The Straits Times
Published on Dec 21, 2012

Regina Spektor: Raised on classical music and Beatles diet


She shared a stage with veteran American rocker Tom Petty for his United States tour in April and May this year. But singer-songwriter Regina Spektor had no idea, until recently, who he was.

Explaining her curious lack of a Western pop musical education, Spektor, 32, says over the telephone from Brisbane, one of the stops on her tour: "My family immigrated to New York from Russia. We had no money, so we never had records or anything modern in the house.

"We listened to classical music on the radio and the Beatles cassettes that we brought from Russia."

Today, Spektor is hailed for her eclectic brand of music that marries quirky, piano-driven pop with odd time signatures and dramatic singing.