Se­nior Arena turns it up to 11

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Tanya MacNaughton

THERE’S a sense of spir­i­tual free­dom in Tina Arena’s new al­bum, Eleven, which speaks vol­umes for the lib­er­a­tion the Aus­tralian singer-song­writer feels about her ca­reer th­ese days.

Not only is Arena cel­e­brat­ing the re­lease of her 11th stu­dio al­bum and re­cent ARIA Hall of Fame in­ductee an­nounce­ment, but she is mov­ing back to Mel­bourne per­ma­nently af­ter spend­ing many years based in Paris with her part­ner Vin­cent Mancini and 10-year-old son Gabriel.

“It’s slowly been hap­pen­ing over the last four years, just slowly plan­ning to spend more time here and be with the fam­ily,” she said.

“Time is pre­cious and it’s time to come back.”

Be­ing a house­hold name since the ’70s, Arena said it was a mile­stone to have made her 11th record, which had proven a won­der­ful, col­lab­o­ra­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, record­ing in Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, Lon­don, Paris and Stock­holm with artists in­clud­ing Jon Hume (Ev­er­more), Hay­ley Warner (Aus­tralian Idol) and Ta­nia Doko (Bach­e­lor Girl).

“At the end of the day, cre­ativ­ity is not nec­es­sar­ily some­thing you can plan,” Arena said.

“It is what it is and you just hope when those peo­ple and spir­its come to­gether that some­thing hap­pens.”

Arena ex­pe­ri­enced cre­ative suc­cess on 11 tracks (plus three bonus songs) and cites her col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kate Miller-Hei­dke on Not Still in Love with You as her favourite song.

“I love Kate and am a big fan,” she said.

“She’s a great tal­ent and won­der­fully spir­ited woman with some­thing very in­ter­est­ing to say; I like that spirit and a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind.

“I like any­one who is not fright­ened to speak their mind; with so much po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness every­where, it’s a huge buzz.”

Arena, who turned 48 on Sun­day and cel­e­brated by “pick­ing up my boys from the air­port”, will be of­fi­cially in­ducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame dur­ing the ARIA Awards on Novem­ber 26 and de­scribed her­self as be­ing “re­ally chuffed” by the recog­ni­tion.

“The Aus­tralian mu­sic industry is buoy­ant, fas­ci­nat­ing, cu­ri­ous and hun­gry, with a cut­ting edge of its own and it’s im­por­tant to cel­e­brate that,” she said.

“Aus­tralians have al­ways in­her­ently looked else­where be­cause a part of them, I think, has never re­ally had enough con­fi­dence in their own cre­ations.

“It’s re­ally time to turn the page now, grow up a lit­tle bit and be proud of who we are, what it is that we have and our abil­i­ties.”

Eleven is out now.

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