SINCE SHE WAS BORN ALL SHE COULD THINK OF WAS MUSIC...
Catalina Toma's biography
When she was a child, Catalina dreamed to be 4 things: singer ,dancer, painter and a gimnast...thank God ,music won.After years of hard work she took romanian music by surprize, making the tranzition to modern music .
In 93 a little girl knocked at a prestigious singing teacher's door from Buzau, Nicolae Tanase, to listen to her and allow her to attend the classes he was teaching. He refused her from the start saying she had come too late, at the middle of the trimester and that she should come back in fall when the classes would begin again.She insisted though for him to listen to her.From the first notes the teacher was pleasantly surprised by her inborn talent and changed his attitude taking on the challenge of ignoring the fomalities of admition and taking her on.That day would change her life forever.
The beginnings were not at all easy but through hard work and talent Catalina proved to herself and the world that she knew what she wanted and how to achieve it. Her first contact with the music industry was in 1995 when she graduated a music school in her hometown and started to compete in every musical festival and competition there was in the country, ending up being the winner in all of them. No Label would be indifferent to that nor would the already renouned artists in the romanian music industry and the offers for collaborations started to appear.One of the songs she featured along BUG Mafia, titled "Neverending Story" became a smash-hit being played including on the most conservative radio stations in the country that normally refused to air Hip-Hop songs.
It took 3 years of work and commitment for her to land a record deal with Cat Music Media Services.This led to the release of her self titled debut album. The album was produced by Don Baxter, herself and A. Kerestely. The album became an instant success in spite of the fact that r&b was a genre practically untouched by the romanian artists. The songs were written by Catalina, D. Baxter and A. Kerestely. The first hit song came from this album. The track called "All NIght Long" feat Don Baxter firmly established Catalina's status as the best romanian voice and placed her comfortably on the top of the charts.The album titled Catalina hit the stores in 1999.It was around that time that romanian televisions began to broadcast more r&b videos and promote african-american culture, so Catalina's album brought that western touch to a poor music industry that was merely beginning to grow in Romania.
Catalina became one of the most recognizable faces in the country, featuring on the covers of all music-themed magazines and then she decided it was time to take on a new challenge and became the first romanian woman to do a Playboy pictorial.
In 2001 Catalina released her second album, "Who's the woman" which she co-produced and wrote.The album release took place after a tragic moment which was the passing away of the woman who was her inspiration in music, Aaliyah (Aaliyah Dana Haughton 1979 - 2001) so the album included a note on the cover dedicating it to Aaliyah.
The only released single from this album was "Why my lord", a powerful ballad that brought Catalina the award for the best female voice and MTV's award for the best video of the year.
Due to differences with the label Catalina had to deal with the financial issues that producing and releasing an album involved. In spite of that, her second album only came to prove that she was unstoppable and established her as an influent songwriter and producer.
The label felt that her music was too abstract and not comercial enough so they asked her to sell-out and change her style and music. This led to a parting of their ways , Catalina completely taking control of her career.
Ending the contract with Cat Music she hid from the public eye, taking the time to learn instruments, production and build her studio. She started to produce her own music and work on her next album. Because of her own ideals and musical convictions,Catalina feels her music needs to be more than just words and chords. Aspiring to find purity in everyting she does and trying to express herself as well as she can, Catalina decided her music would have to represent eveything she was and is.No more compromises is what she says. No more outside pressure, no more dead-lines, no more "friendly" advice about what her music should sound like or how she should act and be. Taking this time off, Catalina says she managed to find herself, re-invent herself and her music, and gain a clearer vision about life and everything surrounding her. She became more spiritual and understood what it was she was missing and needing.
...'' Ibelieve that when God gives you a gift,it is your duty to share that with the world. the Bible tells us to let our light shine and not hide it under a basket.I believe that music is my gift and so is my responsibilityto share it, not as a comercial product, but rather as a beautiful message.it is upsetting to see the beauty of music corrupted by people who want only to make money by selling a product , regardless of the quality of the music or the message.only through soulful introspection , not a desire for money can one hear the voice within and share it. it is interesting to see that some magazines wrote that i have been traveling abroad,eventhough these rumors could not be more wrong. I have spent a lot of time listening to my inner self and reinventing my music , so that I may start over and become more true to the message within. to do that I also studied piano and orchestral arrangement , so that I can be more independent in the production of my music.( and I found out that there was so much more to be learned and that this would be a never ending process). This allows me to be able to produce a more pure and complete album, without the outside pressure to meet artificial deadlines and profit figures. I am well aware that I have much to learn and so I will continue my studies and share what I've learned with new artists. I hope this will allow them to take the time to look inside for their inspiration.Owning my own studio for audio production also gives me the freedom to make the right artistic decisions and take the necessary time for my music, like a fine wine, to achieve its greatest potential.The past 7 years I have been on a quest to study my craft ,improve myself and become the complete artist that I believe I can be. This has provided me with a great foundation upon which to base the rest of both my music career and my life.I encourage all of you to take the time to discover the voice within you, and the talents that you posess,and the strength to use those talents to their greatest effect.only then you can hope to make a real difference in this world. that is all that our creator asks for, and all that we should give him in return''
Catalina was undoubtly a mile-stone in the romanian music industry and a trendsetter and will continue to be so, only this time, with this new beginning she will try to break the boundaries of her country and make her music and voice known worldwide.