A new contender for the retro-soul trophy has emerged in the form of 21-year-old, half-Iranian half-Jamaican beauty Roxanne Tataei (aka Rox). Not only did her debut album Memoirs make critics sit up and take notice; she also earned a nomination for Best New Act in the UK and Ireland at the MTV European Music Awards this year.
You’ve gone pretty far since your church choir days and have even gone on tour with Mark Ronson and Daniel Merriweather. How’s life in the fast lane?
I love that I get to travel while doing what I love the most. I’ve been fortunate to be given the opportunity to see places and meet people. But it can be emotionally and physically draining. The first time is always great but by the third time, the novelty’s worn off.
Any particular cities you like?
I love Paris; it’s hard not to fall in love with it! Everything there is so beautiful. I also love performing in Germany. The people there are always up for it and they are really into my stuff. One of my favorite gigs was for the Newport City Radio show there. It was an amazing and wicked show in a small but beautiful theater.
How about Singapore?
I love it there! My boyfriend is Singaporean so I know all about Singapore. The weather’s great because I’m not a fan of the cold. I’m a vegetarian so there’s not much I can eat usually but in Singapore, there are just so many things to try! I love laksa, and the vegetarian options here have mock meat in them.
Where do you go to get inspired?
For me, it’s really anywhere quiet. It’s best when I’m in my house, alone with the piano. I also like to listen to music by the people I like and respect most in the industry, like Alanis Morrisette. I became a big fan of Grace Jones this year. I’ve seen her perform and she totally owns the stage. Everyone feels incredibly attracted to her.
What do you miss doing?
I miss spending time with my favorite people—my mom, grandparents and friends. I’m most comfortable at home when I’m with them, which doesn’t happen a lot now.
What are some of your favorite things?
Well, I’m a red wine lover. I love to go for wine tasting sessions; they’re my favorite thing to do ever. I also love writing music.
Get a dose of Rox’s perky voice and charm when she performs Nov 5, 8pm. TAB, #02-29, 442 Orchard Rd., 6493-6952. $38 from TAB.