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Q&A with Singer, Songwriter Tamar Kaprielian

Q&A with Singer, Songwriter Tamar Kaprielian

NEW YORK (A.W.)–Weekly contributor Lori Cinar recently had the chance to interview Tamar Kaprelian, a budding singer-songwriter originally from Arizona whose new album, “California,” was released on June 19. Read on to find out about her life, influences, and plans for the future.

Kaprielian’s album “California” was released on June 19

Kaprielian’s album “California” was released on June 19

Lori Cinar: Where are you originally from? Where do you live now?

Tamar Kaprelian: I was born in Scottsdale, Az., but I moved around quite a bit as a kid. I lived in Atlanta, Ga. for 6 years and in Los Angeles, Calif. for 10. Currently, I am living in New York City.

LC: How did you get started musically? Did you always like to sing or was it something that developed over time?

TK: According to my parents, I was singing before I was talking, so music was something that always came naturally to me—it has always been something that I love. I started writing songs when I was 15 and started developing my craft as a songwriter from that point on.

LC: Your name really got out there during the OneRepublic cover contest with your rendition of the song “Apologize.” Can you tell us more about that experience?

TK: My producer Xandy Barry told me about the contest and suggested that I enter it. I taught myself the song on the piano that same day, recorded the cover in one-take, and submitted it—not having any expectations from it. Two weeks later, I got an e-mail from Interscope Records saying that I had won the contest and that they wanted to set up a meeting. That meeting led to a record deal, which led to me recording my first album, “Sinner or a Saint.”

LC: Some of your music has been featured on shows like MTV’S “The Hills.” How does that make you feel as a new artist?

TK: When you work in an industry that is constantly changing, new methods of getting your music out there for people to discover you becomes a crucial part of the process. My songs are upbeat and positive and I hope to find many more opportunities similar to “The Hills” sync as a way of exposing my music to new audiences.

LC: Do you write your own songs or music? What is your inspiration?

TK: I do write my own material and I find that process to be very therapeutic. I find inspiration from everything around me, from great music (such as Billy Joel and Paul McCartney), from great books, from inspiring films.

LC: How have you been involved in the Armenian community throughout your life?

TK: My Armenian culture has always been something that has been incredibly important to me. I speak the language and I am constantly looking for opportunities to better connect with the Armenian community. I hope to make a trip to Yerevan next summer.

LC: You’re a student at Columbia University. How has it been to balance school and your musical career?

TK: I deferred school for six years (I got accepted to UC Berkeley right out of high school) and decided last year that starting that chapter of my life was important. I started studying at Columbia last spring and feel honored to be a part of their incredible student body. I am studying creative writing because I want to constantly better my songwriting and my ability to write lyrics and poetry.

LC: You also have a blog (tamarkaprelian.tumblr.com) that deals with fashion, food, etc. What was your reason for starting a blog?

TK: I wanted for my fans and for people, in general, to get to know me on a different level outside of the music that I write and record. Starting my Tumblr blog was another way for me to remain creative and to share/blend three of my life’s passions: food, fashion, and music.

LC: Your new album is being released this week. (Congrats!) What was the experience of working on the album like?

TK: The amazing Xandy Barry, who produced my album “Sinner or a Saint,” produced this set of material. This EP is an honest, organic, and upbeat group of songs that hopefully takes listeners on a fun and visual journey.

LC: Lastly, what are your goals for the future, both musically and in general?

TK: To continue to do what I love for a living—writing, recording, and releasing new music.

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