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Tammin can't fight the fate that has her home and

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Tammin can't fight the fate that has her home and away

Daily Telegraph

19 May 2005

When Swedish pop sensation, ABBA first arrived in Sydney they were mobbed by thousands of fans, who crushed together to catch a glimpse of the favourite stars. Sadly, the Swedes could not return the favour for our own Tammin Sursok, almost 30 years later.

In fact, you could say Tammin was given the cold shoulder.

"My first time there was minus 20 degrees celsius, it was snowing and you couldn't actually go outside without something wrapped around your face, otherwise you'd get frostbite," the 21-year-old diminutive diva-in-training says.

While the bitterly cold weather wasn't great for the vocal cords, the Scandanavian city of Stockholm proved to be just the right environment for Tammin. It was here the former Home & Away star laid down her first single, Pointless Relationship, and a number of other songs which eventually found their way on to her debut album, Whatever Will Be.

It was a rigorous work schedule, with Tammin often disappearing for weekends in Stockholm to record, only to front up to the Home And Away set on Monday morning.

And so, to her Swedish friends who collaborated on the album and to well, Sweden, in general, Tammin would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise for being a bit bleary due to jetlag.

"I want to go back and spend three months recording my next album," she says. "I want to show them I'm a lot chirpier than they saw me when I was there."

Whatever Will Be took two and a half years to record and is an album that is about dealing with changes.

As Tammin says, "there is a lot of growing up on this album".

The more pop-tastic songs, such as Pointless Relationship, were recorded when she was just 18, whereas the more moody, edgier stuff, like Tammin's favourite song from the album, Tender, were finished only a few months back.

Tammin explains the contrasting styles thus: "When you're 18, you're thinking about relationships and love. Much more so than when you're 21 and you're thinking about life and the future and who you are."

It's a compelling album, detailing the fragile emotional state of most teenagers. "I've gone through quite a lot over the last few years and every song reminds me of something."

Asked what the hardest part about being Tammin is, the former soapie star says trusting too many people can be a problem.

Clearly, when you're a well-known face, hordes of people want to be your friend.

For Tammin, the key has been to try and surround herself with a solid network of people who will do the best by her.

Ultimately, there is a sense throughout the album, but especially on the title track, of accepting wherever the river of life will carry her. "My life has been like that. Nothing has ever been planned out for me," she says.

"I can't know happen what's going to happen tomorrow."

The film clip, directed by boyfriend Michael Spiccia, was shot in Shanghai, and has a very Lost In Translation feel to it.

"We wanted to go to a place so different to Australia's culture.

The point of the clip, says Tammin, is to show you can't choose your fate.

Fate has always played a part in Tammin's life. When she was 17 she was offered a recording contract in the UK by people who wanted to leverage her Home And Away fame to make her a pop star.

Recently, Tammin dug out some diary entries she'd jotted down about the possible deal. She'd noted that it was an amazing opportunity - one which could change her life or which could lead to short-lived fame.

And it was this that proved to be the determining factor. She wanted longevity and the chance to release the music she was in love with. Besides, musically, she didn't even know who she wanted to be at that point.

Tammin knuckled down, wrote songs and practised with her mother, Julie, a classically-trained pianist and guitar teacher.

Back in her native South Africa, Julie had won a Springbok, the equivalent of an ARIA award.

If her mother taught Tammin anything, it was to "just be true to yourself" and "put out there what you believe in". "If I wanted to be a shoe salesperson she would have been 100 per cent supportive."

* Whatever Will be is out Sunday

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