God works in mysterious ways. Fashion stylist turned soulstress Teedra Moses is a testament to how one moment can turn into a big break (literally.) A broken leg brought the New Orleans native to a revelation that would eventually change her life. Moses discovered her newfound love for music and never looked back. This summer, the world will get another taste of Teedra Moses through her sophomore release, “Young Lioness.” With a successful debut album, “Complex Simplicity”, under her belt and numerous songwriting credits to her name this queen of the jungle is showing no signs of slowing down.
Singersroom: Tell us about “Young Lioness.”
Teedra Moses: “Young Lioness” is a very strong album. I wrote and executive produced the entire album. I think that, in regards to my first album, [recording and song writing] was something very new to me. The first song I ever wrote and recorded was on that album. So I was a little afraid in my approach to everything that I did as an artist in the beginning. But now, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve become more confident as a woman, and as an artist, singer and songwriter. I think my approach to this new album, “Young Lioness”, is a lot stronger and more confident. Some of my experiences I have had, have really allowed me to be more courageous and face fears. From my understanding, fear is not really healthy anyway.
Singersroom: Do you think fear could be used as a healthy motivator?
Teedra Moses: In my experience, being afraid doesn’t really help. For instance [when I’m on stage,] if I’m afraid I’m breathing really heavy and it stops me from singing clearly and singing at a certain tone. When you’re all frantic and your blood is running, you can’t get that perfect tone like when you’re nice and comfortable. So I try to get it out in the first three or four seconds of being on stage. Then, [I] try to calm down and really let go of whatever fear I walked out there with.
Singersroom: Do you have a memorable performance where you felt that you rose to the occasion, overcoming whatever fear you were feeling? Has there been a time when things may have not gone as well as you would have liked?
Teedra Moses: Well, once I had a situation [while performing.] When I perform, I perform with computer tracks running to fill in for performers that I can’t put on stage. [The computer] shut down a few seconds before the show. So they told me right before the curtains opened. I just turned around petrified for about 30 to 45 seconds, and I just had to relax and really have fun. See that’s the thing with me, if I relax and have fun on stage with my band no matter what’s going on the people are gonna see that. It’s what I try to do; just relax and have fun. Honestly, every time I get on stage I enjoy myself whether everything goes perfect or it doesn’t. I really enjoy myself. Every time I get on stage, I feel like I have touched somebody.
Singersroom: Who did you work with on this album?
Teedra Moses: I worked with Raheem Devaughn. I have a song with Remy Ma. I think that might be it. I don’t think I worked with too many other artists. I don’t really like to do too many features. I’m still trying to introduce people to who I am. I’m just focused on getting Teedra across.
Singersroom: You’ve created a lot of buzz with your last records, but you’ve still managed to fly under the radar. What do you hope to present to people?
Teedra Moses: My concern is more with the people that already do know my music. For the people that don’t know my music, it’s only because they didn’t get a chance to hear it. So I definitely would like more people to hear my music this time around. But part of what inspired me were the people that already know. So that really was my focus. If I could come back and still be critically acclaimed again, I think that’s great. If I could come back and sell 10 million records, I think that’s great as well. But overall I just want to touch people like I did the first time, and them being proud of me again. So I have to keep focus on what it is I do, and not what I have to do to get new fans.
Singersroom: When did it hit you that music is what you love?
Teedra Moses: You know what, it hit me in different ways than it hit most people. I grew up in a family with music, but it was never really a childhood thing of mine. I had been an assistant fashion stylist for like three or four years, and I hated it. I took three months off [got another job as a stylist], and broke my leg. That’s when I knew that I was just being complacent because I knew this wasn’t for me. So I cried out to God and asked him could he just give me that thing, and that’s when music came. It was like, well you like to sing and you can write well so let’s try it. A friend of mine introduced me to some producers and I met Paul Polli. That’s when I decided I was gonna do music because I enjoy it and it feels good. I have twin boys that I need to take care of, and I was telling God I can’t do this stylist thing anymore. It was taking my spirit. I was in the music industry for a year and a half before it started to sustain my way of living. I feel like this is truly what God has called me to do. I was called to sing and write music that really touches people.
Singersroom: You’ve written for Mary J. Blige, Christina Milian, and many others. What do you prefer, singing or songwriting?
Teedra Moses: There’s definitely a preference with doing your own music because it’s your full expression, you know what I mean. When you write a song, and pass it over it’s not your full expression. But at the same time I enjoy hearing different interpretations of stuff that I’ve written.
Singersroom: Who is Teedra feeling [musically] and who were some of your influences from the past?
Teedra Moses: I like Amy Winehouse. I really like her as a singer and a performer. Older music, I really like Angela Winbush, Teena Marie, and Cherelle. I love Prince. I listen to a lot more older music than I do new music, like Bob Marley, Tina Turner and Ike; I love all that stuff.
Singersroom: So who’s in your CD player or iPod right now?
Teedra Moses: Um, right now in my car I have Amy Winehouse and Gwen Stefani with some No Doubt stuff because I really, really love No Doubt. I have this gospel compilation CD that I’m listening to and it has some Mary Mary on there. I listen to different types of music.
Singersroom: Quite the combination you have.
Teedra Moses: I love music. I can just sit outside in my backyard and listen to some Brazilian music and not know what the hell they’re sayin’ but it sounds so good. I really, really love all kinds of music. It makes it kind of hard as a black artist; we don’t really have the opportunity to express ourselves as much as we would like to. But you have to keep building, you have to keep getting closer and closer to the people. The more people you get on your side, the more you can introduce them to different things than they expected.
Singersroom: How do you find the balance to incorporate the type of music that actually influences you while still trying to fit into the mold?
Teedra Moses: I’ll incorporate it into a certain melody that I do. I love Bassa Nova music, so I just did a small interlude where the things I am saying are relatable to any urban kid out there but the music I am singing over is kind on Spanish. It’s not something you can directly pinpoint because I am influenced by all these things. I don’t try to make a jazz or gospel song, I just try to add a jazz or gospel influence.
Singersroom: Of course there’s additional music coming out that signifies some sort of progress but what else do you see for yourself? Are you going to stick with music or explore other opportunities as well?
Teedra Moses: I’m not gonna just stick with music. I’m gonna dabble in acting a little bit, not to be too clichÃ©-ish. I mean if I keep the roles close to my [personality] then I’ll be fine. Also, writing books maybe doing some poetry; just expressing myself. But my focus right now is music because that’s what God has given me and that will give me the platform to do other things. I don’t see myself doing other things until I can solidify my place in music.
—— By: Interview By Waine Youn