The dancefloor filling divas Janice Robinson and Tameko Star are the voices, the talent, and the cult of raving, worldwide!
They shared their stories of how they came to be the most recognized voices on the ’90s dance music scene…and they had a little (A LOT) of tea to spill…
Take your mind back to 1996, you had just managed to perfect your ‘curtains’ haircut, scored guestlist at the best rave in town, drenched your neck in ‘Fahrenheit’ parfum, or that cabin crew favorite ‘Kudos’, ironed your best tie-dye T-shirt, and told your folks (or whomever might be motivated to file a missing person’s report), “I’m going out,” and off you went raving for the weekend. Out on Friday, back on Sunday — as standard!
In that memory, there will be some very distinctive tunes, pieces of music that immediately on hearing the first few bars and lyrics you are instantaneously teleported back to a specific place, time, and memorable event! I have no doubt whatsoever, that amongst those tunes will feature absolute bangers by the universe-wide known and loved Livin’ Joy.
What you might not have known though, is that those female powerhouse vocals that sent rushes through your spine, stomps to your eager-to-dance feet, and rhythm to your contorting arms (that may well have been ‘throwing shapes’ in the styles of, ‘Big fish, ‘Little fish, ‘Cardboard box’) were actually belted out by not one, but two, hugely talented divas.
Those Divas are Janice Robinson, and Tameko Star!
The first song: “Dreamer” recorded by the uber-cool Janice Robinson. Janice has a style entirely unique to her, and whilst it may well often be copied, I have yet to see it done quite like her. Distinguishable now by her bare skinhead, her ‘look’ is considerably different to how it was ‘back in the days’ of our misspent youth, when she would have worn a statement Afro style mainly.
Discovered whilst living in Italy, Janice was asked to pen some lyrics to a piece of music by DJ friends she had come to know. The request, although well-received, was not at the top of her priorities, and it was only a couple of weeks later that she put pen to paper whilst sitting on the train, listening to the sounds, on a good old Sony Walkman.
Writing the lyrics for Janice was a “spiritual experience”, and she did not make any edits! It was a one attempt, one sheet effort – which very quickly, went on to be an instant hit. Janice explained it was only when the song had gathered traction around the world that the ‘powers that be’ got in touch to record a music video, and to establish a more permanent agreement by way of contract.
The success of “Dreamer” continues today, it has since its launch been played non-stop by pretty much everyone, every station, every raver new, and ‘veteran’ as a party starter, middle, and end! Such was its success that Janice has now released a new version of the song with DJ LODATO — want a listen? Of course, you do – well, let me help you with that! …click this link for a watch and listen. Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility for any damage to your hips from the non-avoidable ‘skipping’ it might cause!
However, as I am learning by way hearing the same story from many music stars. The song was the only one that Janice recorded at that time with Livin’ joy. Contractual obligations and an inability to reach agreement, Janice moved forward on her own — and has carved out a successful career under her own name.
Luckily for us, the story of Livin’ joy did not end there! Desperate to keep the success of the ‘brand.’ The team went in search of a new female vocal.
Tasked with finding someone who could perpetuate the sound and look they had ‘branded’ with Janice, they searched high and low, far and wide for that one person, who could take the music and the brand around the world at the level Janice had elevated it to. After some scouring, they struck lucky for a second time, upon finding the inimitable talent and stunning looks of the very fabulous Tameko Star!
Tameko, who was spending her youth and young adult years moving around Europe with her parents was on her own mission, she had the voice, the style, and the ‘tude to take on Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson — and the rest!
Her mother ‘The Momager’ of the obviously star ready Tameko, was approached to see if there was an opportunity for Livin’ Joy and Tameko to marry. Like many ‘arranged nuptials’ the love was not an instant for Tameko when the proposal was presented to her. Dance music? Why would she do that? THIS GIRL had ballads to belt out, and number ones to claim!
However, in almost a repeat of the same situation as Janice, upon hearing the music she immediately took to writing the lyrics for “don’t stop moving”. The rest – well, to coin the well-known phrase is history!! Hit, after hit, Tameko brought the music and the brand to stratospheric places!!
Speaking with the girls, was for me a trip down memory lane and a privileged invitation into the hearts and lives of two of the most recognizable and talented stars of my introduction to music — and the love affair of dance music — that led me through a successful modeling and dancing career ‘back in the day’
However, amongst all the lovely reminiscing was a sadness, a frustration, clearly an anger it would be fair to say, that that Livin’ Joy are … “less than joyous” about what is happening with the name THEY built now!
I won’t tell all here, instead give the video a watch to hear it for yourselves, directly from them! Suffice to say, the pain of watching someone else passing off your baby as their own must be a pain, that only a mother could truly feel – King Solomon? Well, he would have a field day!!
So, how do we hear more from the two dance music royals?
There are, my friends, several exciting things happening! Recording their own music, and with the promise (IT BETTER HAPPEN) of them collaborating on a number or two together, the girls are very much out there for you to listen to on your playlists.
They are appearing at clubs, and Pride events, they are very much present and ready to get you back on your feet, blowing those whistles, and bringing back those ‘glo-stick’ illuminated arm sways.
Born into royalty as ‘Queens of the rave’, these two are rightfully staking their claim to the throne, and we all no doubt, will serve them as loyal subjects for many dancing years to come!!
Stream Tameko’s new hit “Something Beautiful” on all the usual places, watch the official video here:
Stream Janice’s new mix of “Dreamer” in all the same places or watch the video here:
To keep up to date with all the music, the news, and the tea (Yes, there most definitely will be tea!!)
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