I’m at Yiorgos Kaplanidis’ studio, in Nea Ionia. While the Ozon team prepares for the Tamta photo-shooting, I take another quick look at my notes. A few minutes later, she enters the room, wearing a yellow fur, her Old Skool Vans shoes and vintage sunglasses. I thought, “She’s one of us, a member of the Ozon gang!” and offered her an espresso lungo to relax. We are about to discuss her childhood, style, emotions and her future plans. While talking to her, I start to realize that she could genuinely be my best friend.
While discussing her childhood in Georgia, Tamta described her music icons, who inspired and gave her the strength to go after her dream. “I started singing when I was five years-old. Not professionally, of course. My family understood my inclination to music and my mother used to take me to singing contests. I was a member of a kids music band as well. Growing up, I loved Michael Jackson and used to sing along to his tunes.
Speaking of the past, Tamta recalled memories of her first professional steps in Greece and the talent show Super Idol. “I’m not easily moved as a person; this seems to have changed over the years. For sure, I’ve had some very emotionally charged moments, especially in the beginning of my career. Such a moment was the first audition at the talent show, when I was being judged by music experts, on stage. Until then, I didn’t have a clear image of myself in my head and I was not very confident. However, all these changed when I received the first positive feedback”.
Since the distant 2004, Tamta has been occasionally talked about her stylistic choices. “I believe that style is a form of expression. I can be influenced by many different things, people or situations. For sure, everything have changed. Things change, the world is evolving as I am too. For instance, there’s Instagram and the web where I can find numerous things that inspire me.” After a quick scroll-down on her Instagram page, she says: “We live in the era of image and information. I’m not trying to copy everything that I see; I don’t like that. I borrow a few basic elements and I bring my own aesthetic to them. In this fashion game, I’m not on my own; I’m with Alexandra Katsaiti, with whom I work all these years and we’ve grown very close. Also, I’m happy that I do a job which allows me to express myself this way. If I was in an office, I’d had my own style as well, but now I can take it a bit further. I always try to take into consideration my audience as it’s not always easy for everyone to understand you”.
Apart from her distinct stylistic choices, Tamta loves to experiment with her hairstyle as well. “I enjoy an image change. I’m a very practical person, so I express my craziness through my clothes and hair. Anyway, hair is a big issue. I have tried many different styles and I want to try some more!
For instance, I’d like to shave my head. I think that if I was on my own and wouldn’t work with others to restrain me, I’d be even more bold”.
With a recognizable stylistic ID of her own, Tamta can easily spot an original fashion icon. “Every era has its own icon. As an artist, I observe a look carefully -men or women, musicians or actors – especially when this is accompanied by a highly impressive image. David Bowie was such an icon; his style influenced thousands of people. As did Cher’s, who offered us some very strong images in collaboration with different designers”.
Moving on, I ask her about Athens. “I love the city centre a lot, though I live in Glyfada. While downtown discovering something new, a beautiful corner or a unique place, I often feel like a tourist. Another thing I like about Athens is the contrast between the northern and the southern suburbs. Finding yourself in the mountains and forests in one minute and the next you can be by the sea under the sun, it’s so impressive. Like escaping toward the summer”.
Our latest video is all about @officialtamta. Lets sneak into her sensual world. Backstage mood video taken from our latest fashion story as printed at Ozon RAW ‘Wow’ issue, #122. 📷 by @kaplanidis, fashion editor @lazarostzovaras, hair style by @stefanos.vasilakis, make up by @vivian_katt. #tamta #ozonraw #wow #ozonmagazine #ozonstyle
While wandering around the city, Tamta has a distinct way of dressing, perhaps a little bit different than expected. “To be honest, when I go out I don’t pay much attention to what I’m wearing. I always wear what I want at that particular moment. I usually go for casual looks, not the ones I’d wear in a photo-shoot or a TV show. It’s flattering to be recognized because of your style but it’s not something I aim at. In my everyday life especially, I like to use a little bit of colour, but I try to avoid going over the top”.
The conversation then shifts to privacy and being famous; in what way has this affected her private life? “Things are very different abroad. Artists are of a different calibre, so they are more likely to be pursued by the media. In Greece, everything works on a smaller scale. Journalists can write whatever they want, obviously. Also, I understand that their intention is not bad, at least not most of the time. I don’t like for my personal life to be exposed and I won’t talk about it either, just for the attention. On the contrary, I try to keep a low profile. This doesn’t mean I will stay locked up in my house”.
As someone with an important career, I can’t resist to ask whether she would choose money over fame. Her answer is quite surprising: “Neither. Surely, earning a living is important. I work for my family. I always remember where I started from and seeing to where I’ve arrived makes me very happy. I don’t intend to leave a fortune behind, nor I care if I will be forgotten. Fame is welcome but it’s not important. I’m ambitious, yet a realist. There are some boundaries I won’t cross”.
During the entire interview, Tamta was singing songs we were listening on the radio. I asked her about new artists who try their luck on the web. “These days, it’s the No. 1 choice. I know this and I use it but I also have other priorities. On the other hand, everyone runs around carrying a mobile phone. So, yes, I believe that if someone make a wise use of both the web and social media, it can be rewarding. A few years back, the right thing to do was to go to a record label or a talent show. Now, it’s different”.
Before finishing this lovely conversation, I asked her about her plans: “These days, you can find me at Vox with my beloved band Melisses. Also, I finished recording my new single which will be released next year. Finally, I’m extremely busy rehearsing for the musical Cabaret; we will be at the Palace theatre from February the 3rd along with wonderful actors and a fantastic team. I’m grateful about experience”.
Official Instagram account: @officialtamta
Words By Nicholas Bardis
Shot by Yiorgos Kaplanidis
(This is Not Another agency)
Fashion editor Lazaros Tzovaras
Make up Vivian Katsari (D-Tales)
Hair Stefanos Vasilakis (D-Tales)
Wig KDG Hair Zois
Faidon Kalpogiannis, Martha Vosdou
Stylist’s assistant Aristides Zois