Tamar Kaprelian has a classic story of being discovered more or less at random. At the age of 15, she was approached by a talent scout when singing with a school group at a local mall. The fairy tale story was not meant to be her destiny though. She parted ways with her label but when she was on her own, she was discovered more or less off the street again and later caught the attention of Ryan Tedder through her YouTube video.
She was signed to Interscope and released her debut album "Sinner or a Saint", filled with catchy pop songs, across the United States on August 24. In an exclusive interview with AceShowbiz, the 24-year-old singer/songwriter recalled the story of her dream-comes-true and also explained more about the effort and its songwriting process. She also shared about her experience of doing shows with Far East Movement and who else she wants to work with.
ASB: When did you find out your interest in music?
Tamar: At the age of one, I was singing my own birthday song. So from a very young age, I knew music was something special for me.
ASB: What made you take part in OneRepublic's "Apologize" cover contest?
Tamar: I loved Ryan Tedder's songwriting, I loved the song, and I figured I had nothing to lose by recording a song and putting it up on the web.
ASB: How did you feel when you were announced as the winner? What did you do to celebrate it?
Tamar: I honestly didn't really know what to expect from the whole thing. I knew that OneRepublic was going to do an introduction to my video but NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think that this contest was going to lead to a record deal and a chance for me to create and write the album I always wanted to.
ASB: It's such a crowded place in the music world, how do you make sure you'll stand out?
Tamar: I think great music is always recognized; it always rises to the top. Classic songwriting never gets old, and artistically, that is what I'm about. I was to create beautiful songs and bring back that classic sense of songwriting and performing.
ASB: You said your debut album "Sinner or a Saint" is about exploring your dual personalities. Please tell us more about it.
Tamar: I think everyone has two sides to them, whether one likes to admit it or not. 'Sinner or a Saint' is a song about not being afraid of exploring that slightly darker, edgier side of who you are. It's okay to be sexy sometimes.
ASB: Talking about sinner, the darker side. Which song in this album would describe your sinner side best?
Tamar: The title track - 'Sinner or a Saint.' That song is definitely the most edgy song on the album.
ASB: You contributed to the songwriting of all tracks in this album. What mostly inspire you when penning these songs?
Tamar: Before diving into the writing process of the album, I mapped out what I wanted each song on the record to represent. I wanted to create a hopeful collection of songs with a strong theme of 'new beginnings.' About 7 songs in, I realized I wanted to write a lullaby - That's how 'Raining in Paradise' came to fruition.
ASB: What's the story behind the album's lead single, "New Day"? Do you have any plan yet to promote the next single?
Tamar: 'New Day' is a song about hope and is a song about starting over. We're planning on 'Sinner or a Saint' to be the second single, but we will start promoting 'New Day' at the beginning of the new year.
ASB: You're doing shows with Far East Movement. How did you end up working with those guys?
Tamar: I am, and it's been such a lovely experience so far. They are incredibly hardworking, humble, and talented guys. I met FM about a year ago at a showcase. About a month ago, Martin Kierszenbaum, who runs Cherrytree Records, gave me a call and said, 'You know, Tamar, I have this crazy idea, I want to know what you think.' He asked if I wanted to go on tour with them and be the featured artist on a few of their tracks. Of course I said YES!
ASB: You have worked with Ryan Tedder, Far East Movement and other renowned musicians. Who else are in your collaborators bucket list?
Tamar: I would love to work with John Legend.
ASB: Besides making music, what other things do you enjoy doing?
Tamar: I'm an avid runner and I really enjoy the downtime of being able to hang out with the people I love and care about.
ASB: You were influenced by classic Disney films as a kid. If this album is compared to a movie, what would it be?
Tamar: Thematically, I would have to say there is a little bit of "The Little Mermaid" (coming of age), a touch of "Aladdin" (making the impossible happen/overcoming obstacles) and a pinch of "Beauty and the Beast" (falling in love).
ASB: What was the last band/musician you watched and thought 'wow they are really good'?
Tamar: The Kin. Check them out!
ASB: Please leave a message for your fans at AceShowbiz and tell them why they have to buy your album.
Tamar: Hey AceShowbiz fans. My music isn't covered in glitter, I don't sing about 'bikinis' or 'swag' or 'my love being your drug,' but I love writing awesome and catchy pop songs that will be stuck in your head for a long time - songs that you will hopefully be singing 10+ years from now.