London, Britain (UK)
When it comes to dance music, Tara McDonald, is one of the most successful vocalists in the world, in fact, she has often been called ‘’The Queen of Dance’’ !
Tara graduated from the famous performing arts, The BRIT School in the UK, whose other notable students include Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jessie J, Leona Lewis and Katie Melua. Aged 9, she performed in ‘’Les Miserables’’ in London. Aged 12, she performed alongside Jude Law at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and also won the internationally televised UNICEF children’s singing competition, hosted by Audrey Hepburn, called ‘’The Danny Kaye Award’’ and Tara became a child ambassador for UNICEF. Tara’s passion and determination saw her singing alongside many legends of rock and pop such as Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music), Roger Taylor (Queen), Roger Walters (Pink Floyd), Andy Taylor (Duran Duran), Jocelyn Brown, Eric Clapton and Ringo Star (The Beatles) among others.
Tara worked closely with Bryan Ferry on his ‘’Dylanesque’’ album, both performing and arranging backing vocals. Working with Bryan Ferry gave Tara a lot of confidence and especially when he said, ‘’She has absolutely the whole package ! She is an amazing performer’’. ‘’Working with one of your personal heroes is such an honour and a dream job, ‘’I learnt so much from him’’ said Tara.
While still at school, the first track Tara collaborated on as a songwriter was ‘’Stronger Together’’ for Irish Boy Band D-Side, produced by Cut Father And Joe, reached #2 in Ireland and became the title track for the album which reached #1 in Japan in 2004. Since then, as a writer she has been involved in over 20 top #10 international hits.
Since this amazing beginning, Tara has focussed her passion and love towards dance music and has collaborated with some of the biggest names worldwide. The House Music diva has an abundance of hits that have sailed into #10 in the UK and International charts playing regularly on radio networks across the World. Most notably, she lent her vocals to Armand Van Helden’s worldwide smash ‘’My My My’’ (Funktuary), collaborated and co-wrote with Axwell (Swedish House Mafia) on ‘’Feel The Vibe’’, Todd Terry on ‘’Get Down’’ and David Guetta on ‘’Delirious’’ that reached #2 Belgium, #16 Switzerland, #12 The Netherlands, #16 France charts..., and ‘’You’re Not Alone’’ which featured on his platinum selling ‘’Pop Life album’’, that reached #2 France, #4 Belgium, #8 Switzerland charts... In addition, Tara has also enjoyed collaborations with global DJ’s/producers Nicky Romero, Sidney Samson, Joey Negro, Laidback Luke and Afrojack.
In 2010/2011, she was the resident singer for Hed Kandi in Ibiza and she performed at Tomorrowland (the biggest dance festival in Europe) on the main stage with Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike & Dada Life singing the official Anthem for the festival ‘’Give into The Night/Tomorrow’’ that she co-wrote and co-produced that reached #16 in Belgium charts. She also scored another Beatport no.1 with ‘’Shake It’’ produced by Lee Cabrera and Thomas Gold. She also appeared on the front cover of French Playboy's ‘’Music is fashion and sexy’’ edition, which was the biggest selling issue of the magazine so far ! Tara was also awarded ‘’Best Voice of the Dance Scene of 2011’’ by the magazine Only For Djs.
In 2012, after a wealth of experience in the music industry, both touring the world, in studios, writing for various artists and producers, Tara decided it was time to build her own solo carreer which was always her dream and to jump in the deep end. Tara signed a 2 album deal as a top priority artist to Mercury/Universal records for Continental Europe. Her first album due for release in 2014 proves that Tara is much more than just a talented and unique vocalist, witnessed by the fact that she not only co-wrote but also executively produced the whole album from start to finish. Her first solo single ‘’Give Me More’’, much to everyone’s surprise was a pop record and was one of the most playlisted tracks on European commercial radio during the summer period – #10 Radio Airplay. Also during that year and 4 years after their first successful collaboration, David Guetta decided to call Tara to feature on a new record he made with Afrojack called ‘’Pandemonium’’ released on the ‘’F*** Me I’m Famous’’ compilation that reached #5 France, #20 UK and #24 US charts. When Tara talks about David (Guetta) it always makes her smile : ‘’When I wrote the song ‘’Delirious’’, I had no idea how big it would be and the amazing adventure ahead of me with David. I will always be eternally grateful to him as he was the first person to put me in a music video and to invite me on tour. It felt like a real collaboration.’’
2012 was the year of many firsts, new projects and challenges.
As a world renowned vocalist and described as ‘’The White singer with the black voice’’ by Rolling Stone Magazine, it was no surprise Tara was invited to be an assistant vocal coach on the first television series of The Voice (Belgium) and the winner of this series Roberto Bellarosa was a contestant that she mentored and he went on to sign a recording contract with Sony Music.
Another new challenge for Tara : the head of FG Radio in France (the most influential dance music radio station in Europe) suggested that she launches her own radio show. Tara jumped at this opportunity immediately as it had always been a secret desire. Two weeks later, the show she decided to call ‘’Shut Up & Dance’’ was on air and became so popular that Tara was given a weekly slot. Tara is the only vocalist to have her own show which she presents, produces and programmes all by herself. By launching this show, Tara joins the likes of Carl Cox, David Guetta, Bob Sinclar, Laidback Luke, Armin Van Buuren and other established names. The show is now rebranded to ‘I Like This Beat’ and after 2 years is broadcasted weekly in over 40+ countries, on 50+ FM radio stations around the world, onboard Emirates Airline, and is also available as a worldwide podcast on Mixcloud, DJPod and itunes !
Because of the success of her first solo single ‘’Give Me More’’ and her previous hits, Tara was invited to perform at many radio concerts alongside the biggest commercial selling artists in the French speaking countries: NRJ Music Tour (including a special Mercury record's concert, alongside Justin Bieber..), Contact Radio concert, Fun Radio, Electrobeach Music Festival (on of the biggest dance music festival in Europe), opening the first FG Radio's live concert for their 20th birthday at the prestigious Grand Palais… ! She was picked also as a personality to perform at the very famous event ‘’Salon du Chocolat’’ in Paris.
Contrary to all expectations, in 2013, the Queen of the Dance, Tara and the platinum selling Queen of R&B French-Canadian Zaho, joined together for a collaboration, a single called ‘’Shooting Star’’. The track is sung in English and in French. This unexpected collaboration was critically acclaimed for its artistic originality – #18 French TV Airplay – #28 French iTunes pop charts – #5 French Radios Airplay and #16 Belgium.
Tara was privileged enough to perform twice during this year at the legendary Olympia Hall in Paris, firstly at the electronic music dance party "So happy In Paris", hosted by Michael Canitrot and secondly with Zaho in concert promoting their hit single "Shooting Star" with a full live band.
Tara continues also her charity work, promoting equality and freedom. Performing a special concert with Dutch charity "Warriors For Love" raising awareness of equal rights in love together with Amnesty Interntaional over the Pride weekend in Amsterdam. She also performed a special concert for the children’s charity ‘Plan’ to raise awareness for girls rights in developing countries.
To close the year Tara was honoured to win the prestigious prize of "Best voice of the dance scene" at the Fashion Music Awards in Shanghai.
2014 so far has been a year on the road performing at some of the biggest events and festivals around the world. Tara performed at the first live stage at the Ultra Music Festival in Seoul alongside MIA, Far East Movement, at the Ultra Pool party alongside T-Pain – and performed an electrifying set at the Exit ‘Sea Dance’ Festival (Budva, Montenegro) alongside Example, Jamiroquai… ‘’As an artist I sometimes feel I’m two people, one half very shy and one half super hero. Days when I feel insecure before to hit the stage, I remind myself of what David (Guetta) said ‘’She is knows how to give autheticity to a house music track, and she is a tigress on stage!’’
Tara was proud and honoured to accept the role of "La Marraine" (The Godmother) of the LGBT Pride in Paris. Leading 500,000 people in the march before her performance on the Main Stage and her speech to close the day’s event.
Tara has always been involved in charitable causes as a child working with UNICEF and as an adult she used her voice to give exposure to promote equality both for gender and education, working with Plan in the Netherlands but also campaigning for equality and equal rights in love for many LGBT Prides across the world.
She also spent two years touring with UK charity CSE (combined service entertainment) performing for the UK armed forces around the globe including Iraq, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan etc.
Also this year, she became an ambassador of the pro international make up brand Make Up For Ever.