Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.
I believe my sound is a reflection of my experience and observations – my life basically. Though sometimes similar, none of us have the same story, and, even if we did, we wouldn’t tell it the same. That’s how I feel with my music. My sound develops as long as I continue to develop. Sometimes that requires exposing myself to more music, and other times silence. I’m never afraid to try new things, like a new sound, and new cadence, just a vibe. Also, I’m always around other musicians who are better than me, always picking up something.
Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.
New “artists” aren’t coming up, they’re just coming out with one, maybe two hits, then -BOOM – they’re irrelevant. Not denying it works in pushing out songs and making noise, but they’re too often short-lived. It’s a new way of doing things for momentary status and fame, not longevity. At the same time, people don’t really buy full projects anymore unless you’re Beyonce or something.
Tell us your experience as a musician.
What’s better than having one parent who’s a musician? Two parents who’re musicians! Also, growing up in the church, I’ve been around some of the world’s best musicians, not just drummers. That being said, it’s still a man’s world even in music. Everything I do is male-dominated – rapping, songwriting, drumming, producing – and I love it.
Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.
It’s cool and convenient for the buyer. There’s nothing we like better in this generation than that *snaps right finger* instant gratification. The artists always get the whack cut though. You’re not really making money unless you’re an established artist who can move units.
Tell us how you see yourself in the coming time as a musician.
I see myself packing out clubs and selling out stadiums, staying consistent with my themes of love, fun, and honesty. Also, I see my status as a musician being used to enhance my philanthropic efforts for homelessness and education.
Tell us five current artists that are your favorite presently.
In no specific order: Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Anderson Paak, N*E*R*D, and Childish Gambino.
Tell us your dream and hope for the future.
I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and le-… Let me stop, haha. Honestly, I hope for an open heart and open dialogue about the racial and social, and economic issues that plague us. America has never been perfect but at least we were able to talk about it and listen. I hope public schools highly reprioritize the arts for students. I hope I can help change the society into one; I’d be less fearful to raise a family in. Oh, and travel! Got to travel the world.
Tell us what you think has changed in the music industry.
It no longer starts and stops at a record label. It’s nothing but a reflection of the people who consume it. Everything is short-lived. People don’t even know how to be in relationships – social or romantic. They’re afraid to feel anything because we’re under the illusion that feelings make us vulnerable.
Tell us your opinion on TV and radio stations playing the same songs from established artists mostly and giving little chances to independent artists.
It’s funny you ask that. The very first line of my single, “Revolution” is “Television ain’t focusing my precision.” I don’t take my creative cues from TV or radio. TV and radio used to be about people, now it’s just numbers and being safe, not a vibe or a feeling. My focus isn’t so much what’s already been established, but what isn’t.
Tell us the challenges you think independent artists are facing and how they can be tackled.
Money (at least upfront) and resources: 2 things a label provides relief from. Most indie artists I know still have a “regular” job to support their music. There is absolutely no shame in that. Also, be consistent with content. Someone once told me “content is king”, especially for artists trying to be established. We live in a social media world – it isn’t fair, but it’s the reality. Play the game until you make the rules. You can build your base by supporting other artists, and networking with coordinators and other talents at events. But also, just because you’re independent doesn’t mean you deserve support. You still need to be good, lol. At the end of the day, I support good music.
Tell us your opinion on how corruption is affecting society and how it can be eradicated.
The foundation of American society is built on corruption: corruption of history, power, and greed. America is infected with it and it touches every aspect of our society. What we’ve encountered in the past as corruption has now manifested into confusion and fear. Ignorance and fear are a dangerous combination. It’s never going away, but I believe it can be contained as long as people are willing to at least talk and listen to understand.
State the links to your social media and stores.
@iamtiap – Instagram/ Twitter/ Snapchat
iamtiap – Facebook/ YouTube/ Soundcloud
We’re currently selling “Revolution” T-shirts to support the new single “Revolution”.
Tell us what you think about using social media to promote music online.
I think it’s a great tool. You’re not local or just national – you’re worldwide with the touch of a button. The flip side is that EVERYONE has access to this same technology, which makes it harder to cypher out who’s promo is worth listening to or not.
Tell us how you start as a musician.
Both my parents are musicians. My dad is a drummer, producer/songwriter and my mom sings. I honestly can’t remember a time when music wasn’t a part of my life. Although I played drums for the children’s choir and was raised in the church (where I honestly believe you will find the world’s best musicians), I’m blessed that my parents just enjoyed good music. From gospel to jazz; 2pac to Stevie; Missy to Janet – I experienced it all starting from home. At age 2 or 3, my mom says I pulled out some pots and pans, laid them out on the floor, and started playing them like drums with a spoon and an egg beater. More importantly than teaching me drums, my dad taught me the importance of good songwriting around the time my grandmother bought me my first poetry book. Watching him on his equipment at home, I started using it, until he got tired of that and bought me my own keyboard, and mixer, and mic, and stuff. The first song I wrote was a gospel song, and I haven’t stopped since.
Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.
Aside from just loving it, people. As an artist with a growing fan base, I’m just as excited to meet my fans as they are to meet me. #teamtiap is real because they don’t just support the art, they support the artist. That’s when splashes turn to waves. Each time I hug or talk to someone who likes my music, they usually express their love and support just for me as Tia. On top of that, the energy at my live shows is magnetic! That’s a high you don’t stop wanting until you’re dead.
Tell us about you as a person.
I’m just a big, little kid. I like to have fun, but I like being able to give – in whatever form. Whether it’s monetarily, or food for the homeless, speaking at the Black College Expo, or a message in my music, I try not to be selfish. It’s hard sometimes because I’m an only child lol.
Elaborate on the story behind the song.
One of my managers, Marty Arnold, shot me this track, and the first thing I hear is this Angela Davis sample in the background. I’m already intrigued. Then this military, trap-like production comes in and I’m all in. It felt like anthem music. Nevertheless, a week later I still hadn’t written to it.
Tell us the process involved in making this song.
The world is in a state of revolution: overt racism against Blacks and Latinos, DACA with the immigration, gun control, opioid epidemic, gender identity, the feminist movement, #MeToo, Dona- 45. Need I say more? I feel like Black people, we stay in revolution mode. It’s a part of being Black in America. But it’s like a revolution epidemic out there. I didn’t want it to be just a “Black” thing. Counterculture is at an all-time high. I had a plethora of issues to tackle.
List the people that deserved to be given credits for the making of the song.
Shout out to Villa out in the ATL for trusting me with this beat, and to Marty Arnold for making the connection possible.
Tell us how you get funds to run your music career.
Honestly, my situation isn’t like most. Shortly after coming home from graduating from Howard University, my other manager, C. Von set up a profile on LA Casting and an amazing commercial acting agent -Kim Gola (ABA Talent) – found me and I’ve been booking ever since. My first commercial was an international Pepsi commercial with Torri Kelly. I booked it as a drummer on a train with a great smile. Music even infiltrates my acting career. It’s made room for many opportunities and the residuals are what allow me to fund my music.
Tell us the genre of your music and the reason you decided to go for this genre.
I’m a Viber, so that’s what I go for. I didn’t grow up listening to one style so why do I have to pick? Some days I’m a little more hip hop. Sometimes I’m a little more R&B or funk. I want to make music that makes your head nodding, not just your feet tapping. I guess that’s hip hop. Hip hop is the greatest story that they never tell anymore. I’m a storyteller.