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The Hot Sweat
Tamar Kaprelian
Hana Pestle
By Stephanie Mora-- Staff Writer, West/Southwest

Scottsdale, Arizona native, Tamar Kaprelian has been writing songs for quite a while now but the young singer/songwriter really struck it big when she entered a contest to cover One Republic's hit song Apologize. Kaprelian ended up winning that contest, earning her over 3 million views on youtube. The rest is history. She has a single out entitled New Day, which is now available on Itunes. There is a music video out for the song and it has been featured on MTV's popular reality show, The Hills. But that's not all. In addition, New Day was the theme song for Feeding America's Drive Out Hunger Tour where Kaprelian played in over 30 cities in 30 days to help out the organization. Tamar Kaprelian is a newly signed artist to Interscope records, and she was able to co-write songs with Ryan Tedder from One Republic for her debut album, due out spring of this year. Musiqtone had a chance to talk with the up and coming artist about her success and what the future has in store.

Be sure to check out Tamar Kaprelian on myspace: www.myspace.com/tamarkaprelian and on her official website: www.tamar-music.com/. Also, pick up her single New Day on Itunes and check out the music video at www.youtube.com/tamarkaprelian.

Stephanie Mora: Can you briefy tell a little bit about yourself for the Musiqtone readers.
Tamar Kaprelian: Wow. That is such an open ended question. *laughs* Well, I am a singer/songwriter and I play piano. I was very influenced by classic 60's and 70's singer/songwriters such as Billy Joel and The Beatles. I really like Paul McCartney. I have been working on this record, that is due out late spring, for about 4 years. I am very excited to share it with everybody. It's a very honest record that hopefully people will connect with.
TK: I hope I answered that well. I sort of went on a tangent.

SM: *laughs* That was perfect. It was just so people could get to know a little bit more about you.
TK: *laughs* Just making sure. I think that sums it up.

SM: So you've been writing songs for a long time. Was there a moment when you realized that being a singer/songwriter was what you wanted to do?
TK: You know I don't if there was any particular moment. I started writing when I was 14 and I really honed in my craft when I was 17. I was able to work with people like Kara DioGuardi. When working with such accomplished songwriters, you take so much from it and implement it into your own writing. It has been an ongoing process and with each experience you get better. So, I don't really think there was an exact moment. It was just a process and it happened.

SM: You entered a contest to cover One Republic's hit song, Apologize. What inspired you or encouraged you to enter?
TK: I loved the song and I always loved and admired Ryan (Tedder) as a songwriter. You know the song was played on the radio, and my producer called me up one day and said, 'There's a contest for
Apologize. You should cover it and put it up on youtube.' It really turned into this thing I never expected. You know how some things are just meant to happen?
SM: Yes, like some things are just supposed to happen?
TK: Yes. It is definitely one of those moments that I look back on and I know it was meant to happen. It was one of those things that presented itself and I trust my producer so I entered. It was actually one of those things that just happened.

SM: You mentioned before that it turned into something you never expected. Well, after entering and winning that contest, you were discovered. Did you ever imagine that you would have so much success just by making a simple youtube video?
TK: No. You never really know how some of these things will fall into place. My whole theory is to work very hard. If you're driven and you stay focused, you can really make anything happen. Singing and songwriting is something I have been doing for 7 years and you hope that there will come a day when things will pan out. I never expected this and I am so, so happy.

SM: You have a single out called New Day and you filmed a music video for it. What was the inpiration behind the video and what was filming it like?
TK: We did that video a couple years ago, and I wanted some kind of visual to go along with the song. It's a song about overcoming struggles and I really wanted to play a lot with colors. In the video, I start out wearing black with a lot of make up on my face, and then I start stripping off layers of clothes. The clothes get lighter and the make-up gets lighter, and at the end I am wearing all white with absolutely no make up. It's about coming clean; stripping yourself of all negativity and seeing light in the darkest situations. I wanted that to come across. It was also a fun video to make. We did it one day. We stayed up til early morning hours just finishing it up. I was doing it with my friends though, so it ws fun.

SM: That's crazy that it was filmed in one day. It was very well done. I also liked how you were wearing red converse in the music video. It showed a bit of your personality and made it more real.
TK: Well thank you. *laughs* I call those my Ronald McDonald shoes.

SM: I have converse in just about every color excpet red. I have an addicition.
TK: Have you seen the ones with sequins on them? I want those.

SM: "New Day" was also the theme song for Feeding America's Drive Out Hunger Tour and you performed in over 30 cities in 30 days. What was that experience like?
TK: It was amazing. It was me, my guitar player and my tour manager. My tour manager is one of my best friends, and my guitar player is as well. The three of us would drive from city to city. We would wake up at 4am, get ready, drive to the location, and play from 7am to 10am each morning. We would sing outside The Cheesecake Factory in each city because they were the corporate sponosor for the tour. It gets tiring but it was such a blast, and for such a great cause. Everyone was so upbeat, that it was just so much fun. We went to some amazing cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago. Again, it was for a great cause and that made it worthwhile.

SM: You've had the chance to co-write with members from One Republic? What was that like?
TK: They invited me out to Colorado over the summer. They were making their record at the time as well, and Ryan was like, "We're label mates and we have chemistry together. Come to Colorado and let's write with each other." So, we did and something great came out of it. I'm close with Ryan and he's so down to earth. I've admired him for years as a songwriter and we had the chance to sit down together and create a song out of nothing. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

SM: You have mentioned before that you will craft melodies after writing lyrics. Is there a specific reason for this?
TK: Well there is a specific reason for this. For example, you know how you read Bob Dylan lyrics and it's poetry? I just love great lyrics. Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel are the same way. It's easier to create story first. For me, it's more important to write pages of lyrics and create a structure instead of just writing the melody. Sometimes with a melody you're restricted and the lyrics don't turn out the way you want them to be. But if you write the lyrics first you can structure the melody around them.

SM: Lyrics are the first thing I notice in a song. That is what really tells the story of the song and what it's about.
TK: You do? That's interesting. See I am the same way. The lyrics create the message of the song, the message that people can relate to. Some people are different. but that's just my opinion.

SM: Your debut album is due out sometime this year. What can people expect from your album?
TK: They can expect, well, I feel like it's very honest. I feel like it's very intelligent, very smart. There is this beauty of songwriting. You write all this material. You write about things that are personal to you and when people hear it, it can be interpreted in many different ways. Hopefully it's a record that people can connect to and relate to their own life. It's about songwriting. It's about having a sense of hope. Hopefully people walk away with a sense of hope.

SM: It's always refreshing to hear an album that is to inspire hope.
TK: Yes. It's a very uplifting record.

SM: Besides the release of your album, do you have any big upcoming plans for 2010?
TK: Oh so much planned. There is touring and just the record itself. I want to get it out there and have people connect to it. I also can't wait to get out on the road. I think that people can really connect/relate to an artist after seeing them play live. I want to be able to play the record for people, and have them see the emotions unfold.

SM: Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself or anything you would like to say to the Musiqtone readers?
TK: About myself? I really don't want to say anything more about myself. I would rather say something about life in general. If you're driven, you stay focused, and stay true to who you are, you can make things that seem impossible, happen. That's something people tend to forget. You have the ability to make anything happen. I'd rather make a life statements like that than add more about myself. These life statements also come through in my music. It's really about believing in yourself.
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