Different places this time - Interview with Tina Dico - Aviva - Berlin Online Magazin und Informationsportal für Frauen aviva-berlin.de Interviews

AVIVA-BERLIN.de im Juli 2024 - Beitrag vom 24.08.2012

Different places this time - Interview with Tina Dico
Susanne Schwarz

The singer-songwriter´s new album "Where Do You Go To Disappear?" will be released on 7th September 2012. AVIVA-Berlin met the musician to talk about the new release, her following tour and ...

... future plans.

Tina Dico is sitting placidly in a chair in the foyer when I enter the Hotel Concorde in Berlin. She introduces herself, pushes a wisp of hair back from her face and apologizes for being a little tired: "My flight to Berlin was cancelled yesterday. So I had to go to Oslo first and fly in this morning like crazy early!" she says. I absolutely do not see this in her. The singer-songwriter actually makes quite an alert impression with those sparkling eyes of hers, and an immediately likeable one with her gentle smile. The small-framed woman is one of the biggest stars of the music business in her home country Denmark where she has received several distinctions for her musical contribution. But Tina Dico is a household name in the rest of the world, too. After all, the 34-year-old has been touring around Europe, the UK and the USA in addition to having multiple international releases for the past twelve years. After signing the copy of Where Do You Go To Disappear?, that her promo delegate has just given to me, the musician looks at it proudly – realising that it was the first time she had signed the new album.

AVIVA-Berlin: Let´s go back in time: When you founded your label Finest Gramophone twelve years ago, you were only 23 years old. Back then it wasn´t usual for an artist to have their own lable particularly at the age of 23. What experience did you gain as such a young woman from the economic side of the music business?
Tina Dico: It´s true that it was very, very difficult at first but I had some good support from people in the music industry in Denmark. But I knew nothing. However I had the drive to really master this side of my career as well and I pretty quickly learned about these things. You know, it´s not rocket science. When you found your label and you want to release your own music you really just go out and make your album. Then you find some good people to take it from there into the shop. Anyone can do this, really.

AVIVA-Berlin: You have had to be both musician and business woman ever since. Does it still feel like you have two full-time jobs?
Tina Dico: To an extent it actually does. But I´m actually very happy to have these two sides of the job. There was always a very mathematical side to my brain and actually maybe a side to me that found it difficult to do music and just music. With music you´re feeling your way and there´s never right or wrong. When do you know that a song is good enough? You never know, you just have to feel it. I think for that reason I always enjoyed that there was also a very concrete side to my job, the record label side.

AVIVA-Berlin: Your new album "Where Do You Go To Disappear?" is going to be released in September. What do you think makes this particular album special in relation to your other releases?
Tina Dico: I think it is quite different from my other releases. I worked very closely with Helgi Jonsson on this album and he of course has also put his stamp on it. This means that for one thing there is more piano on it whereas my earlier records have very much been about the guitar. So this time it has more piano, and maybe in places a more nordic tone. Some of it is more up-tempo. Maybe even more like optimistic in a way. I´ve released many albums now and of course I was curious to try and go different places this time.

AVIVA-Berlin: That´s what I felt, too. I´ve already listened to the new album and what I really loved was the change from melancholic to more joy-filled songs in the course of the album.
Tina Dico: Yeah, I think it was very important to me this time to find a good balance. You know, not to have it all be melancholic. Actually, I´m not such a melancholic person and I´m not in a melancholic place in my life. So it was important to me that there was also some fun and some light.

AVIVA-Berlin: Just like in your new video to "You wanna teach me to dance" - it really looks like you had fun!
Tina Dico: Yeah, that was very, very funny!

AVIVA-Berlin: I read that you were initially worried about how your recent move to Iceland might interfere with your music. How do you strike the balance?
Tina Dico: I was worried because it´s the first time in so many years that I´ve had a base, a home. I´ve been travelling so much for the past ten years. That´s been very inspiring to me and a big part of my songwriting. So I was worried about being in one place. I didn´t know if I was going to be able to write any songs but I very quickly found out that the songs are everywhere. I don´t think Iceland has changed me as an artist or as a songwriter. But the fact that I have been in one place recording this album and really concentrating on it, building a studio and doing it with Helgi has made it a different process, a fun process.

AVIVA-Berlin: Where Do You Go To Disappear? asks listeners to look for a place that is really special to them and makes them forget about daily routine.
Tina Dico: Any kind of passion. You know, it can also just be cooking or reading a book. What do you do or where do you go to disappear – anything that will make us forget.

AVIVA-Berlin: You once said that for you music is your special place, your way of disappearing. Is there also a place in a spatial way for you that makes you disappear?
Tina Dico: Oh, where do I even begin? I guess my dad grew up on a small island in Denmark where there´s only 800 people. That´s kind of where I started writing songs. At least as a teenager I would be there in summers and I would take my guitar and go into nature. There are a few special places there where I used to sit with my guitar and just sing about what was going on in my teenage life. That´s a very special place for me.

AVIVA-Berlin: You´ve said about yourself that a song needs a good idea rather than a certain style of music to appeal to you. Where does a good idea come from?
Tina Dico: A good idea – to me – somehow actually comes from the language, from the words: words that speak to you, words that jump into your head. It´s always hard to explain these things. What is a good idea, what is a hook, what is a good song? But for me there has to be a strong lyrical hook. It has to say something; it has to take our normal lives to a slightly higher level. Hm, well, that doesn´t make any sense...

AVIVA-Berlin: You mean, that there have to be emotions coming from the lyrics as well as from the music itself?
Tina Dico: Definitely! I can´t write a song without having a lyrical hook or a lyrical idea that tells me what the song wants to say. Somehow the music isn´t enough on its own for me. I have to know what the story is. I have to know what the song wants to say to people. I have to feel that we can sing the words together and it will mean something.

AVIVA-Berlin: So for you the music is like the craftsmanship of the piece that enables the story´s emotions to be transferred?
Tina Dico: Not really, the music is also a big part of it. I don´t write poems. I couldn´t just write the words down – it also wouldn´t be good poetry. It goes hand in hand. And music is what makes me disappear in the end of the day. But at the same time I want to know that I´m saying something to people, that I´m telling some stories.

AVIVA-Berlin: How do you usually get your good ideas? Do you have a particular process?
Tina Dico: No, it can come from anywhere; as simple as having a conversation with someone. It´s quite often the case that I´ll be talking to someone and be thinking: “Oh there´s a song there”. Or it could be a headline in a newspaper or a magazine or just little things I wonder about in my everyday life. So I guess, it´s kind of everywhere.

AVIVA-Berlin: Taking up on this: is writing songs kind of a cathartic experience for you?
Tina Dico: In many ways it is. But it´s also more than that because it´s not enough for me that it does something to me. I think when I was younger, when I did my first album for instance, I was working through my own problems. Now reaching out to people is a very big part of it. So it´s not just a personal catharsis thing. It´s not just me, there´s more people.

AVIVA-Berlin: You´ll be touring through Germany, Austria and Switzerland in autumn. This tour is probably one of the first opportunities to play "Where Do You Go To Disappear?" live. Do you already have a favourite song to play live from the new album?
Tina Dico: On the new album, hm. Well, we haven´t even once played the songs live yet. I´m very, very excited about that, to see how it´s going to be live. Of course some of it is very easy because it´s just me and my guitar. I love songs like that – on this album it´s a song called "The Other Side" and a song called "Point Of No Return". That´s always special for me to just go on stage with the guitar and play the songs very intimately. But there´s also some much bigger songs on this album like "You Wanna Teach Me To Dance" or "Moon To Let". Songs we have yet to find out about how to do them live. It´s a challenge!

AVIVA-Berlin: You have done so many different things up till now: your own label and music, music collaborations, and social engagement like participating in the Amnesty International campaign Make Some Noise – what are your plans for the near future?
Tina Dico:There´s a lot of things I would like to do. Also with Helgi whom I´ve done this album with. I would love to do something where we actually work a little closer together because obviously this is my project with a lot of my decisions. And I would love to do some more of a ... well, I shouldn´t even say this. It´s probably a secret.
I have done a soundtrack for a Danish film and I would love to do more of this type of thing. We´ll see. I mean, we´ve built a studio now in Iceland. I also hope that other artists will come, artists I can write with, help along and do some recordings for. There are many options.
I´m happy to feel that just after finishing this album I already feel like writing again. Usually having finished an album there is a long period that I´m like: I can´t write any more! This time I also was worried because I had a baby very recently, a month ago.

AVIVA-Berlin: Oh, congratulations!
Tina Dico: Tak (Danish thank you)! I thought that this would change everything and that I might not feel inspired to write, but I really do.

AVIVA-Berlin: How will you manage the tour with a newborn?
Tina Dico: It really is fine. Anything is possible. And on tour we can have a nanny with us at all times. So he´s just going to be a Rock´n Roll baby. Although it´s not really Rock´n Roll to have a baby! But that´s what actually suprises me: it feels quite Rock´n Roll!

AVIVA-Berlin: It´s Mick Jagger all the way!
Tina Dico: Exactly. I mean, he has a lot of kids, of course it´s possible. If you go on tour and travel, the baby just tags along.

AVIVA-Berlin: Sounds fine. Thank you so much for the interview!

Please also read the AVIVA-Berlin review on Where Do You Go To Disappear? by Tina Dico.

More infos on Tina Dico at www.tinadico.com

Read more on AVIVA-Berlin:

Count To Ten by Tina Dico (2010)

In The Red by Tina Dico (2006)

Copyright Fotos von Tina Dico: Susanne Schwarz


Beitrag vom 24.08.2012