Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
1980's Protogee Of Prince On Tour To Relive Pop Fame
American pop star Martika was just a teenager when she soared to fame with songs like Toy Soldiers in the late 1980's and admits it was a whirlwind at a very young age. But despite shying away from fame, the singer, who wrote songs with Prince and has toured with Pat Benatar, is now getting a second chance to enjoy her heyday at the age of 47 as part of the 80's Invasion Tour 2017.
Martika talks to Weekend Notes about her forthcoming tour.
Weekend Notes caught up with Martika - a one-time protégé of the late, great Prince - to talk about her life and the Invasion Tour that also features 1980's music acts including Paul Young, Toyah and China Crisis.
Recalling her career, Martika says: "I was such a kid when I had sudden success; just a teenager living at home with my parents. So, to get on stage now and feel that the people still remember my music and want to see me sing is amazing."
She adds: "I don't do this very often so it's cool to do some shows. I didn't get to tour extensively back in the day because I had such an intense schedule.The audience now is around the same age as me and I can tell when they're on a date night and having a fun evening, away from the kids."
Paul Young returns for the 80's Invasion Tour
Martika reveals that she will be singing five songs at each show - her biggest hits of Toy Soldiers, Martika's Kitchen, More Than You Know, I Feel The Earth Move and Love Thy Will Be Done, which she wrote with Prince at his famous music studio and residence Paisley Park in Minnesota.
Martika has been saddened by Prince's death as she spent fond times with the music writer and performer: "I remember recording that song with Prince and going into Paisley Park, that was pretty cool times. When I think of artists I'd like to see from years gone by, I'd have to wait to get to heaven so I could party with Prince... and also Jimi Hendrix." She quickly adds: "But then there's Donna Summer and David Bowie too. Most of my wish list are dead. I guess of those alive, it would be good if The Eurythemics got back together - now that would be good."
Being only 19 when she got into the charts, Martika had worldwide success in 1988 and means that she is by far the youngest act on this 1980's revival tour. When she did a similar version recently in Australia, she tells me how co-starring with Katrina and the Waves made her giddy as she loved the band as a child - and got to tell them so on tour.
Relive the music of the 1980's with the 80's Invasion Tour
Starting her career as a child star on US children's TV show Kids Incorporated she would cover chart hits like Katrina and the Waves and even Paul Young, who she tours with in March.
Despite the early fame, Martika seems content to live a quiet, unassuming life out of the limelight with her musician husband. I ask her if that has been spurned by such a quick rise to fame at an early age. "It was also a strange time as I'd come from television, which was as close to 9-5 in showbusiness as you can get," she says. "So going into a studio every day and then travelling around the world wasn't something I was used to."
China Crisis are among the stars of the show
Martika continues: "I wasn't prepared for that pace and I was always uncomfortable with the self promotion side of it. I wanted to make records but I didn't want everything else that goes with it. People ask me 'aren't you grateful that you had a Number One hit on your first album?' But I didn't expect it and it was so overwhelming. It was a case of be careful what you wish for as there was a lot of pressure to maintain my career on a world level. I much prefer a slower pace and don't like pressure."
Toyah brings her punk sound on tour
Married for 15 years, Martika describes herself now as a housewife who loves to cook but does occasional creative projects with her husband Michael Mozart. But although this tour is a rare performance by the singer, fans can feel optimistic at her final comment. "This tour is going to be a bit surreal for me," giggles Martika, "But I'm lucky because my hits were at the end of the 1980's and into the early 1990's, so I can get on the '90s tour too!"