Great News! Tina Turner is making the cover of this month issue of Swiss magazine “Schweizer Illustrierte”. She gave the newspaper a new interview but the photo used are recycled from last year Vogue issue. Still, a very candid, fun Questions/Answers interview where Tina talks about her life in Switzerland, her house, music and being the new face for Swisscom app IO!
Translation inside the post! Big thanks to Anja!
“I travelled the whole world but only in Switzerland I arrived”
Tina Turner, 74, is showing her rented Villa “Chateau Algonquin” in Küsnacht at the Lake Zürich for the first time. The “Simply the best” singer lives here with husband and Music manager Erwin Bach, 58, since 1994. Turner, who belongs to the most successful singers of all times after selling 100 millions of records, retired from Show business . The newly Swiss citizen is now enjoying her retirement, discovers her new home country and learns German. She now comes back into the limelight as the new commercial representative of Swisscom and advertises for the communication App “iO”.
SI: Tina Turner, thank you for taking the time for this interview!
TT: I would like to say that the pleasure is all on my side but interviews are always very exhausting for me. I feel like I am on the couch of a psychiatrist. (laughs)
Last year you have passed the Swiss naturalization test and received the Swiss passport. How good is your German now?
May I introduce myself in German?
We would love that!
(Talks German) My name is Anna Mae Bullock, but my artist name is Tina Turner, good Evening! (Laughs)… but of course I know how to speak more German!
Sounds great! Are you talking German classes?
Oh yes! The language is very difficult! I would love to be proficient and fluent and not only use single words!
Are you interested in Swiss Politics? Are you voting?
Yes, I did that already! I want to know what is going on in this country, how the direct democracy works! I am a Swiss citizen and I want to know what the Swiss nation is thinking and how it would vote. I decided to give up my American passport and to live here. Every day I learn new things what it is like to be Swiss. I ask a lot, I watch and listen.
What do you like best of your hometown Zürich and Switzerland?
I love the fresh air. I feel healthy because of that. There is no Smog and no air pollution. And I love the different seasons of the year. I don’t like the heat so much because I was raised in hot Tennessee. And it was really really hot there.
Which season do you like best?
Autumn with all the different colors of the leaves. With autumn comes quiet. And also the lake is pleasantly quiet – just wonderful. I can relax and enjoy it just to watch the water intensively.
What do you know of the rest of Switzerland? Which towns have you visited before?
Almost all of them! I really went to almost all! Every single one is unique in its own way. And so different compared to the American cities. I really love them all. But I prefer to live around the Zürich.
Do you like Swiss food?
I love Cheese! And I love Bürli! Unfortunately I can’t eat that much as I like because I have to watch my figure. But now and then I just eat whatever I feel like. The Swiss kitchen is similar to the southern kitchen of the USA, they also eat a lot of Cheese, potatoes and vegetables.
What is typical Swiss for you?
The cows! (laughs) We had cows in Tennessee too, but the brown cows really look “special” here. I really like it how they are brought down from the Alps with their bells around the necks. That’s like a ceremony. And punctuality! This is so different from most of the US celebrities! This does not work here! Somebody told me at a party once: I know you are famous, but you have to be on time! I had to work on that and nowadays I am always on time!
You are now doing a commercial for Swisscom, how did that happen?
I was happy when Swisscom asked me to work together. I like to communicate and with iO I stand for a product that is Swiss quality! It is easy to use, my data is safe. That is important to me. I have to rely that my photos, sms and my address book stays with me. I am very satisfied with iO.
Did you write a SMS before?
I am not a heavy user but I write SMS now and then, sometimes I send photos to my friends or to my sister in USA (Translation Note: Tina Turner sister Alline passed away in 2010). My favorite is to call with iO. With iO it is very easy, because it is all in the same app. But these smartphones are unbelievable, they can do anything, and I find out new stuff often.
Do you have a special ringtone?
I have the best ringtone there is! “Simply the best”…. but in the “YODEL” Version! I hear it, when somebody calls me with iO. This ringtone will be available for everybody that downloads iO. You can also listen to the Yodel version if you see the internet movie, that I taped for Swisscom and IO! Did you see the video yet?
Do you know how to Yodel?
No, not really. You have to know the technique to do so. I would have to take lessions. That’s like aerobic for vocal chords! A professional yodel artist did that for me in the video.
Did you ever blow into an Alphorn?
Yes I did! This needs a special technique and a lot of energy to get a tone out of this! But I succeeded! I had alp horn blowers at my wedding! Very swiss!
Do you listen to swiss music?
When I arrived in Switzerland I listened to the music of Dj Bobo at first. I liked his style because he is very pop! And I like to listen to Radio NRJ. They play songs I like.
Do you inform yourself about what is going on in the world through radio?
Yes, through radio and news shows on TV. My husband and I watch the news in the evening together.
How did you experience Switzerland 20 years ago, when you moved here?
I lived in Germany for 3 years prior and my husband had to move here because of his job. I was here for performances very often and all of a sudden it all happened very quickly – we were looking for a house. I really liked it here from the beginning anyway. The fresh air, the green landscape – everything so clean, well organized. And quiet. I love that.
In contrary to your grammy’s – your golden and platinum records are hanging in the garage. Why?
When I received these awards I was kind of young and of course very proud. All my rooms were full with these trophies. Then I visited another artist whose trophies were hanging in his garage. It looked very nice and absolutely respectful. What a great idea I thought! And the Grammys are in the living room because they are easier to be placed and they look like decoration.
You have your own prayer room in your house?
Yes, that’s right. It is a small room, with lots of quietness. It contains a several elements of Bhuddhism, a Butsudan, a shrine with a water bowl, smoking sticks and fruits. I knee down to pray. The shrine is a reflexion of your self, your life.
What does a typical Tina Turner day look like when you don’t have any commitments?
It starts late, because I kept my show business rhythm. I worked nights and slept during the day. I still like that. I have breakfast around 14:00 (2 pm), I take my time. That’s what you call a “lazy lifestyle”. I enjoy this! I started working in showbusiness when about 20 years old and now I am more or less retired. I can choose what I want to do workwise. Or just relax and enjoy my life.
And one will see you walking around in Jeans and T-shirt?
No, I am not a Jeans girl. The fabric doesn’t feel comfortable for me, so I only wear Jeans now and then. I like flowing, comfortable fabrics and outfits. And of course I want to look good for my husband. And also for guests who sometimes appear without notice.
What do you not like about Switzerland?
Before I decided to give up my US citizenship, I tried to get to know as many facettes of Switzerland as possible. I was 100% sure that I want to live here and be Swiss. Nothing annoys me at all! I travelled the whole world and it was a conscious decision to live here. And I made the right decision! I have arrived!