Tanita Tikaram Biography

12 August 1969, Munster, Germany. Tikaram’s intense lyrics brought her instant commercial success at the age of 19. She spent her early years in Germany where her Fijian-born father was serving with the British army. In 1982, the family moved to England, settling in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Tikaram began writing songs and in November 1987 played her first gig at London’s Mean Fiddler, after sending a cassette of her songs to the venue. By the time of her fourth gig, she was supporting Warren Zevon at the Hammersmith Odeon. Following an appearance on a local London television show, she was signed to Warner Brothers Records and recorded Ancient Heart in 1988. The producers were Rod Argent (ex-Zombies) and experienced session musician Peter Van Hooke. ‘Good Tradition’ and ‘Twist In My Sobriety’ were immediate hits in the UK and across Europe. The album was a huge success and Tikaram became a role model for artists aspiring to emulate late 60s bed-sitter singer-songwriters.

Tikaram spent most of 1989 on tour before releasing her second album, which included ‘We Almost Got It Together’ and ‘Thursday’s Child’. Although not as consistent as her debut it reached the same position in the UK album chart, number 3. Everybody’s Angel, at Bearsville Studio in Woodstock, was co-produced with Van Hooke and Argent. Former Emerald Express violinist Helen O’Hara was among the backing musicians. ‘Only The Ones We Love’ with harmony vocals by Jennifer Warnes was issued in 1991, and in the same year, she made her second world tour. In 1992, the self-produced Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness was released to a muted reaction, and although her 1995 release had a much bigger publicity campaign it seemed that her highly commercial days were in the past.

Following a three-year sabbatical during which she acted and travelled, Tikaram returned with a different image and an atmospheric new album, The Cappuccino Songs. Another lengthy hiatus preceded the release of the mature, reflective Sentimental in 2005.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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