Photo by Jason Miller

Ex-teen icon Tiffany tells all about her divorce-inspired new studio album Shadows and her love of trashy sci-fi flicks… By Will Simpson

“Children be-haaave”. That’s what often first comes to mind when we hear the name Tiffany. That and shopping mall concerts and blue denim. In 2022, Tiffany Darwish is a twice-divorced mum who’s lived.

She’s released no less than 11 albums, had a side-career acting in movies including Mega Piranha and Mega Python vs Gatoroid, posed nude for Playboy and done her fair share of reality TV.

But music has always been her first love and, as she tells Classic Pop, her latest LP Shadows is inspired by both the turmoil of middle age and early-80s power pop.

Some Classic Pop readers will be astonished to discover you’re now on your 11th studio album. Do you feel surprised you’re still making music after 35 years?

I guess so. Music is all I’ve ever wanted to do. There’s never been a plan B, but when I look at it, I started off so young that it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long ago, if you will. When people say ‘30 years ago’ or ‘11 albums’, I’m like, really!?

Does the album title Shadows refer to personal shadows or shadows more generally?

It’s both. It’s shadows generally but there are some of my own shadows in there, too. There was a lot of heartbreak on this album when I was writing it. I was going through a divorce, in a new relationship while he was going through a similar divorce and all the complexity of that. So you’re going to hear all that on the record. As a vocalist, I think I’m singing the best I’ve ever sung and a lot of that comes from true emotion – these are my lyrics, this is my life. If I wasn’t singing right now, I’d probably be in a parking lot screaming!

A lot of the album sounds inspired by early-80s guitar pop. Was that the music you were listening
to as a kid?

Yes. Bands like The Go-Go’s, the Ramones, Blondie – that punk-pop sound was what I was buying. That’s what my girlfriends were listening to. I remember one of my first pyjama parties at my house we all crammed into my bedroom and danced around the room to The Go-Go’s. It was so much fun.

What inspired your single, I Like The Rain?

It seemed like a lot of people around me were going through some of the things that I was – divorces, kids growing up and leaving home, making mistakes in their life. And some of my friends… I won’t say went off the rails, but they were living a very colourful life, creating chaos and then crying about that chaos. I Like The Rain is about that. It’s about making bad decisions, people talking about you and you’re like, ‘I’m owning my crazy’, if you will. I think I’ve made some of those mistakes in the last four or five years. But I’m through it now and that’s good.

You’ve done a lot of things in your career, from making films to reality TV. Is there anything you wish you hadn’t done?

Not so much the reality TV. I really haven’t had too many bad experiences. I’m a person who if I did it, I own it – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Tiffany Shadows
Tiffany Shadows cover

So not the movies at all – Mega Piranha, Mega Python etc?

No, I love the sci-fi movies! I will continue to do them. I’m a sci-fi fan.

What’s the biggest misconception about Tiffany?

Probably that I’m just a one-hit wonder and that I was manufactured. But I’m deeper than a lot of people think. I’ve been through the hard knocks. I’ve had a lot of grief in my life, losing family members and friends. I’ve taken care of elderly relatives. I’ve done things that people in real life do and then put those experiences into my music.

How do you feel about I Think We’re Alone Now these days? Is it a millstone round your neck?

It’s not. I know at the end of my life it’s going to be a highlight, but there’s something about that song that makes people feel good. I’m forever grateful for that. I didn’t want to record it. It’s grown on me and it’s always a highlight of the live show. I never get upset about having to sing it.

Have you considered an autobiography? Every other 80s pop star seems to be bringing one out…

Well… currently behind the scenes, yes. I’m taking notes. We’re putting it all together and it’s going to be an
interesting read about the music industry, where it’s taken me, how they discarded me and how I’ve had to say, ‘No I’m not done’. It’s been a struggle. But, you know, I didn’t give up. This is what I do.