That Girl With Dark Eyes
Tiffany, you’re known as That Girl With Dark Eyes...where did the name come from?
Well, the whole project started in Canada. I was in a band called Bella and a company asked us to write a jingle for a chocolate commercial. My band mates had to be elsewhere, so I did it alone. I had to come up with a name, so I looked in the mirror and looked at myself, and that was the first thing that popped into my head.
So a jingle for a chocolate commercial was the start of your solo career?
Yes. I wasn’t going to do it. I thought it would be impossible to write, record and finish a song in 48 hours like they wanted. But I did it, and that was the beginning of my solo career.
You used to play the drums in Bella. How old were you when you started playing and when did you progress onto other instruments?
I started playing the drums when I was about 10 years old, but I wanted to play for as long as I can remember. I used to bang on ice cream containers until eventually my parents bought me a drum kit. In high school I began playing around with the guitar, but I was horrible! As the years progressed with Bella, I improved. I wanted our career to take off so badly I would constantly do things with guitars, keyboards, whatever it was.
Ever contemplated a career in anything other than music?
No. It’s actually a life crisis for me. If nothing’s going on with my music, then it’s the end of the world. I can’t think about anything else. But if I had to do something other than this, I think it would be in art, design or maybe I would manage a band.
Who are your musical influences and what’s on your iPod right now?
If there is any career I’d like to follow, it would be Prince. For me, he is one of the most talented musicians that the world has seen. Everything he writes is an inspiration to me. On my iPod right now is a lot of older music—funk, Parliament, Cameo. Something newer that I like is the National. I think the lyrics are beautiful. If I want to feel inspired, then the National is a good start.
So what’s your dream musical collaboration? That Girl With Dark Eyes and..?
Obviously, Prince would be mind blowing! As far as younger artists, I think Peaches would be a fun collaboration.
You’re currently working on your debut album. How would you describe its overall feel?
I think it’s going to have a fun vibe. I like things that have a positive energy and make you want to dance. I want to put something on that makes me feel good, feel alive, and I think that’s what my music will be. I want to make sure that this album is perfect. I could throw something out now, but I want my album to be as good as it can be.
Is the decision to go solo down to you being a perfectionist?
Yes, a total perfectionist! I’m finding I’m a lot more controlling than I thought I was. I want to have a good working relationship with people, but there’s one way that I want to do things, and one way that I want my songs to sound.
How does the music scene in the US compare to Europe?
The European music scene is a lot more enthusiastic and genuine. People are much more supportive of artists, whereas in the States, people aren’t satisfied—they want something new all the time. Here, people will go and see a band more than once and continue to support them. I think there’s a community within the audience. It’s really beautiful. Now is a good time to be in Barcelona—there are a lot of great bands like Love of Lesbian and Dorian, who are starting to get noticed.
You played a handful of gigs in Spain last year. What’s the atmosphere like at your shows and who’s in the audience?
Actually it’s very diverse. I’ve had guys with shaved heads and tattoos up to their necks that look like they just got out of prison, and they’re the sweetest, kindest people. Things seem more free here. There’s a diverse mix of ages too.
You’re playing Mataro on February 24th. Why should people come see you?
Because I think it’s something different. They’re going to have a good time and feel good once the concert’s over. There’s going to be a positive vibe. That’s what my show is; it’s fun and energetic.
Finally, if I were to interview you a year from now, what would you like to have achieved?
Success for me is a difficult word, but I would definitely like to be touring, have some label support and a loyal fan base. I’d like to be playing festivals, and have half my record recorded, at least. There are a lot of things outside my music I’d like to do, with youth and gay rights. I think it’s important to use the podium you have as a musician for other things. Your voice is a bit bigger—it shouldn’t be that way, but it is—and you should do something responsible with it.