Former teen idol, singer, songwriter and actress Tiffany, (born Tiffany Darwish), has celebrated the release of her brand-new album called Pieces of Me. It was digitally launched on September 21st, the CD version on October 5th, with the vinyl version out on November 2nd. The record is a pop/rock fusion offering tiny elements of country and focuses on the artist’s dazzling, supreme vocals. It highlights Tiffany’s songwriting and producing, and the reinvention of herself.
Most recognized for her cover of I Think We’re Alone Now, originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells, the song enjoyed supreme success and grew to anthem status. I spoke with Tiffany regarding her music career and her current musical accomplishments.
Louder Than War: Congratulations on your new release that just came out. Vinyl is quite popular now, it’s coming back.
It is. I used to have a collection, but I don’t know. I give things away. But I think it’s really cool. I just saw the album, and the fans had pre-ordered it and got to hear it at my concert in Scotland this past week. I’m really excited about everyone being so supportive on the album. All the cool things that we’re doing, the videos, behind the scenes… putting down official media, things like that. People could be in the studio with us, with the making of this album.
Very fun. Did you make the album in England?
I did it partly here. Then a little bit in Los Angeles. And then a little in Nashville. We wrote songs in different places, from Los Angeles to Seattle. I was on the road when I started to do this album, so with a full touring schedule. While this was happening, the right songs were happening. The right people in my life were happening, it was like, “Let’s go for it.” But it did put a little stress on things. The band would be with me and we would just go book a studio somewhere and hopefully it all worked out because we only had that one day. It did, and I’m a little bit addicted to that process now. I think there’s something different about that; it’s either do or die. You just need that “maybe” to watch the creative process as a musician. I recorded this record as part of the band which was different for me. But of course everything was live. So it was really fully created in the studio. To have everyone bring what they wanted to this record, it was really inspired.
What inspired you to come out with this record at this time?
I’ve always been doing albums, because I’ve been an independent now for a while. I’ve merged with different labels over the years. I think the biggest thing for me was just to be recognized as a songwriter. I always wanted to write music, but I think they never really nurtured that. So for me at that time it was more working with other musicians that would help me along the way and kind of encourage me to be a songwriter and to grow as a songwriter. That was a whole process. Then I was in Nashville for a time and working on my craft there. So that was kind of like my thing for many, many years.
I want to be known as a better musician more than anything. Of course that led to working with different producers. I did a country album which is really the backstory. Before I even got signed as a teen, I was singing with people like Hoyt Axton, and Mickey Gilley. I worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard. I started out at eight/nine years old. I tried to get a record deal but I was like ten, and nobody would give me a record deal. So I went back home to Los Angeles, and I had found Stevie Nicks at that time. I was really inspired by that. I worked with a couple of different producers. But again we had the problem that I was only twelve and nobody really wanted to… they loved my voice, but they told me to come back when I was eighteen years old. So the interest was on my voice, but to follow through there was an image problem.
With this being my tenth record, I think it’s taken me a while to turn the corner of what I’ve always envisioned myself doing, which is still pop-based, but definitely with a more rock edge. Over the years, as I’ve grown as a live performer, I think people now take me seriously as a songwriter and I’m forever grateful. I think on this album, I definitely wanted to do something that pushed the limit a little bit.
I wasn’t planning on a record at the beginning of this year. It just ended up that my tour manager, Mark, who is my producer now, and I were just driving on the road and talking about music. We were having a lot of inspiration, and he said I should try to do something. Again a lot of people say that and it doesn’t work out. At this point, I had the luxury of picking and choosing what I did and working with people with whom I really felt that there was a connection in music. Not just doing a project because I’m bored. If it really works out and we kind of flow great, if not it just means it was not meant to be.
Then the project was growing and growing and live, it was even better. It’s very powerful actually. That’s pretty much what I’m doing. I’m committed to touring. It takes a lot of time getting this record around the world. It’s been a while since I’ve been out with the whole team and a label and the full roll-out. So I’m pretty excited.
Does the album contain a message or messages?
Well again, I think this album as a writer, probably is my most vulnerable. It probably has more deep subject matter than I probably would’ve done before. It’s just the disappointments within my own self: struggles of love, struggles with people staying in your life, all that stuff. It’s really been a reflection for me with this album, of my heart’s desires, where I’m going. There is a lot of change in my life right now.
It’s all good; at the end of the day we’re just living our lives out in the public eye. I’m feeling everything for real. One of the biggest things for me is having to get on a flight. I stopped flying for almost ten years. I really had experiences that were not the norm. I don’t know why, but I did. I’m very proud that I am flying again, but it makes me feel very vulnerable. Life is short and you should be living your dream. If you don’t like your life, you should really get out there and change it as much as you can. I really wanted to do this. I feel the energy behind me, the band. It is very important. I thought this was the right time and I’m going to go for it. I have a touring schedule ’til next year. Once I said let’s go for it I really did go for it.
It’s been great. I’ve just been to South East Asia, I’m going to Australia for the first time in February. I’m really just going to take the record as many places as I can.
All words by Eileen Shapiro. More of Eileen’s writing can be found in her author’s archive.