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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Artist Spotlight: Teedra Moses


Teedra Moses is fresh. Even with a debut album that came out five years ago with one video to match, this feisty New Orleans breed singer brings a crowd. A huge crowd, like the kind that came to see her at LIV on U Street last Thursday.

Maybe it’s the relatable lyrics that draws the crowd, because with the troubled economy, stress from school, family problems, tons of bills, how real are Teedra Moses’ Complex Simplicity lyrics? Or if you’re searching for love, think you found love in a booty call, doesn’t Teedra express the same feelings in, ‘Take Me’ or ‘Backstroke?’ Her songs strike a chord with everyone who faces everyday struggles.

Having the chance to sit down and speak with Teedra, one can automatically see that her songs come from extremely real situations because she is real. No sugarcoating, just open honest, frankness when speaking about her situations with her label, her cheating ex-boyfriend, and the death of her parents. All circumstances that have all shaped Teedra into the super confident, comfortable in my own skin, female that she is today.

Teedra Moses on why she is label- less:

Teedra: “TVT went bankrupt and I’m no longer with TVT records, I appreciate them a lot for getting my music out to the world, but I couldn’t go further with them and there was no way for me to get rid of them, so God did me a favor, and they went bankrupt.”

“So now, I’ m without a deal. I just released, at the end of 2008, in December, a new mix tape called, Lion Hearted with all original music on there. We just finished shooting pictures for the new album the, Young Lioness and we’re going out to shop it, starting next month. We're shopping it as a complete package because basically, I don’t want to change anything, I want them to take it the way it is or not. I’m hoping someone will take it the way it is, if not, then I’ll find some way to put it out myself.”

Teedra on why she has turned down record labels:

Teedra: “People have approached me, I just don’t go into any situation unprepared. I’m a person that doesn’t like people to tell me nothing. I’m not closed-minded, I am open to hearing what people have to say, but when I'm adamant about something and when it comes to my music, I like to be as clear as possible on it. So, when someone else comes to me saying, ‘well maybe you should try this’ or ‘maybe you should change this up, we don’t like it that way.’ I can say, ‘you know what sweetie, I like it this way, I’m good.”

“I don’t have a deal because I don’t think that labels are concerned with putting out good music per say; they are just concerned with that black and white. How many albums did your last album sell? Luckily for me, I can show you black and white, with MySpace and the previous album that still sells on iTunes and the sale of the new mix tape, Lion Hearted, which is selling really well and it’s just a word of mouth thing. “

“I don’t even know if a label is the place I’m supposed to go to because I’m so about the movement. And the movement right now is not a label. We don’t need them, they need us really bad, and they don’t understand whom they need. They need longevity artists really bad.”


Teedra on blogs:

Teedra: “MySpace is one entity, then you have the people who blog about you and you have no idea that they are blogging about you. I don’t even have a clue about how many people have blogged about the, Lion Hearted, I just keep getting these floods of orders that I can’t fill because so many people are buying. I’m grateful, I’m so grateful for the Internet because I think it’s so positive for artists who are in the same position like myself.”


Teedra on her writing process:

Teedra: “I definitely get the music first and just start freestyling a melody. Then when I lock in a melody, I lock it in my head, and I loop the melody in my head and I come up with words. Sometimes, I write them down and sometimes, I don’t.”

Teedra on life and how she made my favorite track, ‘Put It In the Wind’:

Teedra: “I take to the track, I just kinda married my vocals and my melodies. When I heard, ‘Put It In The Wind,’ I don’t toot horns but I had $15,000 worth of bills due every month and it was a lot. It was really heavy on me, I kept telling myself, ‘this ain’t shit girl, this is all material shit, let this shit fall apart if you have too, put this shit in the wind if you have to. Blow one and put it in the wind.”

“That’s kinda my take on life. Don’t let life weigh you down. This is supposed to be a beautiful experience, when you die, you’re supposed to say, ‘I did that.’ And if you stay caught up with and consumed with pressure, you’re going to blow. And that’s what, ‘Put It In The Wind,’ was about and I know I wasn’t the only one going thru what I was going thru. And I know I’m still not the only one who finds peace in that song, cause its something that everyone goes thru.You know, I got all these bills but I can’t pay you, sorry, whatever."

“ I’m not saying being irresponsible, but don’t let being a grown up take away your youth. You’re only old when you replace your dreams and goals with regrets. I don’t regret nothing, and I don’t think I ever will because that’s just how I live my life, you don’t cry over spilled milk, what am I going to do? Try to lick it up off the ground?”

“It’s done. If I can’t handle it, then I admit to myself, ‘I can’t handle it’ and I give it to God. I try to give him the praise and I try to give him the burden, that way, I don’t really have to deal with nothing.”

Teedra on Rihanna and being on the underground music scene:

Teedra: “I compete with Teedra. People have come up to me saying, ‘don’t you get upset with an artist like Rihanna being huge?’ Firstly, I’m not a music snob. I like Rihanna. ‘Disturbia’ is my shit. Why you frontin’on Rihanna? I like everything for what it is and maybe you don’t like it but someone likes it because people are buying it. If this is my role and if this is my position to be on the underground, then I’ll stay here and smash this shit forever. I don’t have to be as huge as Rihanna, if this is what God has for me. I’m not that kind of person; I don’t look at life like that. I appreciate everything that everybody does for what it is. Soulja Boy, 'wake up in the morning, turn my swag on,' I like that song. Why can’t I? Just because I make soul music? Why can’t I like rock music? I’m not a music snob, I like everything for what is it.”

Teedra on being confident:

Teedra: “My mother died, and I learned that you have to live. And then my father died, like two or three years after that. My mother was my world; I just figured that you have to live because life is short. They are going to put on my tombstone, ‘she did that.’ I’m not going give my life to drama or competition, I love me, and I think I’m fresh. That’s all that matters to me. I’m a Sagittarius, I’m an artist, I’m seriously an artist, I live in my own world, sometimes its kinda messed up for others because I really live in my own world. Sometimes, I can go a whole month, without hearing anybody else’s music but my own. That’s just how I am.”

Teedra on Chocolate City and Charm City:

Teedra: “ I love D.C., D.C. is filled with music lovers. I love how the people in D.C. just want to feel the music. It’s not about what’s being beat over their head on the radio, or BET or MTV. They just want to feel the music. You can tell, any place that is based off of GO-GO, it’s about the feeling, and making your soul move. I love D.C. and you know its Chocolate City.

“What I have to say about Baltimore is that Baltimore is the realest city. 100%. Realest people in America, I’m serious. I’m from New Orleans and, I think Baltimore has New Orleans beat.”

Teedra on Sasha Fierce:

Teedra: “My lifestyle is so funny, I go out here and do all of this and I’m 'Teedra Moses the soul singer.' And then I go home and I’m mommy to my twin boys, I’m getting up and I’m exercising for an hour every morning. Then I’m running errands, making dinner and going to the studio and that’s my life. Teedra Moses is the same person; there is no Sasha Fierce. There is the “Young Lioness” and that’s just the ego booster, that might be my Sasha Fierce.

Teedra Moses on what makes a girl fly:

Teedra: “Confidence, security, doing you and doing no one else. Others can inspire you, but you should never emulate them. You should always do you. That’s what makes a girl fly.”

With hopes of securing a new record deal, Teedra is confident that her new album, Young Lioness, will hit the shelves this summer. In the mean time, hit up Teedra’s MySpace to order a copy of her latest mix tape, Lion Hearted.
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Thanks to Gypsy Soul and Liv for allowing me the opportunity to interview Teedra Moses.


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