Born and raised in the 305, the same city that birthed greats like Trina and City Girls, Teenear grew up singing in church like most artists. But unlike most artists, Teenear has chartered her own path by taking the world by storm unapologetically. Expressing herself through music isn’t a foreign concept but a mandatory ideology because for her it’s more than music, it’s her purpose.
Growing up she taught herself how to play the piano, further molding herself into the musical connoisseur she is today. YouTube is where she started sharing her gifts with the digital world; her first musical cover on YouTube was “Stay” by Rihanna, which caught the attention of Slip-N-Slide Records CEO Ted Lucas. Never taking music for granted, she continued to boss up after penning her first song with Sage the Gemini called “Friday Night“. In this interview with BAUCE, Teenear chats about her harmonizing love for music in today’s digital age and why she continues to dream big in a super competitive industry.
Which artists inspire you the most when comes to your sound and style?
Teenear: Growing up I listened to so many different people. My very first concert was Brittney Spears and I fell in love with her. I loved watching Aaliyah’s video because they were super creative as well as Michael Jackson’s. The classic movie Love and Basketball inspires me; I want people to get a nostalgic feeling when they watch my music videos.
What was it like to collaborate with Lil Baby for your single, “I Like It”?
Teenear: My label got on the phone with his management and he agreed to do a verse for my song which he completed within two days. I was so shocked because he is super mainstream right now.
What dream collaborations do you want to happen in the future?
Teenear: My wildest collaboration is going to be with Beyoncé. It’s going to happen! I’d love to work with the new female voices taking over R&B at the moment. I’d also love to work with Chris Brown and Bruno Mars.
As a black female artist in the climate of today’s music industry, what do you feel you have to offer to the music industry that missing?
Teenear: I offer realness. I’m not trying to sell anyone a lie. In all of my music, I’m just selling who I am. I’m growing up in this music industry, trying to figure out myself. I’m not trying to grow up too fast and show too much. I want to show younger females that want to be like me, you can be yourself and do your own thing and everything will happen when it’s supposed to happen. It’s all God’s timing, your purpose will be lived out regardless. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing just to stand out.
Have you experienced any challenges as a young black female artist in the entertainment industry?
Teenear: My biggest challenge was immediately being labeled as an R&B artist. I don’t necessarily identify as an R&B artist because I’ve put out pop records as well. I’m just a chocolate girl singing music! I don’t want to be put in a box — I do more than R&B. Whatever vibe I catch in the studio is what I catch and whatever genre I want to sing, I’ll sing. I don’t want to be labeled as one type of artist just to fit in the industry.
You have a huge social media following on Instagram and Tiktok. Tiktok is pretty much the new Vine. How are you using this platform which caters primarily to Gen Z to promote your brand and music?
Teenear: Tiktok is one of the best things you can do because the younger generation is on there all the time. I personally want to capture the younger people because they are the ones that grow up with you. That’s who you want to follow you throughout your career. It’s a great platform for artists who want to get their music out there. Influencers are making a career from Tiktok alone.
How do you leverage Instagram as a way to attract new fans?
Teenear: Anything having to do with my music brings new supporters my way. My fans continue to support me even more when I share on Instagram. I wouldn’t care anything about social media if it didn’t help me with promoting what I love. I use Instagram to showcase my music and being able to reach so many different people is amazing to me.
What advice do you have for other young women like yourself looking to break into the music business?
Teenear: Be yourself 100%. There are so many of the same people out here, we need you to just be yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself at the end of the day, you’re not going to convince anyone else believe in you. They’re going to see the disbelief in everything that you do. Go hard for whatever it is you believe is within you and just do it!
Check out Teenear’s new women empowerment anthem, Dolla $igns on all streaming platforms.