View Comments
Arena s advice to young stars
Tina Arena. Picture: Supplied

As a 40-year survivor in the often- brutal music business, Tina Arena has no shortage of wisdom to impart to the next generation of promising young hopefuls.

The Aussie songstress, who will perform in the annual Carols in the Domain concert on Saturday alongside the likes of Perth pop starlet Samantha Jade, keeps close watch on the nation's newest crop of female artists despite spending most of the year in her adopted home of France, where she is adored as a bilingual chanteuse after famously resurrecting her career there.

But Arena, who grew up in the spotlight as the longest-serving member on variety show Young Talent Time from 1977 to 1983, warns the new breed must stay true to their identity if they are to navigate their way past the pitfalls of an unforgiving industry.

"There's a small niche of young Australian females who have really got their s... together and it's fantastic to watch," Arena, 46, tells AAA.

"And then there's a breed where you sort of question what it is they're actually doing . . . some people struggle to find themselves and then the penny drops, and some people struggle and never find who they are, and some people know instantaneously who they are. Everybody's journey is different.

"People don't have to just go on singing shows to have a platform . . . make sure you're not seduced by the fantasy; make sure you do what you do for the right reasons, because it will catch up with you if you don't."

The multi-ARIA award-winner divides her time between her native Melbourne and Paris with her partner, French artist Vincent Mancini, who she announced in New Idea this week she was going to marry, and their eight-year-old son Gabriel.

She made headlines in an Eastern States newspaper last week for speaking out about the challenges facing many of Australia's female singer-songwriters.

"My comment was that when a woman gets into her 40s and above, they are just not viewed as commercially viable, that's all," says Arena, who recently released her first original LP in 12 years, the platinum- certified Reset.

"For me, it should be about a body of work as opposed to the person or gender . . . but it's not about trying to enforce it down anybody's throat."

Arena, who featured on The X Factor this year as a guest mentor following her judging role in the 2012 revival of Young Talent Time (she had also previously served as a guest judge on Australian Idol), remains open to the prospect of a return to television. "It's not something I'd actively go out and look for myself but, having said that, if somebody approached me and I felt that it's right, I would obviously give it serious consideration."

Carols in the Domain airs on Seven/ GWN7 on Saturday at 8.30pm.