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:: Spotlight :: Introducing Miss Tara McDonald

By: Megan Burke

With hit songs such as ‘Feel The Vibe’ (with Axwell), ‘My My My’ (with Armand Van Helden) and ‘Delirious’ (with David Guetta) under her belt, it’s clear that English beauty Tara McDonald is headed for great things. Her most recent singles are ‘Play On’ (with The Todd Terry Allstars) and, with Michael Gray, ‘You Got Me Twisted’.

A background in dance and musical theatre, Tara McDonald quickly realised her true love: electronic and house music. Tara's work has lead her to co-write alongside the crème-de-la-crème of the house music world. Some of the people she’s worked with include Eddie Thoenick, Mark Knight, Mark Wilkinson, Kenny Dope, Todd Terry, Roger Sanchez, Stonebridge and Laidback Luke, as well as Armand Van Helden, Axwell and David Guetta.

Last year was an amazingly successful year for Tara and, with the promise of a solo album and more collaborations due for the near future, it’s clear that she is on the right track.

Here are five facts you might not know about Miss McDonald:

1.She’d never met Armand Van Halen while recording ‘My My My’ (Van Halen recorded from America, and McDonald from England). However, three years later, they finally met: “It’s so weird,” McDonald says. “We finally met three years on. It was his birthday, and I was playing a gig for his party. I had to introduce him to the stage and I was so nervous! He’d never heard me sing live before.” She says singing for him, for the first time, was “a bit daunting”, but luckily, “he was really cool and we hung out heaps. He is as cool as he looks!” Despite the success of ‘My My My’, McDonald still says that she prefers, “To be in the studio with someone and get to know them” rather than recording the vocals separately.

2.She’s working on a solo project with The Ministry of Sound: “I’ve been doing a lot of writing (for it)” McDonald says. “I think Australia is more ahead in the music scene,” she laughs. “Now it’s us Brits who are behind; it used to be the other way around. There’s a few people I’ve been working with over there (Australia) and I really hope it helps the album because I’ve been loving them. It’s (her solo album) really going to be a diverse mix of house music and cross-over tracks. I want it to be amazing songs, with really cool productions; I want to make sure it’s the best possible project I can give.” She remains tight-lipped on whom the album will feature with her, saying, “I can’t mention names yet!”

3.She’s done her first cover: “I’m not really one for singing on covers,” McDonald says, talking about ‘Shake It (Move A Little Closer)’. “It makes it a bit different since Lee-Cabrera did the original, and we’ve got a new beat.” McDonald says that she was hearing the instrumental everywhere, and singing the track in clubs – so it was a natural progression to record it. “I’m really glad I did,” McDonald says. “I’ve had a really good response from it.”

4.She’s headlining BetterDays: “I’m really excited to be coming to Australia,” McDonald says, a smile creeping in her voice. “It’ll be my first time coming to Australia. I’ve had so much positive feedback on my Facebook and MySpace, the fans are really excited to see me coming, they’re saying, ‘Finally you’re coming!’. I’ve heard great things about BetterDays; everyone’s been saying I’m going to have a great time. It’s really a beautiful thing when you’re invited to play somewhere. You get to share your music with a whole new audience.”

5.She’s disappointed when her vocals aren’t acknowledged on CDs and clips; but she knows she has to build a solid name for herself before she can ask for more. “All these things have given me a profile and an opportunity to sing and share the songs I write with other people, and that’s amazing.” She quotes the famous saying, ‘Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day’ and likens her experience to that. “I’ve paid my dues,” McDonald says. “It’s only fair (for my name to be on the track). I usually co-produce/co-write the tracks anyway, and now I can ask for a little bit more than I could before. And people are happy to give it to me because I’ve proved myself.”

See Tara McDonald at BetterDays on January 1.