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Authoring one’s own biography is an amusing task, because you’re constantly catching yourself digging up all sorts of vanity. But vanity is at best only marginally what this biography is about. Throughout the years, I’ve constantly been asked of where I’m coming from and where I’ll steer my life’s journey as a singer, composer, producer, fashionista and ambassador of nonconformists. Up next is a bid to answer those questions. It could read like this: My name is Tara Mc Donald, I’m 30 years of age and I live in London. But, hold on. Tara…who?, most of you will presumably ask. Rightly so. Quite a few fans of pop-music and nearly all enthusiasts for dance-music know my voice, but the fewest are able to ascribe it to me. That’s why I’ll better start from scratch…
The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards once said, that he had spent his childhood and youth preferably in Dartford’s public library. His thoughts escaped the grey and at times cruel monotony of the small town in Kent, giving him some sense that there was this thing called civilization out there somewhere, he explained. I know exactly what he meant as I share the same place of birth as him and Mick Jagger. And not only that. My ambitions, to turn my back to Dartford asap was certainly no less pronounced than theirs. My mum, who had worked as a secretary at a local newspaper when I was a kid, taught my sister and me in her spare time before we were sent to school. I could read and write by the time we went to school and was immediately put a year up, which made me the dodgy one among the other children. They bullied and tortured me in typical Dartford-style. Singing became increasingly important to me around that time, not just to release tensions. When I was 9, I took the chance to audition for the „Les Miserables“-theatre production in London’s West End and was promptly being hired. Newspapers around Dartford started reporting about this young girl and the bullying at school went even worse. My mum had to even call the police ones as we had received a death-threat at home. Despite all that, I had a happy childhood due to music being my literal salvation from tyranny. Lo and behold, I had found my tracks…
I went to the BRIT school, but I couldn’t figure myself staying in musical theatre. I felt like being called to become an artist, but I just didn’t know how to filter my ideas at that time. My detours to find my own artistic voice led me to being a backing dancer for the Jungle Brothers, Basement Jaxx and Faithless around the millennium. Simultaneously I had started writing my own songs. House was the club-order of the day and in 2005, when I had just become 18, I had my first No 1 in the UK’s dance-charts for my co-writing of Axwells „Feel The Vibe (‘Til The Morning Comes)“. Subsequently my self-confidence had a jamboree. Two years later I wrote two songs with David Guetta for his much certified „Pop Life“-album. Suddenly some of my co-composed songs made huge impacts on quite a few European album- and singles-charts, which made pop-music’s and rock-music’s royalty become aware of me. I worked with Bryan Ferry on his „Dylanesque“-album as a singer and vocal-arranger. Following that I found myself on stage with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, singing backing vocals. In hindsight, these stages of my career read like wow-moments. They were for me, not least due to that big boost of shyness resulting from the experienced bullying in my childhood. I remember freeing myself from being shy temporarily when I went to „Heaven“ in London, the gay club, where I would go with my college-friends. There, the boys were colourful nonconformists, sharing my taste for extravagant clothing. I instantly felt at home and safe in dance music, the sound being played in the hottest clubs in town.
People who’d experienced any sort of oppression of their characters, have often tended towards music, because it means freedom of expression. It also helps to keep the monsters in balance which live in all of us, to prevent them from prevailing. I feel a lot better today than 10 or 15 years ago, because I have found my purpose in music. It literally let me survive cruelties and became a constant fulfilment. In school I was the unpopular one. On stage I am a popular character. The world of beats and sounds filled the gap in-between and it most certainly shaped my music in its affirmative playfulness. Without ever losing sight of the destructiveness of the world, as it presents itself at the moment. The six tracks featured on my solo-debut-EP „…..“ mirror the variety and honesty that I seek for in music as a listener myself. The Drum&Bass-track „Brave“ is about the cathartic impact of having the guts to be vulnerable, as it’s sowing the seeds of courage to stay true to oneself. As I became an ambassador for Paris Pride, I sang that song for the first time in front of all these beautiful LGTB-people and its meaning took on an even more powerful meaning. „Girls“ is a rather straight sung track and there is no mistaking that it celebrates femininity in all its glory and the power of women that will never be suppressed. „Locomotion » is probably the wildest track on the EP. The line „keep that ass in motion“ is strikingly suggesting that the song’s an antidote to anything static. „America“ is a rather sweet and naive view on the big country on the other side of the pond, celebrating its greatness, freedom and seemingly endless possibilities for individuality. Before and hopefully after Trump that is, of course. „Taxxxi » is a modern-day fantasy take on sensuality and seduction. It’s the lead-track and single off my new EP, which is a taster for my debut-album, which I hope will be ready for release in late spring of 2018.
Why did it take me so long to finally come up with my first album, you might ask? Fair enough. The simple answer is that I was busy writing songs, collaborating with other artists, but I was also pursuing life. I gained lots of experience, all pooled into my debut. Its songs will hopefully electrify to make people dance their asses off. But I also wish them to stir up a dialogue among people. Interexchange, that’s what it’s all about.