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From Thailand to the world

Recently in India to release her first English album, `I Believe', Tata Young reveals her understanding of our music scene in an exclusive interview

SHE HAS sold over 12 million copies of her earlier Thai albums, besides acting in several hit Thai films. I Believe is her first all-English album that has hit the Indian music stores recently, after selling more than 1,00,000 copies around Asia. Tata Young uses a unique marketing strategy for the album by launching it first in the Pan-Asian countries before proceeding to the U.K. and the U.S.. While in Mumbai, her second destination after Thailand, to promote I Believe, (released by Sony Music, Cassette, Rs. 99) she spoke to The Hindu on her album, her love for Indian music, and future plans.

This is your first trip to India. How does it feel being here, and how have the audiences here responded to your music?

It feels great to come back to the country which has a lot of personal connections for me. My father used to work here and I've grown up listening to the stories about the cultural and musical richness of the country. In fact, my father was so impressed by the people and culture here that he chose an Indian name for me.

Musically, I find Indians highly experimental and open to newer forms of music. They do not believe in pre-set genres and jargons in classifying music, and listen to anything that sounds good without bothering about the region of its origin. This is the reason why it is the only country in the world that has two distinct schools of classical music. It is also a country that rocks to Hip-Hop and Trance. So, as a singer, I feel privileged to be amidst people who are intense music lovers. The video from I Believe has been gaining heavy airplay on the music channels here, and that is a great encouragement for me.

Though the popularity of International music has been steadily increasing in India, it hasn't reached the standards of lets say, a country like Thailand. As an international musician, what do you feel is the reason for this?

The reason is simple: the fact that you guys already have better music, and do not need boybands to teach you how to sing. Bollywood music is huge in India — one of the biggest music industries in the world — and over the years, it has been increasing in quality and acceptance at a global level. Like I said before, the people of this country have grown up on a mature musical conscience and this is what makes them accept any form of international music. Any musician from any part of the world producing any form of music would feel enlightened to come to India.

You are the first artiste to debut an English album in the Pan-Asian countries. What is the idea behind this concept and how far has it been successful?

There has always been a misconception that all popular English music is created only by people in the U.K. or the U.S.. There is a huge market for creating and listening to English music in Asian countries. This was the initial idea for releasing I Believe in these countries. Also, as a Pan-Asian artiste, it creates a tremendously high fan base and that is essential for any artiste to come up in the music field. India is the only country I am touring as part of promotion for the album. So far, the response has been highly encouraging and the concept seems to be successful.

The songs in I Believe are a mix of feel-good music with a little bit of cheekiness thrown in. What was the inspiration for the songs?

The first single sort of introduces Tata Young, the singer to the world. Like any young girl of my age, I have a naughty side to me that is reflected in the song. A group of young girls having an only-girls party would understand the song perfectly. The song "I Believe", again, represents the positive me. When I am launching the album, I want listeners to hear me, tell me what they feel about my music, and give their suggestions. Other songs in the album speak of daily issues in a teenager's life like crushes and heartbreaks.

You have included a Bhangra remix in the album. Is this any indication that Bhangra is making it big in the international music scene?

Definitely! Look at the album charts. The mainstream icons of popular music are incorporating Bhangra in their songs, either vocal or instrumental. It is the energy that does the magic. I'm just getting an entry into the club music scene with that remix. Hopefully, a few DJs will play my song if they are reading this article!


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