Teairra Mari was signed to Roc-A-Fella when she was sixteen, and admits to making a lot of mistakes, but also learning a lot from the experience. While she has a new deal and new exposure, thanks to guest appearances on “Love and Hip Hop,” you’d be surprised that the one thing she wants to do before she leaves this Earth has nothing to do with music.
Most people will never know all the frustrations that come with trying to make it as a singer. But no one can tell you better than Teairra Mari. We sat down with Love & Hip Hop’s newest cast member to find out a little more about the girl who was famously signed to Roc-a-fella then suddenly dropped. She now makes recurring appearances on VH1′s Love & Hip Hop and has a fresh new record deal with Rico Love’s Division 1 imprint.
What we found was a woman with many different sides and finally totally in control. Check out the interview!
On her big break with Roc-a-fella…
It was amazing. I was sixteen, coming from Detroit, I was SO green and I just remember feeling like a deer in headlights…this little girl in this big city and getting all my prayers answered and my dreams come true. I just remember everybody on that label being so kind and easy to work with. Jay was a mentor and father figure. Beyonce is very very nice, actually one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. So it was amazing and I think God put that whole time frame and situation in my life for a reason.
What did you learn from it?
Definitely at the end of the day I learned to be resilient. Coming from a big situation like that, anybody would want to go hide under a rock. I was signed to Roc-a-fella and got dropped. And being that I was so young girl and so green it would’ve been so easy to hide under a rock but I chose differently and chose to hold the rock under my head. And I’m here now. It takes time, it takes patience and all of that to succeed in this business.
On why she didn’t go independent…
I was at that point before I got to Warner Brothers where I was like ‘ok let’s just do it on our own’ but then I realized how hard it is and how much money it takes to do it on your own. Especially where I want to go and the horizons I want to reach, you really do need the machine behind you. So I rethought that, and Warner offered a deal, so I signed it.
On her new project with Rico Love…
I just signed to Division One with Rico and the project is called ‘You Did That’, and we’re getting a great response to it, so I’m excited…me and Rico we have a history…I always say we have this crazy chemistry doing music together. At the end of the day it’s about creating good music, it’s the music industry.
What’s the most frustrating thing about being an artist?
I would say the bullshit you have to deal with. The politics, what you have to go through because talent is only a small part of it. Having talent doesn’t solidify that you’ll be successful in this business. I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus but like with Warner Bros, they hyped me up to sign and then not getting it. To me that’s BS. Why even sign me if you don’t believe in it? They just didn’t get me. And that’s fine. I don’t hold any bad blood with any of those people.
So what now?
Well, now I get to do what I want to do. Now I get to create the type of music I wanted to create. I was doing what they wanted me to do because I wanted my record deal.
If you could form a super group, who would be in it?
I’d have four members. Ciara, because of her energy and talent. Solange, because of her eclectic vibe. I’m gonna bring that urban, bounce. And I’m gonna have to go with my little sister Teyana Taylor.
If you could go back – knowing what you know now – to that sixteen year old fresh off the bus Teairra Mari, just signed to Roc-a-fella, and say one thing, what would you say?
(Sings) Don’t’ let it go to your head now. At sixteen it’s easy for things to go to your head. It’s easy to get caught up when people are bowing at your feet and kissing your ass. At sixteen years old, you don’t know how to handle that. So the only way I knew how to handle it was ‘hey I’m the shit’ but I realized quickly that you have to stay grounded so that’s what I would tell that little girl.
What do you want to be when you grow up: A singer/actress/philanthropist
The very last thing you want to do before you leave this Earth: I just want to hold a big seminar with 2 million unconfident young girls and just explain to them, their worth. And that nobody else matters, when you’re on your journey.
Tell us a secret?
I have a girl crush on Lauren London. I don’t want nothing, it’s just a crush.