We’re Loving tINI’s Off-Kilter Palpitations

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Meet Tini, formerly of Munich, now residing in Berlin with her ex girlfriend turned best friend in the world. She likes to spell her name tINI—it’s her “trademark.” And since she made it a point to tell us, we’re passing it along to you. You can pick up her debut album Tessa now via the Hamburg based Desolat. (Here is three compelling reasons why we feel you should: #1. #2. #3.) She’s been an integral part of the imprint's family for a few years now and lately she’s been making a lot of music. In the near future she’ll be releasing a few remixes and an EP and is getting ready to tour the world in support of her album. We caught up with tINI for a quick chat as part of the “Magnetic Seven” series of Q&As.

tINI

tINI “Pulse Radio Mix” (November 2011)

Say hello to Magnetic readers. Please tell us some personal bits about yourself. Shoot from the hip—say what you want.
My room is huge but full of things, especially records and clothes...It's somehow messy but clean. I don't want to live alone, as I travel so much on my own. All the time spent in hotel rooms can be nice and quiet but I really enjoy the company of people I love. Happiness is only real when shared. I love to sleep for ages. But, as I have too many things on my hyperactive mind it's almost impossible to do this…so I have quite long days. I am always surrounded by music, not necessarily electronic. I am a total emo kid, loving singer / songwriter / heartache / melancholy music. I live more in the night than in the day, well due to my job I guess. If I find the time and energy I love all kinds of board sports. Back in the day it used to be skateboarding and snowboarding. Since I broke my spine and got “screwed up” with titanium, I started wave surfing. Not sure if this is better for my health though? I love to be outside in nature, the countryside, seaside, the mountains...I feel connected with nature. I am the biggest fan of my little nieces, 3- and 6-years old. They’re the most amazing persons one can meet in a lifetime. Family is very important to me, although I don't see them much. I need sun. Winter was only good for snowboarding, though I still enjoy having cold walks in the mountains where my dad lives. I love tea with soymilk and tons of honey in it; I am also addicted to fresh orange juice. I am a super positive person; I can always find something good, even in the worst moments. One of my favorite sentences is, “Could be worse.” I even have it tattooed on my leg.

To almost loose the ability of walking is a thing that definitely changes your way of thinking about life. I was always a very positive person, but this let’s you appreciate the little things even more. Much more.

How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
I had deaf friends in my class at school. We went out to techno parties together a couple of times. Although they don’t hear particular sounds, they feel the pressure of the bass and can even catch the mood of a track. It’s very hard to describe music with words, but I can say that it’s very important to me to have a certain, never stressing groove that guides you through my tracks.

What was your favorite toy as a child and when/why did you stop playing with it?
As I was never really into dolls and had an older brother, I grew up with Lego’s. I even made little stop trick movies with my figures. Hard to remember at what age I stopped playing with them, but I still have some of the figures at home and even one little astronaut guy on my car key.

Any colorful incidents involving a fan?
There are two special memories. One was just a couple days ago, when two fans must have waited all day for my arrival at the airport. They had special printed pictures and a magazine with me in it, and wanted me to sign it. Another time, there was a guy, who one day was not afraid to jump alone in his car and take an 8-hour ride to come and see me play. I met him in several places in Europe; during the time we became friends. I also just saw him last Saturday. It’s still so special for me to realize that there are “tINI fans” out there, but this shows me that I am on a good way somehow.

Favor us with a moment in life that changed the course of, or defined, your aesthetic philosophy/position.
Well, there is only one big thing coming right away into my mind. I broke my spine end of 2002. The end of my “Snowboard career.” I ended up in the hospital, with two massive operations and Titanium in my back. To almost loose the ability of walking is a thing that definitely changes your way of thinking about life. I was always a very positive person, but this let’s you appreciate the little things even more. Much more.

Your creative arc. Alpha to omega, go.
OK, let’s go. There is a moment, a person, something in my mind that makes me want to start a new project. An emotion inside of me that wants to get out in the shape of a song. There is my computer, that already has recorded analog instruments, such as my KORG Electribe / Microkorg, or MFB drum computer; along with other samples or voices of friends or even strangers that I recorded with my phone. I sit down and start creating a beat and then the rest starts flowing along somehow. It’s a certain feeling that comes out and transforms itself into melodies and rhythms. Broken or clean, sad or happy. Sometimes it just takes a few hours to get there, to get satisfied with my track. Sometimes it takes some years...leaving the project, finding it again and refurbishing it. If the song feels right, it’s done.

The movement from CD to MP3 was a big paradigm shift in the music biz. Crystal ball time. What will be the next big shake up? How are you going to come out on top?
You mean the movement from vinyl to MP3? As there is not such a change from CD to MP3. For me it’s not about winning. Things just have to feel right for me. I think this movement is very important. There is a big change in the music business for sure, but changes have also built up more variety. There are more things to choose from. I found my way in still supporting the “old” by still buying vinyl and combining it with the “new” by digitalizing it and playing it from my computer.

Do you think there are any commonly held societal beliefs that are false?
Still thinking about it. I think there is a reason why such beliefs get stuck in people’s minds.

tINI Tessa