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Brittany Tiera's [@BrittanyTiera_] "Love University" Mixtape

Wednesday, July 23, 2014MsAvaBella

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Now y'all know I'm always on the lookout for new music from indie artists on the verge! I came across a young lady from Newport News, VA last week that literally blew me away. In the last few years I have not been able to hear not only raw emotion, but power in a voice. You know the kind of power that's in a singer's voice that makes you stop, Google, and YouTube? Well, this young lady did just that...

See more @BrittanyTiera photos on IG

...You might remember Brittany Tiera from the Star Search days when Arsenio hosted the show. She was the little girl with huge pipes and the cutest little 'Shirley Temple' curl pony tails. She was only 10 at the time, but she didn't stop wowing audiences and TV land. She went on to appear on BET's 106 & Park Wild Out Wednesdays where she won that round. After a little time and space, Brittany Tiera has released her debut, the Love University Mixtape which is a FREE download on the web.

Download your FREE copy of the Love University Mixtape

Leading up to the release she's done covers and videos to a few of everybody's favorite songs, Usher's Good Kisser, Schoolboy Q's Studio, and Jhene Aiko's The Worst, which all also appear on the mixtape...

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Brittany Tiera's YouTube

I had the opportunity to ask Brittany Tiera a few questions last week. Here's how it went...

Ava: I had to get this interview because I am just like wow! You, your music, and what you're doing in Virginia and on the web! You were just on the VA 103 Jamz Artist Spotlight. I just want to share your music with my readers and the path that you've taken. Take me back to the beginning and tell me how this all came to be

Brittany Tiera: OK. It all started when I was 3 years old, I was very young. I called my mom because I missed her and she didn't answer the phone. When it went to the answering machine, I don't know why, but I just started singing I Believe I Can Fly by R. Kelly. that was one of my favorite songs at the time. My mother played that message for everybody! Then everywhere I went, grocery stores, hair shops, 7 Eleven's, anywhere, you name it, she had me singing. That's how it all started.

On Star Search & Winning on 106th & Park...

Ava: Then from there, your mom took you to Star Search?

Brittany Tiera: When I did Star Search, the first auditions were in DC. There were like thousands of people. I stood in these really long lines. For my audition I sang Beyonce's Dangerously In Love acapella. I think that's what won them over because I was so young, but my voice was so mature. [Star Search] called me when I was at my cousin's house in Maryland and told me they wanted me to come for a second audition.

Ava: You beat out 75,000 people to appear on Star Search! What was that feeling like?

Brittany Tiera: Me, my sister, my younger cousin, my mother, and my big cousin...we were all so happy. We were hopping around the house, rolling around on the floor acting crazy.

Ava: Then do you remember what that second audition was like?

Brittany Tiera: They wanted me to sing the same song. I did, but with an instrumental. I remember wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. I don't know why, but for some reason, I remember feeling like a star when I had on cowboy boots.

Ava: You know what, I love cowboy boots! I'd feel like a star right now if I had on a pair!

Brittany Tiera: Right!

Ava: So then they flew you out to Cali...

Brittany Tiera: they flew me out to Hollywood. Outside my hotel window, you could see the Hollywood sign. It was crazy to my age, coming from where I'm from. [I knew then] this is what I wanna do for the rest of my life.

Ava: That was the same season as David Archuleta, right?

Brittany Tiera: I met David Archuleta, and I didn't meet her, but Fantasia was on that season, too. I also met Arsenio Hall, the host that season. He was so nice and so sweet!

Ava: So cool! Then you sang...

Brittany Tiera: Arsenio called me out, I was singing my little heart out. I didn't make it past that first round. Of course I felt upset because I was young and I thought at that time, that was it, but it was a humbling experience.

Ava: I think every little girl wanted to be on Star Search. I know I did. Especially if they could sing, if they could tap dance...you've definitely walked the path and lived the dream...lol! I see it on you...you're a star! I can also see the preparation, the time, and the thought that's been put into you as an artist. How important was it to find a team of people that would take that time, and invest in you along side what you've invested in yourself?

Brittany Tiera: It's actually very, very important. I'm still young. I'm 21 and I met the team when I was 17. I feel like then, maybe I wasn't really ready, but God Works. Everything happens in God's time. I needed to grow and they needed time to grow. Now we're where we need to be. It's very important to have people who believe in you, if you don't [have that support] it's easy to fall. It's a lot of people out here trying to do the same thing that I'm doing. I just feel really blessed to have people who stand behind and support me.

Ava: I write a lot about the indie artist, how to build your buzz, and effect a positive change on your brand. What has been the most important thing, or a couple of things, that you feel every indie artist should know and understand?

Brittany Tiera: I feel like there are two: One, be true to yourself. Be yourself, be original. There's a whole lot of artists doing what you do. Be unique. There's a whole lot of people trying to be Beyonce. There's already one Beyonce, just be yourself. Because nobody can be you. Second, Be consistent. I had a problem with that at first, I wasn't being consistent with my fans. That was because I had a lot going on, but that's no excuse. People who support you and listen to your music want to hear you. Think about what you're going through and how it might help someone else. So be consistent and be you!

Ava: Then fast forward to 106th & Park's Wild Out Wednesday...I've watched all your videos by the way! I'm a fan! Tell me about when you won...

Brittany Tiera: Again, my mom thought I should audition and we went to New York. I love New York, it's one of my favorite places. I auditioned with an original song, Time To Go, and I found out the same day I was going to be on the show. They told me the date and I was so excited. A whole lot of my family came up.

Ava: How was it after? What were the positives after winning the show?

Brittany Tiera: People recognized me, which was different and that was positive but there was also things I was dealing with in my regular life, too. The same day I appeared on the show, someone set my mothers car on fire right in our front yard. The other thing I remember was people expected so much from me because they had seen me on TV. They expected me to be a certain way that I wasn't. I'm regular.

Ava: It's amazing how people forget artists are people. Ordinary people, but with extraordinary talent tho, right?! Well, from there to know there was a bit of transition from the denim days on 106 to Brittany Tiera fashion now. The purple shoes hunny!! I love those shoes! OMG, they are amazing.

On Style & Fashion...

Brittany: Yes! The purple shoes from the Love University cover! Those were custom made for me for the shoot. A really creative guy by the name of Jeremiah Coleman, made the shoes, and styled me for the shoot. I get a lot of compliments on the shoes. Especially guys be like, yo those shoes are crazy!

Ava: And then those feathers! Never underestimate the value of a feather is my motto!! They can turn up the whole dynamic of the style! Now being from VA, do feel any pressure? You've got a long list of who's who...Ella Fitzgerald, Missy, Timbaland, Pharrell, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and The Dave Matthews Band. Pearl Bailey even. Is there pressure, or are you just a part of that culture of creativity that was birthed in VA?

Brittany Tiera: I never feel like oh my gosh...I can't wait to meet them, they all have inspired me in some way. I'm a part of it all. Definitely. Not to too my own horn, but I am. I can't wait to meet them.

Ava: Absolutely! You definitely got "it"! Now tell me about what you want people to feel from you the person and what you want them to take away from your music.

Brittany Tiera: I want them to feel what I'm feeling. I want them to be able to relate and have fun and know who I am. I don't want to make dumb music that's purposeless. I want to have an imprint and when I leave this earth, people can still listen to my work.

Ava: Something that I think is so profound, you said, 'when the trend dies, you die", so you don't follow trends... So how do feel about the status quo of music

Brittany Tiera: I feel like there are lots of artists who are doing the same thing, staying one lane. My pet peeve is people doing what somebody else is already doing. Like I'm a rebel. If everybody is wearing there hair long. I'll wear mine short. It goes back to being unique and original. I have an eye and an ear. I can hear something and tell if that's really you or you're trying to be something else. If I listen to the radio, I can hear it. 

Ava: I can hear that come across in your music and when I've shared with a few folks, they were like, oh I hear Lil' Mo. I can see that, but there is definitely power there and even with the covers you've done; I hear you!

On working with the Dezperawdo team...

Ava: How did you all meet?

Brittany Tiera: There was a family friend who introduced me to the Dezperawdos. When I met them, it was awkward at first, they're all guys, I'm the only girl, but I've really grown to love them. We're really like a family. You'll be able to tell that through the music because we have chemistry. That's very important when working with producers, writing, all of that. We have fun. Being that we're all so different, they keep me with an open mind.

Ava: Love University came out June 28th...where can we find it and you.

Brittany: Datpiff, Audiomack, and soon it will roll out to iTunes, but for now it is a free download on both Datpiff and Audiomack. Stay tuned! There is so much more coming!!

We agree!!


Photo Cred: Jeremiah Coleman

Connect with Brittany Tiera:

Twitter: @BrittanyTiera_

IG: BrittanyTiera

Reverbnation: Official Brittany Tiera

Facebook: Brittany Tiera

Audiomack: Brittany Tiera

Datpiff: Brittany Tiera

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