We have known her since the days of “Twist in my Sobriety,” the album that peaked the charts in the 1980s, engraving her deep and hoarse voice in the minds of music lovers everywhere.
Now Tanita Tikaram, the English singer and composer with mixed Indian and Malaysian origins, is back on tour.
The next show is on 4 April in Freiburg but we met her in Milan where she performed at the Blue Note in December and asked her how it is possible to travel the world so much, so extensively and so quickly. More precisely, we asked her - how do you pack for a tour ?
We followed up the meeting by visiting her at home in London where, sitting by the pianos in her music room overlooking a park, she revealed the secrets of a rock star traveller. When travelling, TanitaTikaram has a double identity.
She packs two kinds of bags: the public stuff for the stage, and the private gear for her remaining free time.
“I have very little time to do everything so I need to be very practical. Keeping things physically separated also helps me think clearly. ”
Most of the luggage contains items for wearing in public.
Outcome baggy-style, low-crotch, roomy trousers – “I need to be able to move freely” – followed by shirts, preferably men’s shirts, and a couple of jackets
“I keep it basic on stage and, in reality, also in life.”
And so why split the luggage? “Well, actually, there is really no need for separate bags...”
But whatever the case, her bags are of the soft type, in two-coloured leather, and their contents are neatly organised. Everything is classified by use: in a soft net holder, there are T-shirts, in another underwear, in another socks, and so on... but always very consistent with her style.
“Basic but with Asian reflections and a touch of Japan, which provides a good contrast with my band’s somewhat retro look.
It’s a personal touch that could easily go unnoticed. But I like it that way.”
"Photo courtesy Natacha Horn and Blue Note Milano"