EARLY YEARS Born Tatjana Matejas in Zagreb, Croatia, Tajči (TY-chee) grew up in what was then communist Yugoslavia. Raised in a musical family, she was singing with her father’s band when she was only four.
Tatiana was admitted to the prestigious Croatian Music Conservatory where she received a rigorous music education with a focus on classical piano. As a young girl, she was a frequent performer on the national stage, appearing in countless musical, theatrical and television productions.
TEENAGE SUPERSTAR At the age of 19, Tajči became a superstar in Central Europe when she electrified an international TV audience, estimated at over a billion people, in the Eurovision Song Contest. The release of her recording of “Hajde da Ludujemo” (“Let’s Go Crazy”), coupled with the fall of the Berlin Wall, sparked a wave of optimism and an adulation for the attractive, engaging teenager.
As thousands of people of all ages jammed Tajči’s concerts, her records achieved Platinum and Diamond sales. There was a Tajči doll, newborns were named after her, and the European magazines and tabloids filled their pages with Tajči stories and photos.
Her life became a blur of concerts, video shoots, personal appearances and commercial tie-ins— an unending crush of photographers, adoring fans, and bodyguards. Ironically the “dream come true” also brought feelings of isolation, loneliness and emptiness.
By 1991, war had come to Croatia. The young artist sang at giant concerts for peace, entertained wounded soldiers in hospitals and visited those on the front lines.
Tatiana joined thousands of young people flocking to the churches, now that the atheist regime had fallen.
Then, according to CMN Magazine, “Shocking her country and peers, Tatiana left it all— stardom, glamor, fame, friends and family to come to the United States, alone and unknown, at age 21.”
LEAVING IT ALL BEHIND Tajči had experienced a nation of young people looking to her for answers, but she had none. She had come to America to be free of her celebrity, and to find herself. For a while, she fled her image and changed her name. While living in New York, she studied musical theater, learned to speak English fluently and started to land jobs in theatre as well as music: performing in events at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and United Nations. In 1994 Tajci worked with Camile Barbone under whose management she recorded an album “Age of Love” with such musicians as Jon Gordon and Charlie Giordano.
Through her growing faith and in the freedom it brought her, Tajci found the inspiration to compose music and sing about her new experiences.
Finding Love While staying at a retreat house run by the Carmelite Sisters in Los Angeles, Tajči found her future husband, Matthew Cameron, who encouraged her to tell the story of her own quest for spiritual healing.
Her performances were so compelling and cathartic that many in the audience wept openly. Those who heard her began to spread the word of what they had experienced. Soon requests for appearances were coming in from all over the country.
The young newly-weds set out in a donated mini-van. Over the next half-dozen years they would cross and re-cross the country a dozen times— playing concerts in hundreds of churches, writing and producing albums, and giving birth to three children— Dante, Evan and Blais.
Today The list of churches requesting Tajči’s appearances has stretched to nearly a thousand. Because Tajči sings in nine languages, new requests are coming in from around the world—including the Philippines, Latin America, Africa and Europe.
Tajči has released three live concert TV Specials on DVD— “I Thirst” her emotional portrayal of the Passion in April, 2004 in Los Angeles, and a Christmas concert performed in Chicago in December of 2006 and “Let It Be” filmed for broadcast on EWTN and CatholicTV.
Still a popular figure in central Europe, Tajči performed for 35,000 people at a concert in Bosnia during the summer of 2006, and at a renowned Christmas Gala concert in Croatia in December 2011.
Her popularity in America is also spreading beyond churches. Her in-studio concert on XM Satellite Radio’s ‘Hear’ eclectic music station drew an enthusiastic response and has been replayed a number of times. She has written a full-length musical “My Perfectly Beautiful Life” (which was presented by Cincinnati Playwright Initiative at Jarson Kaplan Theatre at Cincinnati’s “Aronoff Center for the Performing Arts”) (pictured above left). Tajči also performs with Dr. Stanley Yerlow (Regis Philbin’s long-time conductor, and touring act) in a big-band-style show that features 40s standards.
In 2011, Yamaha Entertainment Group and a Grammy Award Winning producer Bryan Lennox produced Tajči’s hit pop ballad “Dvije zvjezdice” as a gift to Tajči’s early fans.
Whether in large arenas or in intimate settings, Tatiana brings to her performances the knowledge that we are not alone. She has found her answers— in her faith, in her family and in her music.
And she’s comfortable once again being known as Tajči.