‘…there is too much visibility. You become the focus of everything and everyone and it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy and it’s not natural. It makes me feel for those around me…you see people literally gravitating towards you and everything else is a blur. That makes me very uncomfortable. I think I got disconnected after being on the road for so long and having weathered so many different trials and tribulations during that time and journey. I spent years going on and off planes in different countries in different time zones … 14- to 15-hour days for two to three weeks in a row. At a certain point your brain is fried, which is what happened to me…it’s one of the loneliest existences around, actually … on the outside [that person] seems to be living an extraordinary journey. The way they are living privately in a lot of cases is completely different. It was very lonely…’
It is in this quote that I have realised that being a musician, or even just being in the public eye for whatever reason, is a lonely journey, and one that often changes you, at times for the better, and other times, for the ‘not-so-better’. It is also in this quote that I am reminded that people’s expectations of you isn’t necessarily how you should act on a 24-7 basis. In fact, the more people expect you to live and exist on a higher standard or plane, because of the publicity of who you are and what you do, the more you often realise that to live on such a high go-go-go mentality is often folly and foolishness. Enter in Tina Arena, Australian artist and arguably one of the most influential and impactful Australian musicians/singer-songwriters ever. And I really mean ever. A generation before artists like Delta Goodrem, Jessica Mauboy, Dami Im and Guy Sebastian, Tina’s music has been on the Aussie airwaves for as long as even I can remember (for me as I delved into Tina’s discography, I realised I heard many of the songs before, just didn’t realise that the songs were attributed to her!). Considered to be an artist that has stood the test of time- from her debut album in 1990s, all the way till now where she’s still making music; we have been blessed and honoured to welcome Tina into our homes with uplifting, compelling and often confronting music for all this time. While Australians in a general sense still have a ways to go when competing in terms of music and the impactful nature of it on a global scale, Aussie artists like Tina, alongside others like Delta, Jessica, Guy, Dami, even icons recognised so well in Australia (Johnny Farnham, Olivia Newton-John, Keith Urban, Kasey Chambers, Miss and Human Nature, to name a few) have all made music on a holistic global scale, much more interesting over the years. Australians have a different way of delivering and presenting music, I’ve felt- maybe because I’ve grown up in Australia and I’m a little biased, but whatever the case, there seems to be a little more honesty and transparency in music produced and recorded by Australians, and Tina’s music is no different. Maybe I’m reading too much into what I am seeing, but nevertheless, what I can say is that Tina’s music on a whole has surprised me in a good way over the last week or so. In the business since the 1990s, Tina still has a lot more to give, and is a great inspiration for young aspiring musicians who want to make a difference in Australian media and around the world as well.
Tina’s music has been a pillar of music in Australia for quite some time, and for me, it’s only recently (last year) that I decided to leap into the music realm which is Tina, and immerse myself in her songs which frankly and bluntly, have shaped and defined Australian music and even the Australian way of life for quite some time now. Born in the late 1960s, and having much success in the 1990s and 2000s, before reinventing herself to deliver music to a much younger crowd in the 2010s, Tina’s music has always had a sense of joyfulness and wonder to it, songs that are very much anthems in people’s lives as they are reminders that it is ok to be broken, to have all these hang-ups, because yes indeed, Tina herself has them too. With Tina also being a multi-linguist as well, releasing albums in various other languages (French, Italian) as well, we’re reminded that music at its core is about connection, and even if we may not understand a song in the sense that it’s in another language, it can still speak to us in other ways- the music and orchestral nature, alongside how the song is carried. Regardless, this Australian singer-songwriter, musician, theatre actress, and record producer, has made her mark on music, period. One of Australia’s highest selling artists of all-time, this little artist (no pun intended, Tina is in fact small in size for someone who does have a very big, powerful voice!) from Victoria has had a career that I’m sure many Australian artists would dream about. And as we stand here in 2019, it can safely be asserted that Tina’s place in music here now in 2019 is still as much needed and important as it was back then when she was at the height of her success and fame. Though not as much noticed now in this modern music climate, songs still resonate, with me, and others around the world who hear these songs, timeless ones, that give us messages of hope, courage, freedom, longing, lament and remembrance.