A SHORT STORY
At the tender age of 6, a magical little girl named Margaret dreamed of her future child and affirmed she would be a star. Using her creative mind, she imagined her child to have dimples and don a beauty mark beside her lips. While growing up, she spoke of "Tameko" often as if she were already in the flesh. Over and over she told family and friends about her little star. When Margaret was ready, she gave birth to a baby girl with dimples and a beauty mark beside her lips. Upon sight of her beloved manifestation, Margaret made a sudden and later regretful decision to change the spelling of her baby's name from an "O" to an "A" and named her "Tameka" instead of the "Tameko".
“In reverence of my late mother/
manager, I have decided to change my name to honor her original dream”.
WHO IS TAMEKO STAR?
“Kill yourself now and die later”, says international recording artist, Tameko Star just before she rips the stage. She believes in giving the fans, who she has officially crowned the #livinloyals, everything she's got when she performs. Aside from her reputation of being a powerhouse vocalist, the multi-faceted, singer, songwriter, producer, choreographer, dancer, actress, director and playwright, is also famously known as 90’s Euro Dance Diva, Livin’ Joy.
Growing up in Europe, due to her military father, Tameko began honing her skills in front of an audience of stuffed animals, family and friends during her early childhood days. As an adolescent, she picked up nuggets of gold from her musical father as well as from pop icons like Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Michael and Janet Jackson. Forging an identity of her own in high school, Tameko's exceptional talent landed her in the Elite choir. Her dance and leadership skills promoted her to captain of the school's dance team. The popular, Homecoming Princess, was also bit by the acting bug and began starring in various plays and musicals. Winning numerous talent competitions in her town, Tameko Star created a name for herself. Following high school, she relocated to Italy where she studied music and performance. By day she taught performing arts to young children on a military base by night she transformed into a superstar as the lead vocalist of a popular local band.
While most aspiring artist pray to be “discovered”, in the mid 90’s Tameko’s dreams actually came true when a live radio broadcast of her singing with a local band caught the ear of Italian producers, Ricardo Stecca, Andrea Acchioni and Massimo Artusi. The union would give Tameko her first dose of stardom as she crafted and performed house and techno jams such as "Feel the Rhythm", "Now I feel" and R & B-tinged tracks, "Love Makes Me High" and "Going in Circles". The singles were released under Italian label, Irma Records with notable buzz.
The budding star enjoyed getting her feet wet with the release of her earlier singles but it was an unexpected phone call to her “momager” from record label executive, Angelo Bernado of Undiscovered Records that would catapult Tameko’s music career into overdrive.
Fresh off the heels of Livin’ Joy’s smash hit, “Dreamer”, Bernado and hit producers, Gianni and Paolo Visnadi were anxious to reinvent the brand after conflict arose with the original lead singer. Tameko Star was the top choice to take the brand to the next level. An R&B/pop artist at heart, Tameko was reluctant to join the Euro dance act but with the backing of major label MCA now Universal Records, she eventually signed on to take over the reins.
The Visnadi Brothers were blown away by the young singer/songwriter’s ability to create dizzying melodies and sticky hooks. They dubbed her "The Great Melodista". Tameko’s signature melodic quick flows and rhythmic, staccato word play infused well with their bright, gospel‘esque piano chords and deep resounding baseline. Their collaborative efforts gave birth to one of the biggest dance anthems of the 90’s, “Don’t Stop Movin’". The electrifying tune became a huge hit for the artist, quickly climbing the charts, peaking at # 5 and remaining the only dance track in the top 10 for 7 weeks. Featured on over 100 compilations worldwide, the iconic music mantra eventually achieved platinum status. The single’s success was the perfect segue to the Livin’ Joy album which spawned additional hits, such as "Follow the Rules", "Where Can I Find Love" and "Deep in You", all songs written by Tameko Star. The album also showcased some of her producing skills with songs like "Be Original" and "Let Me Love You".
Plans for the 2nd album foiled due to politics and label mergers beyond her control. In the aftermath, Tameko Star relocated to America where she continued writing and producing music. She also opened Star House Entertainers, a talent development and production company based in Atlanta, GA. Dedicated to cultivating aspiring artist, the company is giving back by helping young people to fulfill their dreams and as a result, audiences continue to witness Tameko’s work in sold out productions and through the success of other artist she has trained. (www.StarHouseEnt.com)
With the resurgence of her older hits, Tameko’s life is coming full circle. 2020 finds the talented Diva back on the scene with a brand new look, a new EP on the way and a tour in the making. Die-hard fans can expect what they have come to know and love from the beloved artist and new ones will discover a musical gem that’s been hiding in plain sight.
*Background picture collage courtesy of Christophe Leclercq.