Senior Arena turns it up to 11
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.