Sunday 31 March 2013

Tiny Dancer - Who Am I

This is one tiny dancer you'll want to hold very close indeed.  Her real name may be unknown, but she's an amalgamation of all the best bits of Kate Bush, Gwen Stefani, Cyndi Lauper and Bjork in a gloriously off-kilter pop package.

Debut EP 'Who Am I' has been produced by Wayne Wilkins, whose work includes No Doubt, Beyoncé and Cheryl Cole.  As a result, we're pretty much guaranteed hook-laden pop production and killer choruses - exactly what we get on the percussive wallop of the title track and the moody synths of the accompanying Skies To Blue.

Add to that the weird, squeaky vocal imbued with colourful characterisation to match the neon outfits and Tiny Dancer really is a giant-sized pop package that belies her name.  But we're still left with the question: who exactly is she?


We were lucky enough to catch up with Tiny Dancer and ask her a few questions on the girl behind the name...

The Gizzle Review: So what's the story behind the name?
Tiny Dancer: When I was about 6, I used to dance barefoot and my Dad was the one who gave me the name.

TGR: Would you say Tiny Dancer is more of a character through which you write your music and express yourself creatively?
TD: Yeh, she’s like an alter-ego. She’s the other half of me. I think everyone is split down the middle.

TGR: You mention on your Facebook biography that you’re “not yet another winsome girl perched on a stool with an acoustic guitar”. Does your songwriting begin on guitar and then expand from there?
TD: Not always. Sometimes it’s just a melody, sometimes it’s the lyrics that come first or sometimes it’s the mood of the studio or the people in it.

TGR: How was working with Wayne Wilkins on your EP? Was the writing process a collaborative effort between you? Having worked with established pop acts like Beyoncé and Cheryl Cole, did that influence the process of recording? 
TD: Wayne's one of the most genuine guys I’ve ever met. If I could wish to be like one person it would be him. Plus he always smells nice which is a bonus, hehe! I wouldn’t say it changes anything really, I’ve got a lot of faith in the music I create. We’d literally be vibing until four o’clock in the morning - when the inspiration's there you gotta keep going, tiredness isn’t an option.

TGR: The video for Who Am I has a very “art installation” feel to it. Are the visual arts a big inspiration to you?  
TD: Art's an exorcism - it frees people, enables them to express themselves. The Who Am I video represents the journey of someone's life, the different rooms and objects are there as the obstacles a person will come across in order to find themselves (who they are).

TGR: Your fashion choices are very distinctive – have any designers or styles in particular inspired you? 
TD: I wouldn’t say I'm fashionable - that’s not the word to describe me. I wear exactly what I want. I like to play dress up, I'm like a child in that sense. I'm a different version of myself each day.

TGR: Your music has been compared to strong female artists such as Gwen Stefani, Kate Bush and Marina & The Diamonds. How important is female empowerment to your music in an industry so often preoccupied with sexuality?
TD: I think it's great to be compared with such amazing artists, I’ll happily take that compliment. As for female empowerment, I think if music’s good, then it's good. Whether male or female, I don’t think it matters.

TGR: What new material are you currently working on? What can we expect from your upcoming album? 
TD: Hearing it could be weird for the first time - it's definitely unordinary, in a great way! It's very tribal, pop with a hint of the 80’s. It's my own wonderland.

TGR: Lastly, when you’re not writing and performing music, what are you most likely to be doing? 
TD: Eating, sleeping, breathing? I made a commitment to my music, music is the love of my life. It’s a relationship without the problems and it will never ever stop making me happy.

Listen: 'Who Am I' is released on 6th May.