Interview: Tiara Thomas
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:31:51
Tiara Thomas stands out as one of the most dynamic young divas. Not only can she carry a melody with her powerhouse voice, but she can also break down a verse and rap bar-for-bar with the best of them. That’s the diverse power she possesses and wields flawlessly, and it also fuels her new single “One Night”. It’s an undeniable anthem that’s instantly unforgettable and properly introduces Tiara.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Tiara Thomas talks “One Night” and so much more.
What's the story behind "One Night"?
I actually did "One Night" with Rico Love when we were in Miami. We did a week in the studio working. I sat down at the keyboard and played a little melody. We put some drums on it. We put the writing on there. It happened really organically. I remember Rico left the studio that night. There were like 16 bars for the rap, and I think I spent all night in the studio writing that rap. He came in the next day and listened to it, and we were both like, "This is dope". It sounds really different. I wanted my first single to be something that sounds different from all the other things on the radio. I wanted people to hear me rap and sing as well on my first look.
It shows how diverse you with rapping and singing.
I've been doing that for a long time. The people who don't know me well are like, "Oh, she's rapping now!" However, you can see videos of me in my dorm room in 2008 and 2009 rapping and playing my guitar. I definitely wanted to make that very prominent.
What's it about lyrically?
It's just a fun song talking about girls who use their money to get girls—not every girl though. They use it cash out in that sense. They just want one night. It's just a fun song. It's not promiscuous. I'm not saying, "Go out and have one-night stands with everyone". It's what a lot of girls think sometimes.
Where did the music video come from?
It's based on my favorite movie Set It Off. I didn't want the video to follow the lyrics. I hate when the visual is really literal with the words of the song. I wanted my first video to be really cinematic. We came up with a storyline that fit so we could use the Set It Off idea. It was a lot of fun. It turned out really good.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Oh yeah, definitely! I think songwriting is one of my strong suits. I wrote 85 percent of my album. I did collaborate with Rico on a couple of songs. For the most part, I wrote all of my record. I like the words to come directly from me. I'm very picky with how I like to say things or how I like to express myself and say certain words. That's definitely really important to me.
Does this pave the way for the album?
You shouldn't think the entire album is going to sound like "One Night". It's one of the more upbeat songs from the album. It's really a super sexy record. You've got to hear more of the music I'm putting out. I really love "One Night" though. It's all cohesive though. It's got an R&B pop alternative sound.
What artists shaped you?
I listened to a lot of music my dad listened to. It was a lot of gospel. My dad also listened to a lot of Prince, Elton John, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson. When I discovered music myself, I was really into Lauryn Hill, India.Arie, TLC, Aaliyah, Brandy, and more. I thought the whole nineties movement of women was amazing. All of the girl groups were incredible. That's where I get a lot of inspiration from my music.
If you were to compare your album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Wow, I never even thought of that. That's a good question. It's got to be something sexy. It would be a mix between Basic Instinct and the urban version of The Notebook—the Tyler Perry version [Laughs].
Pick up "One Night" at iTunes!
Photos: DeAndre DaCosta