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World Keeps Turning
Sylvia Tosun
My mother started me when I was really young, I went to music school and studied opera. You can't take the girl out of the classical! - Sylvia Tosun
by Michael Shinafelt
Sylvia Tosun
Sylvia Tosun

Sylvia Tosun is a singer-songwriter to be reckoned with. The operatically-trained vocal powerhouse has a big hit on her hands with the thoughtful and extremely danceable "World Keeps Turning".

She also owns Sea to Sun Recordings, her own record label that puts out all of her music as well as Traci Lord's current dance smash, "Last Drag". Sylvia appears in the song's video and gets to make out with Traci.

A smash hit single, her own record label and in a music video making out with an icon... fluff up your pillow and dream, here comes Sylvia Tosun!

MS: Hi, Sylvia.

ST: Hello how are you? I love that the number I am calling from is private and you knew it was me.

MS: Well, the only time anyone ever calls this number is if I have an interview scheduled, so I always know who it is, interviews are the only reason I have a land line. (Laughs.)

ST: Oh my God, don't you just love landlines though? They give you that person-to-person feeling.

MS: Yeah, they're great that way. I really love your single "World Keeps Turning". I watched the video on YouTube last night.

ST: Oh, parts of me were burning last night. Now I know why! (Laughs.)

MS: The lyrics are great and you have a voice, unlike most dance music where you can't tell if the person can really sing or not.

ST: I either have a voice or I beat those machines really hard! (Laughs.)

MS: By the way, are you trained operatically?

ST: Yeah.

MS: I knew it!

ST: My mother started me when I was really young, I went to music school and studied opera. You can't take the girl out of the classical!

MS: Is that out there? It was something I could just tell.

ST: They probably know it everywhere. I run into people in New York City all the time who remember when I was in the Julliard School and doing pageants and stuff like that. People always come up to me and say, "I remember when you were singing opera." I'm like, I wish I could forget those days.

MS: Awwwwwwwww, why?

ST: Because it was before I had a stylist. (Laughs.)

MS: Pat Benatar was an opera singer as well.

ST: I love Pat Benatar and was inspired by the fact that she was an opera singer!

Sylvia Tosun | "World Keeps Turning"
Sylvia Tosun | "World Keeps Turning"

MS: On the subject of stylist, was the Bettie Page look in the video for "World Keeps Turning" your idea?

ST: No, everything was styled by The Blonds, and thanks for thinking of Bettie Page, because that wig is really Kathy Griffin's. That means you didn't notice and it worked. (Laughs.)

MS: The wig was on you, not her, it carries a different context. (Laughs.) What about that blue outfit?

ST: Yeah, it's kind of like this Mother Mary kind of look. Well, that was something Nicki Manaj wore. But, like Kathy's wig, it was styled differently. It's Mother Mary Magdalene, She's a virgin, she's a whore. (Laughs.)

MS: How "Chinatown". (Laughs.) I love this quote from you about "World Keeps Turning": "That the world keeps turning is a wonderful thing, it allows us to bury mistakes and watch as something we love evolves into something greater".

ST: Something we always know is that life goes on. You will get over it, and you will move forward. Maybe you didn't mean to make a certain change in your life, or you didn't mean to have an ending. The fact of the matter is, if you did, you did, it's got to be for something, right?

MS: It touches on a lot of things for me. 2011 was a horrible year, 2012 is looking way better.

ST: 2011 sucked, completely! S-U-X apostrophe D!

MS: There is definitely a more positive shift in the energy this year.

ST: Yes, because everybody went through all this shit together, and now everybody is on the same page worldwide. We all have the same exact problems, everything is in the same place universally. Humanity is more even keel going into 2012. Hopefully we can make the next beginning important and life changing in a positive way.

MS: Something I find interesting about you is you started your own record label. How did that come about?

ST: Oh, from another situation that sucked. (Laughs.) I had gotten all these record label deals back in the early 2000s. Every A&R guy from Sony to Warner Brothers were like "Let's sign this artist and let her do her international pop, slightly new age music". Then they all got fired. I don't know if it's because they wanted to sign me or not. (Laughs.)

MS: Yeah, I know some other people who that happened to.

ST: One of the A&R guys told me: "Why don't you just do this yourself. You can do this. You can sell CDs from your website." That's how the idea of Sea to Sun formed. I went out and did gigs and sold a bunch of CDs from my website, started working with different producers. A couple of years went by and some dance remixes started. I met Anton Bass through working together and we decided to partner up and take Sea to Sun in a whole other direction. We took on DJs and became more international. We also took on other artists. It's fun, I love it!

MS: You are so creative, my dear. What's next?

ST: Well, it's funny. I was studying Vaudeville for a long time. I actually did cabaret. I did it when I was in school and I was told: "Honey, this is where you end your career, not bring your career. Go back and do your other stuff. You are always welcome here, but don't come here so young." (Laughs.)

MS: How funny!

ST: So, my idea is to put in a few Vaudeville numbers into the middle of my dance shows. I sing live to tracks and I thought: how fun would it be to have a keyboard up here and throw a couple of curve balls to the audience. (Laughs.)

The "World Keeps Turning" at:

http://www.seatosun.com/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/SylviaTosun

Michael Shinafelt
Michael Shinafelt has covered pop & dance music since he first burst on to the writing scene, interviewing everyone from pop icon Olivia Newton-John to pop artist E.G. Daily. Not to mention the many dance divas (male and female) who he has crossed paths with. Other interviews of note are Pamela Anderson, Heidi Fleiss, as well as cover stories on Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin. Peace.
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