As a lead up to the TOTALLY 80’s concert set to sweep the nation in July, Glam Adelaide managed to drag our former Music Editor out of retirement to interview not one, but two big names from the 80s.
At TOTALLY 80s, Martika will be performing all of her biggest Australian hits including the #1 smash Love… Thy Will Be Done (written by Prince!), the almost #1 Toy Soldiers as well as I Feel The Earth Move and Martika’s Kitchen.
The bubbly pop star spoke to Dazz Hassan in an early morning call from her US home, and her energy was as contagious as her enthusiasm for returning to Australia for the first time in 25 years.
“Can you believe it’s been that long? I’m SO excited to be coming back, I fell in love with it when I was there in (1991) and I’m just thrilled that it’s actually happening again this year!”
Asked how much she understood how big her fan base was here in Oz, she says she initially felt blown away with all the attention and adoration. “I heard about the reception to my big hits over there, and although I tried not to think about it too much, at the same time I was overwhelmed (in a good way of course). I really want to thank my Aussie fans for liking my music, and staying interested in me after all this time -still! I’m just so glad that something I was involved in musically has left an impression on so many”
Martika (born Marta Marrero) is now 46, was relatively young when she made it big and after bursting onto the scene, and went quiet for a few years in the midst. On this, Martika says that- “ I was just young and easily distracted, life just sort of said ‘come over here and smell the roses’. There was a lot of music industry pressure in those days & I wasn’t quite ready to be that successful. I was just a kid trying to be a cool pop star, so since my heyday I’ve been living my life, enjoying a wide variety of things out of the public eye. This is the first era for me to re-focus on my ‘Martika’ days. I haven’t really done most of these songs since ‘ back in the day’, so this is incredibly exciting.”
And that it certainly is. The 80s, often branded as daggy for its fashion faux pas’ and cheesiness, had a certain charm to it for those who were there. Boofy mullets, lemon slacks, shoulder pads, the whole kit and caboodle, were a transformative era in our collective psyche, and came with a killer soundtrack. Martika’s music was very much a part of that and despite what the critics say- the 80s rocked! She worked with the likes of Prince on Love…Thy Will Be Done, which Eminem went on to sample, and in her younger days worked with Mr. T. “It was pretty surreal particularly working with people like Prince because I was a huge fan. It was very brief and ages ago, but going to Paisley Park Studios and walking around there was awesome.” Despite the whole experience, she remains down to earth, easily approachable, and could easily be the girl next door. In an industry known for spoiling people through excess and the trappings that come with success, Martika remains humble and realistic about her life’s journey. She has an ability to put you at ease and make the setting comfortable.
The lineup for the Totally 80s gig is incredible, with other acts sharing the bill including Berlin, Katrina (The Waves), Paul Lekakis, Men Without Hats, Stacey Q, Wa Wa Nee, Real Life, and the man that other guys wanted to be and all the girls wanted- Limahl! (Whom we also interviewed- stay tuned!)
There are no pretentions as we discuss the other acts in the lineup, and she get’s excited when recalling them to the point of singing lines from each of their songs. It’s very cute, and something only another 80’s child would understand!
“I know ALL of these bands, OK! It’s a trip down memory lane and we’re going to have a LOT of fun. Come along and let’s just get all goofy like when we were teenagers- it was just such a happy time and had a different kind of energy around it all”.
And that friends, perfectly sums up the 80s. If you weren’t there the first time, here’s your chance to relive the era that fashion excused.
Totally 80s hits Australia this July, and will play the Gov on Thursday July 21.
Get your tickets early at metropolistouring.com and the venues.
Interviewed by Dazz Hassan
Coming up: Interview: Limahl’s Neverending Story