Tamar Kaprelian (Tamar Gabrielyan) was born in october 28, 1986 in USA. The American-Armenian singer began his career in 2008 after winning a cover contest organized by OneRepublic, performing “Apologize”. It was just the beginning of a very long, effective and hard journey.
As a member of Genealogy supergroup she represented Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song “Face the Shadow“.
This year Tamar participates in the pre-election stage of Eurovision and hopes she’ll win, as her song is of high quality, easy to remember and meets all the standards.
We talked with young, beautiful and talented Tamar Kaprelian.
How is the real Tamar Kaprelian?
I am, who I am, I am very honest, I am very passionate about the things I get involved in, the causes I get involved in, the music I make, the people I work with. My friendship is like that, my work is like that, so if there’s a word that can describe me perfectly, it’s passionate. I think one thing that people in Armenia maybe don’t necessarily know about me is that except being a singer and songwriter, I’m also a social entrepreneur. Those are the three kind of things that really define me personally and artistically.
I’m really competitive with myself, I set goals for myself and once I reach the goal I think about the next thing. I like setting crazy goals for myself and it motivates me. I prove myself that I can do the things people might say I wouldn’t be able to.
Please tell us a little bit about “Nvak”.
We launched “Nvak” 2 years ago and we’ve been fortuned enough to do the program with TUMO. “Nvak” is a non traditional music education program. It’s non-traditional because we teach everything but classical music. This program is for talented musicians in countries which face political, social or economical difficulties. For the last two years it’s been like a pilot program, like a taste program for three weeks in the summer, but in 2018 it’s going to become more than a year round program, helping to develop musicians and talented individuals within the country.
In my opinion, the reason why it is important to start something like this, is because music is a very rich heritage. There are lot of kids who at a very young age know how to play instruments, and most know how to play piano, or violin and their parents put them into music classes from youth. That talent lives within them but kids who are passionate about music don’t think that it’s something they can actually do for a living. So we want to change that, because we think there’s a market here for artistry and it’s a very big, but there is no one here who contributes in its development therefore, what we do is bringing musicians, producers, and engineers from the US and Europe to Armenia so they can teach students to collaborate, work together and forget about competing, because in work it’s important to have competition, as it helps you to work harder, but in a collaborative zone it’s actually the worst thing.
The other thing that I think is important is that the majority of our students are women. It’s also some kind of empowerment program for women. There are so many smart and cool women in Armenia. Why not empower them?!
In a few words, I can sum up and what we’re trying to do; train young, talented, driven and smart people to be able to start creating the community and continue doing so while progressively growing.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Hmm, interesting. I would probably be in management, artist management, which is what I’m doing now too. Asides from “Nvak”, I am starting a management company with Sebu Simonian. We want to find artists, not only for music but from all different genres of art and start signing them from Armenia, it’s going to be an Armenian-based management company, finding Armenian talents and developing that talent and help them to get jobs. Moreover, we are signing young singers, songwriters, designers, clothing designers, videographers and eventually maybe also actors. We want it make it a very diverse and creative group.
What do you like the most in your profession?
I think being able to influence the youth in a positive way.
What is important for a musician?
Drive, perseverance, confidence in yourself and your abilities.
What is the future of music in Armenia?
In its current form, are definitely things that need to change in Armenia’s music scene. There are so many talented people in this country who don’t have the proper guidance and resources, they don’t know how to get the process going.
The other problem is that we have singers who rise to fame because they have sponsors or producers who help them get to that place. But what about all of the incredible talent that might not have those connections? This is why programs like “Nvak” are important. We want to help make a positive impact and help people in Armenia make a living from the music they are making.
Your wish for beginners
Everybody has problems, so I think people should just stay positive, learn how to hold on themselves and understand that it’s okay to have flaws and learn how to deal with them and do it in a healthy way.
You just have to believe in yourself.
Tell us about your future plans, Tamar.
I’ve already said about the management company with Sebu. This summer, I’m going to also release new songs with Sebu, we will continue “Nvak” and develop it. We have “Nvak” program in Armenia and it’s a long 3 weeks or a month program and we’re going to start doing shorter program in other places, in other countries. For example, we will put together a seven days program in Jerusalem this year. We will bring several musicians together to make music, so we should fund the program, try to raise money for that in order to develop these young talents.
Tamar, please tell us a little bit about Eurovision.
We have an amazing team, DerHova, Sebu Simonian. Our team is a world class team, and I think that for Eurovision, you write a song knowing what the market is, meaning its specification, as this market is very specific and we have to go into knowing that. We want something that is simple, something that is mystically Armenian, something that isn’t depressing, something that is memorable. I think our song is really good and fitting for Eurovision. I’m confident about it, as this isn’t about the artist but rather the song and how good it is. And I’m sure that the best song should win, and of course I would like us to win…
Your wish for your fans
There’s one thing, I really want to know my fans better. I think that personal connection with people is really important.
Good shit happens, bad shit happens, gotta move on…
Interviewer Mariam Sukiasyan
Photos Ashot Avagyan