Turning her passion for life into energetic, engaging and unique self-expression, Christine Tarquinio carries you on a sonic journey. Similar to Gwen Stefani, Jewel and Natalie Imbruglia, Tarquinio brings 90s pop to modern-day society. We speak with Christine Tarquinio about her new single ‘Falling Free’, musical inspiration, future plans and much more!
OSR: What drew you to music?
Tarquinio: I have always been drawn to music from a very young age. I remember when I was 5 years old getting a tape deck for Christmas. The very first album I owned was Icehouse’s Man of Colours. I think I wore that tape out in the end. Their music still resonates with me to this day. It certainly influences me as a singer-songwriter too. I saw Icehouse live for the first time ever in 2017 and was inspired by how amazing they are live and how they have had such longevity in the music industry.
Back in my younger years, there was nothing more exciting than spending lazy Sunday afternoons waiting for my favourite song to come on the radio so I could record it. How things have changed!
OSR: Do you have a musical background?
Tarquinio: I grew up in a small country town so access to music programmes was few and far between. I did learn guitar back in my early school years but that was only fleeting, unfortunately. It wasn’t until I moved to Melbourne after high school I was inspired to pick up the guitar again. I always love to sing but never in my wildest dreams back then did I think I would be a singer and write my own songs.
The shift for me came in the early 2000s and I started vocal training. I realised I really wanted to learn this craft and get the best out of my voice. Towards the end of 1008, I was well and truly moving into a new domain of writing my own songs finally and starting to teach singing.
OSR: What inspires you to create music?
Tarquinio: I am inspired by so many things. I will often hear other songs that I really connect to and they remind me of experiences I have, that leads me to want to write a song. I have two young children and often I sing to them and just naturally an idea of a song will fall out. This happens quite a lot actually.
OSR: What can you tell us about your new single ‘Falling Free’?
Tarquinio: ‘Falling Free’ marks a moment in my life when we were still living through a lot of uncertainty with Covid and we were in one of our many lockdowns in Melbourne in 2021. I felt frustrated but I also wanted to hold onto hope that everything will be okay. This song was a way of expressing how I have learned so many lessons over the last couple of years about how strong my family is and how, if we just stick together, we will get through anything. Navigating this life is full of risks and this song is a way of showing the conflict between taking chances even though we aren’t sure how things might work out.
OSR: Which do you find more difficult: melody or lyrics?
Tarquinio: This is such a great question. I always will connect with a melody before anything else in every song I write. I enjoy experimenting with a dynamic sound that ebbs and flows and keeps the listener guessing.
Finding the lyrics doesn’t always come easily and I have to refine what I am trying to say and that can take a bit longer. The key is not to rush a song and to just do a little bit at a time. Sometimes a song can come together for me quite quickly but others need more self-reflection to make sure I am giving the song true meaning.
OSR: What do you hope people take from your music?
Tarquinio: I know everyone will take away different things from my music and that is the great part of writing songs. I hope people will allow themselves to listen and enjoy the whole song. The soundscape created on this track by the super talented Josh Hennessy from Pivotal Music gives the song so much more depth and hopefully leaves the listener having a positive outlook after listening to the song.
OSR: If you could change something about ‘Falling Free’, what would that be and why?
Tarquinio: I don’t think I would change anything. I have been living with this song for so long now it is ingrained in me. The challenge as a songwriter is actually knowing when to say a song is finished. I have come to terms with the fact that nothing is perfect and this is an expression of how I was feeling at a point in my life, and that is real and honest I think.
OSR: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected you as a musician?
Tarquinio: I do acknowledge that many musicians have been impacted greatly by the pandemic and I feel for them and wish them all the best for the coming year. Strangely enough, for me going through this pandemic as a musician broadened my horizons. I found myself performing online and trying to get used to this new medium. I connected with other musicians and producers and never really stopped creating music. We just changed the game by doing things remotely. It was energising how I could take time to do more training and learn more in the musical space, and it has only enhanced my mindset as a singer and songwriter.
OSR: What is your best personality characteristic?
Tarquinio: I think I am honest and loyal to those I am close to. I only want the best for my family and friends and if I can help them achieve their goals and dreams I will be there front and centre to help them.
OSR: What future plans do you have as a musician?
Tarquinio: I do have a plan to release a second EP towards the end of this year. I will be going into pre-production for that in the coming weeks. I also love sharing what I know about singing and music with our younger generation and seeing them on their way to their musical journey. I know I feel like I am making up for lost time and only started releasing music eight years ago. If I can inspire one young person to continue on a path of making music, then I am content with that.