katy Perry - Hold N Cold (ltd mail-out) (single)
Kill Hannah - Crazy Angel & Lips Like Morphine (single)
Lemar - If She Knew (single)
N Force - All My Life (single)
Rob Mayth - Heart To Heart (single)
Robin Thicke - Magic Touch ft Mary J Blige (CD) (single)
Shwayze - Buzzin (single)
Sirens - Dreams (single)
The Game - My Life feat Lil Wayne (single)
WAWA - Traxx 1 (single)