Tanita Tikaram made a splash on both sides of the Atlantic at a mere 19 years old with her dramatic, singer/songwriter-influenced lyrics.
The offspring of Malaysian and Fijian parents, Tikaram moved to England at age 12 and began writing songs as a teenager. She played her first gig at 17 in London after a favorable response to her demo tape from a club she had sent it to. After appearing on television, Tikaram was signed to Warner
and released Ancient Heart, co-produced by Rod Argent
and Peter Van Hooke, in 1988. Both "Twist in My Sobriety" and "Good Tradition" were hits in Europe, and Tikaram toured the world. With the follow-up album, 1990's The Sweet Keeper, Tikaram began to settle into the status of a cult act, a situation not changed by the less consistent albums Everybody's Angel (1991) and Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (1992). Still, Tikaram began to bounce back in 1995 with the album Lovers in the City; she moved to Polygram
for 1998's The Cappuccino Songs. Seven years passed before she returned with Sentimental, with special guest Nick Lowe
appearing on two tracks. Another extended break followed Sentimental: she didn't return until 2012, when she came back with the soul-influenced Can't Go Back. Released on Ear
, Can't Go Back was produced by Paul Bryan and featured guest vocals by Grant-Lee Phillips
. Four years later, Tikaram released Closer to the People, a jazzy LP that showcased her road band. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi