By LISA HETZEL, Special To The Bulletin | Published April 14, 2011
A hush fell upon the packed sanctuary April 8 as the angelic silhouette silently walked toward the stage. Tenderly, she began to sing, “I Heard the Voice of Jesus.” Tajči, pronounced (TY-chee), led the audience into a passionate Lenten experience as she performed, “I Thirst – The Crucifixion Story.”
That night, at St. Pius X Church, was in dramatic contrast to the life that this singer knew as a child. Tajči was born Tatjana Matejas and grew up in what was then called communist Yugoslavia (now known as Croatia).
She started performing in her father’s band when she was only 4 years old. She learned classical piano at the Croatian Music Conservatory. Tajči’s teen years were filled with recording music and performing on stage and television. Her records went platinum and diamond. At 19, she became an international superstar. There was a Tajči doll. Babies were named after her. Fans flocked to hear her. The scene was similar to Beatlemania in the 1960s.
In 1991, when war came to Croatia, Tajči helped encourage soldiers. She sang at concerts for peace. But at the age of 21, Tajči left her life of fame for a life in America. The decision was a shock to her fans.
After arriving in America, Tajči studied musical theater and learned to speak English fluently. She found the answers to many questions through prayer, and she began to explore her Catholic faith.
“I found my faith, which allowed me to look deep within myself to find out who I really was. And that journey, combined with the deep sense of belonging I felt with God, awakened a voice within me that led me to share my spiritual experience through music,” she said.
She also met her future husband, Matthew Cameron. Cameron encouraged Tajči to tell her story about her journey to spiritual healing.
“When I came to my faith, I was so blown away. I wanted to follow the Lord. Why do I have these gifts and talents? What does this mean for me?” Tajči said. Then she added, “A priest told me, ‘You are a bridge. You can use your gifts of song to help heal relationships with God.’”
Since then, there have been over 1,000 requests for Tajči to appear. She sings in nine languages and has a wide range of listeners.
Currently, Tacji has been touring the country performing her Lenten program. She has created three other concert programs: “Emmanuel – The Story of Christmas,” “Let it Be – Mary’s Story” and “I Do Believe – Journey of Faith.”
Plans are underway for Tajči to perform a series of much anticipated reunion concerts in her homeland, Croatia.