'Truly Livin' On A Prayer'
Adult Contemporary radio stations throughout the U.S. may just now be getting wind of Therése Neaimé's inspirational hit “The Future,” the first Stateside-released single from the Swedish based international pop star's debut disc Livin', but the world's eyes and ears are also on the incredible happenings in her recent past.
As head of Future Records, her own label distributed internationally by Universal Music, Neaimé was part of an extraordinary decision to build a loyal audience in her homeland and the region surrounding her father's ancestral country of Lebanon via several infectious singles before rolling out the album this year.
Over the last year and a half, since the Spring 2005 release of “Color of Love” in Sweden, the singer-songwriter's soaring, emotional voice and colorful mix of pop, rock and electronica has electrified her home country and parts of the Middle East as well.
Having begun your singing career at age 15 with the Stockholm East Gospel Choir, I am wondering how someone that age managed to keep her feet on the ground? "As a child, I was the dancer who always wanted to sing. Unlike dancing, singing was something I really had to fight for. It took me many years and several voice lessons to get to where I am today and therefore I never took my singing for granted. At the age of 15 I think I was just simply happy to be a part of something as great as a Gospel Choir. A recognition."
And then you later toured the world as a background singer and dancer with several international artists. Artists such as ...........? "Yes, I’ve been lucky to tour with artists such as Pandora, Papa Dee and Offspring to mention a few. I also feel fortunate to already have had the chance to perform at some of the biggest stages and audiences around the world. A great experience!"
....... and do you have any interesting/funny stories to tell of one of those many tours and nights spent performing, perhaps? "One crazy story is from a show we did at a big arena in Japan. The manager had decided that it would be a cool effect if the whole crew, including the artist, dancers etc would enter the stage from the front, walking thru the audience. At the time it all seemed like a great idea but the problem with that was that it would also be the only way out after the show. So after the performance we had to cruise thru 5,000 hysterical and excited people which of course created a big chaos. We had to use several body guards and all sorts of security staff to get out. Scary at the time but something to laugh about afterwards!"
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying the new CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "A colourful mix of pop, rock, and electronica sung with a soaring emotional voice."
If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Therese Neaime at her current musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "It’s hard to just pick one song but I would say, ‘The Future’ and ‘Keep It Up’. They both stand for believing in your self no matter who or where you are, and the importance of never putting any limits to what you can achieve and you will be as successful as you want! I also think that those two songs best represents our latest sound and a very interesting unique production."
At a time when the music industry is seemingly full of new releases and new artists, what is going to make you stand out and be noticed? "I think what people feel from me is that they're getting a real message, that my music comes from an authentic, good place that's been developing for a long time. The music has a cool vibe to it but also a message they can relate to that makes them feel happy and positive about their lives. The songs are about my life, living with joy and sadness along the road on my journey. I'm really so grateful to all the wonderful folks I've met along the way that believed in me years back when all of this was only a dream in my mind. When I hear my songs on the radio, and am able to perform them for fans, I feel like I'm showing everyone that achieving those dreams is possible."
Being that you own the record label that this CD came out on, does that mean you got to save yourself some big promotional bucks?! "Yes, I really had to save some big bucks!! But because I was fortunate enough to have some great and talented people helping and believing in me along the way, the actual album didn’t cost as much as it could have and that made it possible for me to spend most of my money on the promotion instead. I feel blessed!"
Knowing that you spent time acting in Ben Affleck's 2002 TV series 'Push, Nevada,' I'm wondering how that experience was and if you guessed from the start that it wasn't gonna last longer than the 7 episodes it ran for?! "It was a great opportunity to see how the big Hollywood actors work. Ben Affleck seemed to be a gentle and caring person who, at the set, made everyone feel appreciated and important. To me the whole thing was a fun and very educational experience. It’s hard to know from the start how the audience will react to a new TV series but of course I hoped that it would last for more than 7 episodes! But I was also not surprised when it didn’t!"
If you could cover any '80s (possibly cheesy!) pop song, which one would it be ... and why?! "I would pick 'I Just Called (To Say I Love You)' by Stevie Wonder, simply because it was my mother and fathers favourite song!"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Of course I like Penguins! Who wouldn’t?!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Therése's new CD, and you think you know all there is to know about the lady, just answer this easy question: Along the way, Therése has added some unique gigs to her resume as an actress and dancer. She appeared in several music videos that aired on MTV and later became a regular dancer on which legendary syndicated party show?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before December 1st with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: THERESE NEAIME SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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