Since dropping her debut album in 2004, Teedra Moses has become a silent storm in the music industry. Continuously writing and producing music while selling out venues to a devoted following of fans they have stood through time for to her impressive debut album. The Young Lioness takes time to speak with MiddleChild Promotions about her new project Cognac & Conversation due out August 7th.
RoJay: Afternoon! How are you today?
Teedra Moses: I’m so blessed. I can’t complain, Honey. Hopefully you’re feeling the same way.
RoJay: Always. Always blessed.
Teedra Moses: I know that’s right.
RoJay: But now my day is even better. I’ve been waiting awhile to speak with you again. So happy that this is taking place. I’ve been a fan forever and excited that you’re getting this new project out. How does it feel? I know you’re still selling out these shows and dropping mixtapes, but NOW the new album is here.
Teedra Moses: It feels like overwhelmingly good. It feels very blessed. I’m grateful, but I know exactly where it comes from. I’ve been trying to do this for a long time and I guess its timing. I’m very proud of it. I’m very grateful to everybody that has been involved to help me get it out here to the people.
RoJay: You know most people would have maybe thrown in the towel by now because of all of the obstacles in the way. What kept you motivated to push forward?
Teedra Moses: It’s like when God gives you something to do, you better do it or you’re going to feel the repercussions of not doing it. Music is what he gave me to do. I cried out for a way to take care of my children I was younger and they were young. Their dad gave most of the money to take care of them when he was with us, but when he left he stopped doing that so it was all on me and I was overwhelmed. I cried out for a way to take care of them and he gave me this thing. So that’s like to me… how do I ever stop? And then I fell in love with it. How do I ever stop? I can’t stop.
RoJay: I hear that. Well we got this album title ‘Cognac and Conversation’ and I know how raw your storytelling is. When I hear the title it gives me that feeling of brutal honesty and raw emotion over drinks. You know how the best conversations are during happy hour? Is that the kind of theme you’re going for with this album?
Teedra Moses: It’s really more emotional. It’s honest, but the sound of it and the subject matter is very emotional in a good way. I think people will be able to relate because I’m really revealing my vulnerability, but in a strong way. I think that’s why I call it ‘Cognac and Conversation’ because its definitely something people can definitely have that background music to that time in their life whether they’re with a guy chilling or with your girlfriends talking about something or you’re on your own vibing. You can definitely do your thing; whatever you choose to do to my music and just vibe out. It don’t bother you.
RoJay: Most of your music is real mellow and you can ride out and vibe to it. Your new single ‘Get It Right’ is like that as well. I’m getting the sense that materialistic wealth doesn’t mean much to you and you would rather have the emotional wealth. Can you give me a little background to this record.
Teedra Moses: ‘Get It Right’ is definitely about it not being about the things that are perpetuated in society that are most attractive. I like those things… I like money. I like cars. I like all of what money can get to you, but spiritually I want to be connected to people and if that’s not involved that doesn’t even matter. I’d rather be connected to what’s real and tangible and I think that we take with us when our spirit goes. Not the stuff that’s connected to my body or this world. So that’s kind of what that song is about. The way that society is it just kind of hits me the wrong way sometimes. I don’t want to be judgmental, but I feel like we’ve gotten very far away from truly connecting with one another due to technology and everything. I think we should enjoy the technology… or me. I can’t speak for the next person. I just want to enjoy the technology and enjoy being able to make the distance from people. I don’t want to lose the ability or desire to connect with people. That’s what made me think of ‘Get It Right’. I don’t need the other stuff. I just need the little stuff.
RoJay: And that sounds like a very personal track to you. You were discussing how you showed your vulnerability on this album. Was there any track in particular that was hard for you to open up on as far as writing or singing?
Teedra Moses: No. I think the most emotional I was while singing was the last record on the album called ‘No Regrets’. It came out of me in one take. I didn’t even have it written. I was just freestyling. I think that’s probably my favorite one as far as how emotional I got on the record. It’s very simple. I sing very softly, but I think you feel it more than any other record.
RoJay: I know you do most of your own writing and all, but did you link up with any other writing teams or producers for this project?
Teedra Moses: Well you know with me making music is like a comfort level type of thing so I’m very very comfortable with the people I’ve been around for a very long time and I’ve been blessed to continuously work with them from ‘Complex Simplicity’ to mixtapes and on and on to where we are now. We’ve built a chemistry. Actually this time around I have one of my really good friends, Jay Black. He’s writing with me on the first track ‘Are You Scared’. Long time collaborator. Like we’ve been on stage with each other for the past ten years and we’ve been friends for the past ten years so it’s very easy because he knows me and I know him and I trust him. I also did a writing collaboration with Yani. He’s been my engineer for years and then he started producing and we started building a relationship as producer-artist so by the time he let me hear a song… and it rarely happens where he let me hear a song… and it was just ‘that’s the song I should sing’. So I flipped a couple of words around to make it fit me so that’s how we kind of collaborated. So that was cool and I never did that before on any other music, so that was cool. I pretty much worked with the people I always work with.
RoJay: Well with that being said, I have to reference the debut album of course. I know a good handful of my friends that STILL play that album to this day. ‘Complex Simplicity’ is one of those albums that is like if the world missed it, damn it they missed it. But the people that were able to absorb it and take it in love it to death. I have several favorites like ‘For A Lifetime’, ‘Rescue Me’ and ‘Backstroke’, but my absolute favorite from the project is ‘No More Tears’. Hands down! That song takes me to a place.
Teedra Moses: Wow.
RoJay: For those that may have not still heard the album or experience it like most others and this will be their first time hearing a Teedra project or song, what is one thing you hope that they take away from the experience of ‘Cognac and Conversation’?
Teedra Moses: The passion and sincerity because I think people can connect with honest passion and truth and sincerity. I know that if they can take that away with them then that is something they can keep with them that will make them want to come back to it. It does that for me so hopefully it will do that for them. And for it to comfort them in some form or fashion.
RoJay: Definitely. So once the album is out what can Teedra fans expect from you for the rest of the year and duration of the project?
Teedra Moses: Well the rest of the year, definitely this fall we want to get on the road from here to Europe. My objective touring wise for the duration of the project is to get this into Africa. I do well in America and I do well in Europe and I want to push to Africa because I know I have fans there. But it’s such a long trip that’s it is a financial trip and I want to make sure I am in position. So tour it around the world as much as possible and then move on to the next project because I am one of those artists that like to be on stage and connect with the people.
RoJay: And what were the lessons that you’ve learned along the way that you may not have been aware of when you first got into this game? What would present day Teedra tell brand new artist Teedra at this point in your life?
Teedra Moses: I would say to her… open your heart and open your mind, but hold on to your soul. Don’t be so protective of yourself that you close your mind and your heart. God’s got you so you can open your mind and open your heart, but hold close to your soul. That’s the thing that people can really touch and change you. So hold close to that. Other than that everything else is growth. If you open your mind and open your heart then you’re growing from what you truly are. If you let people at your soul they might take away from who you truly are and I think that applies to life and music.
RoJay: Well I will tell you once again that I am excited to hear this project.
Teedra Moses: Me tooooooo. I can’t wait.
RoJay: And I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. Trust and believe me when I tell you that you have people that REALLY ride for you.
Teedra Moses: I know and I am so thankful! I am very very grateful to the people that have been riding with me and that have been reaching out to me and helping me just because they have been touched by my music. That’s not something money can buy and I am very appreciative.
RoJay: Oh definitely!
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