Interview: Tiffany Giardina
Tue, 20 Jan 2009 08:48:08
Tiffany Giardina claims that she's "No Average Angel." However, she's really no average teen songstress. Rather, she's a pop star for the 21st century, and her debut, No Average Angel, proves that. On the album, due out January 20th via 785 Records, she elevates ecstatic and infectious hooks to the heavens with her powerful pipes. Of course she croons on relationships, but she's also got the je ne sais quoi to fire off sharp, clever quips about her "Top 8" that'll no doubt resonate with MySpace Nation. While driving through New York, Tiffany took some time to speak with ARTISTdirect.com about No Average Angel, capturing inspiration on her iPhone and following in Audrey Hepburn's footsteps.
Do you feel like you're telling stories with the songs on No Average Angel?
Yeah, every song has a different story, experience and vibe to it. I'm so excited for this album to come out. I really got involved in every aspect, from the writing to the artwork. It's very personal for me, and I couldn't be happier with it.
It's definitely coming straight from the heart. That sentiment's been absent in a lot of contemporary pop music.
It's very relatable. I've lived through everything! Lots of kids tell me that they love the lyrics.
How do your songs typically come together?
I usually end up writing ideas at the weirdest times, and that's how the songs start off. I'll be riding in the car, and I'll take out my phone and hum a little tune. I record everything on my iPhone first. Then I'll go to my producers and tell them everything that's going on with the lyrics and the music. Right now, I'm learning guitar and piano, so I come to the producers because they're experts. We put everything together and usually record it all the same day. It's a pretty cool process. It's immediate and in the moment.
What are some stranger times that song ideas have come to you?
I've gotten ideas when I was on a plane or when I was eating. I get ideas at every random time that you can think of [Laughs].
What inspired the title of the album, No Average Angel?
I'm basically describing myself as "No Average Angel." I'm not afraid to be who I am. It's okay to be different, and I think that's a really important message for kids my age.
Would you say the album showcases every aspect of your individuality?
Oh yeah! In the middle of the album booklet, there's a quote by Audrey Hepburn. She's my idol, and I love her! I have a million posters of her in my room. The quote is my favorite from her. I love how she gave back to charities, and I really want to follow in her footsteps. Every Christmas, I go to the Ronald McDonald house to hand out presents for the kids that have cancer. Even before I started singing professionally, I would go there, sing for the kids and give them gifts. It means a lot to me.
What's the quote?
It's, "For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." That quote sums up everything pretty much. Audrey was also one of the first actresses to work with the UNICEF foundation, and that inspires me.
What else about Audrey Hepburn do you like?
I've seen all her movies, and I love her acting and her poise. I was really inspired by how she carried herself in interviews. She was so amazing. She's the number one person whose footsteps I'd want to follow in. Breakfast at Tiffany's is the best! I've seen all of her movies. Roman Holiday is amazing too!
What's the story behind "This Is My Life?"
It's me encouraging everyone to take time with life and not rush ahead with anything. Just enjoy life and live in the moment.
Which song on the album is closest to you?
Every week I have a new favorite [Laughs]. There's one song I wrote that I love called "Falling Down." The song's about persevering. If you're having a bad day, keep moving forward. If you're falling down, pick yourself back up and move on.
Why did you choose to cover "Eternal Flame?"
It's one of my favorite songs! I had to do a cover of it. I totally wanted to sing it on the record. The president of my label is really into rock music, and that's one of his favorite songs too. That was everyone's choice for a cover.
“Enjoy life and live in the moment.”
Do you want to eventually begin a movie career like Audrey Hepburn did?
Absolutely. Right now I'm doing tons of acting classes. I'm really getting the hang of it. I've always been interested in all types of movies. If they do a re-make of Roman Holiday, I'd be down for that [Laughs].
Given your close connection with The Jonas Brothers, does it feel like the pop world is turning into a big family?
Yes, it's great! I've known the Jonas's forever. I went to school with Nick when I was little. I've watched The Jonas Brothers grow as artists, and it's really amazing. They had a show where there were five people there, and now, they're playing Madison Square Garden. I'm so proud of them. They're great guys. Nick and I did theater together. We did The Sound of Music. I was Marta, and Nick was Kurt. It was awesome!
Are acting and playing music similar?
Definitely! To play music you have to really find yourself and express that to everyone. In acting, it's the same thing.