Q+A: Tiara Thomas

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The term ‘self-taught’ holds a more clout these days than those baby boomers back in the day probably could’ve imagined. In 2013, Tiara Thomas broke out of her private music capsule and made headlines with a hit single titled, “Bad”—where she co-wrote, co-produced on the track—and following, the release of her debut EP, Dear Sallie Mae. Her recently released “One Night” single drums up another victory: the 24-year old breakout talent spent years of hard work developing her musical talents as a singer, songwriter, producer and emcee, and now, she’s prepped and ready to release her debut album by Rico Love’s Division1 imprint distributed by Interscope Records. Her father must have had a hunch when he handed her a guitar at the age of twelve. “The first day I got the guitar, I wrote a song,” recalls Thomas, whose major influence is Lauryn Hill. “The more I I taught myself, the more I realized I could bring all three things together: singing, rapping and playing.” Thomas gets lyrical with us and includes notes about making it happen for thyself:

LA CANVAS: What’s the main foundation behind your EP Dear Sally Mae? 

TIARA THOMAS: For men that depend on their money and material things to get women. Real woman that make their own money and have their own things might just want to have fun for a night. Men talk about sex in their music all the time. I really believe in female liberation and just saying whats real. A lot of real women feel this way. They might not say it, but every woman has her secrets thoughts within her own head.

LAC: Tell us about your first musical memory. 

TT: I used to sing in kids choir at church. I think I was 5 or something like that.

LAC: Where do you plan on taking your career in the next 5 years?

TT: I want to branch out musically. I write a lot of different types of music. I have my own style. It’s kind of hip hop, kinda r&b, and kinda pop. I want to reach a bigger audience than just the r&b crowd. I want to make world music and have worldwide success. I want to be known for making great music.

LAC: What are some of the obstacles you face in also writing and producing aside from singing? How do you overcome?

TT: Sometimes I feel like I have dry spells. I think what I wrote is just okay, but someone else may say its great. I feel like I’m lacking inspiration when I’m not able to write something that I’m in love with. But i don’t try to force it. I may just go find some inspiration or change my environment and let writing come naturally.

LAC: Tell us some backstory on your debut album, and what details are turning up in the studio?

TT: I’m calling my album “The BAD INFLUENCE.” For a couple of reasons. Obviously, the influence of the song “Bad” and then the idea of things that have been a bad influence on me, or me being a bad influence on someone. Or something being a bad influence on me. Turning up, love, sex, drugs..etc. I wrote about it all. Bad Influence felt like a good title to bring it all together. I also have a song on my album called bad influence.

LAC: Favorite quote to live by: TT: Believe in yourself. People say this all the time. But what you are able to do in your life is based off of believing in what you can do. Everyone won’t love you, people will try to hurt you, you’ll be rejected, but you have to continue to believe in yourself and accomplish what you want. You’re the only person that has to live your life.

LAC: The best advice someone gave you that you still implement daily: 

TT: Treat people how you want to be treated. Expect back what you put out. I always try to be nice to people. I don’t need any karma sneaking up on me. LAC: What’s the song “BAD” all about? TT: It was a cover to a Triville song called “some cut.” I wanted to do an acoustic cover of that song, but i need a catchy hook to add to it. So I was playing my guitar and just started free styling that hook. It’s a true story about real girls that may be broken..they don’t know if they’ve ever really been loved.

LAC: main things you’ve learned in your career so far?

TT: You can run from uncle sam, respect and fans are earned, don’t mind haters. They don’t know you.

LAC: What’s on your current playlist? 

TT: Honestly, my album.

Follow the songstress here to get her on your digi-radar. 

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