For aspiring artists who’ve been grinding hard for years to make it into the recording industry, none of the aforementioned factors seems very important. When you’re outside the circle all you want is to be inside. Although if you ask R&B singer Tweet, it’s not that simple.
After Tweet’s second album, “It’s Me Again,” the singer got lost in the shuffle between merging labels. Losing her status as a priority and her staff at Elektra Records when they folded into Atlantic, Tweet wanted to quit music and be a “mom” full-time. Luckily for Tweet, independent label Umbrella Records and their owner Jeryl Busby wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Singersroom: Let me just say, before we go on, speaking of your albums, “Smoking Cigarettes” [from her 2002 release Southern Hummingbird] was one of my favorite songs by you. I just had to ask, what inspired you to write that song?
Tweet: Just true circumstances, I mean at that time I was writing directly on what I was going through at the time. Bad relationships you know? The song is talking about what I was going through.
Singersroom: Gotcha! What have you been doing since your last album [2005’s It’s Me Again] aside from working on the release of this album?
Tweet: Nothing really, I kind of just took myself from the industry and just put all my time in being a mom.
Singersroom: I hear that! You worked with your daughter on your last album. What was it like working with your daughter?
Tweet: It was awesome! I mean I knew how talented she was, but just to watch her in the studio and how natural it was to her was amazing.
Singersroom: That’s awesome! So your new album is titled Love, Tweet, what’s the release date for that? When can we go get it in stores?
Tweet: June 10th is what I’m hearing now.
Singersroom: Are you still involved with Timbaland and Missy’s projects and are they involved in this project?
Tweet: No, not at all. We’re still friends but our schedules are different, so we really haven’t had time to hook up.
Singersroom: Some sites, particularly the black blogosphere, hinted in the past that Missy may have neglected working with you in favor of working with Keyshia Cole. Do you want to address those rumors?
Tweet: Oh no! I mean I haven’t read anything like that, but thank you for keeping it real. I don’t know. Missy is an opportunist I guess, and whatever’s hot at the time that’s what she’s gonna roll with.
Singersroom: I had a chance to listen to a few tracks from the album and they were straight fire. I loved every last one of them. What are you trying to convey to your fans with this album?
Tweet: I’m just trying to put good music out there and to show that I haven’t changed. I’m not running with the mainstream. I’m still gonna put the same in your face lyrics out there, you know? I’m still Tweet despite of what happened to me in the business you know? I’m still gon’ be who I am.
Singersroom: What do you think about the mainstream music out right now? The musical landscape seems to be particularly commercial and everyone seems to be prepackaged.
Tweet: I don’t really listen to the radio. I keep my old school on like Marvin Gaye and all of that. I listen to gospel music and stuff like that just to be inspired. I just think it’s a little bit overproduced sometimes. It’s kind of unbelievable. Like a lot of these people are unbelievable. I don’t believe what I think is a gimmick and things like that. And then with all that out there you forget about the real artists that are really struggling to make it and it shouldn’t be that hard to get out there.
Singersroom: I definitely like how refreshing this album is. It’s got such a good sound to it. What inspired you to put out this type of record? It honestly is different than anything so far this year and last year.
Tweet: You know I just kind of went in the studio with the same producers as the first two records; we did stuff that sounded good to us, you know? We just wanted to do music. We didn’t say “well let’s make it this way to reach these types of people.” We just did music. We didn’t have no set standard or anything. I work with musicians, not just people that sit behind a keyboard and press a button. I work with people that really know how to play instruments, you know, and things like that.
Singersroom: That’s what’s up! Speaking of the real music, I’m a huge jazz lover so I was happy to see “Them There Eyes” on this album. I also remember you had “Big Spender” on your first album, or something like that was real jazzy, real big band-ish. So are you a jazz lover and did that influence this album, aside from “Them There Eyes?”
Tweet: I mean I love all kinds of music. “Them There Eyes” was performed by Diana Ross in the movie “Lady Sings the Blues.” That’s one of my top favorite movies. I watch it a lot. I just wanted to, you know, pay homage to her and Billie Holiday and that whole thing. I just always wanted to do that part in the movie. I just wanted to do it. I had to.
Singersroom: Talking about the movie, would you be interested in ever doing movies if the opportunity presented itself?
Tweet: Definitely! I would definitely take it seriously to where I would want to have enough time to study and get into character; whereas with “Honey,” I only had a couple of days. It wasn’t a big role. I would really want to get into it.
Singersroom: You worked with T.I. on this album. Tell us a little bit more about what it was like working with the self-proclaimed “King of the South,” and how you two connected for that song.
Tweet: First of all it was a breath of fresh air to work with him because he’s such an old soul and he’s so sweet; so down to earth and cool. It’s like working with my brother. [They] asked me to come to the studio and they wanted to try me out on this record, so that’s what happened.
Singersroom: It sounds really good. Did he really sing on that song? It sounded like he actually kind of sang on it. Was that his voice?
Tweet: It was like a chant. Yeah, he definitely did.
Singersroom: Wow! It came out really well. I was surprised. It sounds like it was inspired by the ATL flavor.
Tweet: It really wasn’t my record. We just got our hands on it to put it out as a street record…for the DJ’s and people like that.
Singersroom: A lot of the songs out right now are very sexual in nature. I like your song “Remedy.” It talks about, correct me if I’m wrong, holding out physically for the right man. That’s not a topic that a lot of artists are singing about right now.
Tweet: Well that’s a real lady’s record. That was written by Charlie Burrell and his wife. I didn’t write that record, but I fell in love with [it] and that’s why I did it because of the message. The image of our women right now is that what we want is the first thing smoking, you know? We’ll do whatever we have to do to get that man that’s gonna take care of us the rest of our lives, really not knowing who that person is and they not knowing who we are. If we just hold out God will send us who we need to be with. That’s exactly what that song is [about].
Singersroom: I can dig it. That was one of my favorite songs. So what else is on your plate with the release of this album?
Tweet: Well we’re putting together a small tour. They’re getting it all together. I’m just working on touring this whole year, you know, with this album and everything because I didn’t get a chance to do that the second album. That’s my main concern; grabbing hold to whatever I have to [in order] to get on that road and put that music out there. So just look out for it! —— By: Interview By Seattle Slim