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Roland Jaime Orzabal de la Quintana (born 22 August 1961) is an English musician, songwriter and record producer. He is known mainly as a co-founding member of Tears for Fears, of which he is the main songwriter and predominant vocalist, but he has also achieved success as a producer of other artists.

Early career

Orzabal met Curt Smith while both were in their early teens in Bathmarker, Englandmarker. In the late-1970s, they formed a mod music group, Graduate, along with three other members. Following the release of their debut album, Acting My Age, the group disbanded and Orzabal and Smith went on to form Tears for Fears, a synth pop/new wave music outfit directly inspired by the writings of American psychologist Arthur Janov.

Solo work

After a decade of major international success, Orzabal and Smith had an acrimonious split in the early 1990s. Although Orzabal continued to work as Tears for Fears after he and Smith parted ways, the subsequent TFF albums Elemental (1993) and Raoul and the Kings of Spain (1995) are effectively solo works by him in all but name. Elemental was a success being certified as Gold status in the US and Silver in the UK, while Raoul took a more artistic direction garnering less chart success. In 2001 he released his first proper solo album, Tomcats Screaming Outside, under his own name as he and Smith had reconciled by that point and were working on a new Tears for Fears album together (2004's Everybody Loves a Happy Ending).

Work as a producer/songwriter

In addition to co-producing most of Tears for Fears' records, Orzabal also co-produced Oleta Adams' successful album Circle of One (1990) along with Dave Bascombe, following on from Adams' collaboration on the 1989 Tears for Fears album The Seeds of Love. The album reached #1 in the UK and #20 in the US, and featured her transatlantic top ten hit "Get Here". Orzabal also co-wrote the lead track "Rhythm of Life" for the album, which was initially intended for The Seeds of Love. He also appeared in the song's accompanying music video, as well as played guitar and sang backing vocals on the track.

In 1999, Orzabal also co-produced the Icelandic singer-songwriter Emiliana Torrini's acclaimed album Love In The Time Of Science, along with Tears for Fears associate Alan Griffiths. The pair also wrote two tracks for the album.

Although he did not produce it, Orzabal's talents as a songwriter were recognised again in recent years after Gary Jules' cover version of the song "Mad World" became the Christmas #1 single in the UK in 2003. It is taken from the soundtrack of the film Donnie Darko. The song was originally composed by Orzabal and was Tears for Fears' first hit single in 1982.

Personal life

Born in Portsmouthmarker, Englandmarker, Orzabal's mother is English and his father is from Parismarker, but of Spanish-Basque descent. Orzabal was originally named "Raoul" at birth for two weeks, but this was subsequently changed to Roland to anglicize the name as they were living in England.

Orzabal has been married to his wife Caroline since 1982. They have two children, Raoul and Pascal.

At the height of Tears for Fears' popularity in 1985, Orzabal gained considerable press attention for his strained relationship with his father and a humorous cartoon was printed in the UK tabloid The Sun pertaining to this. The cartoon was later reprinted within the cover artwork for the Tears for Fears single "I Believe".

Other than music and psychology, Orzabal has cited interests in photography, politics, sociology and astrology.


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