Newcomer Teenear Is Something Else But In A Damn Good Way [Interview] How The Slip-N-Slide Records Signee Plans to Take Over The Music Industry
At 19-years-old South Florida singer and songwriter, Teenear has accomplished much more than the average Joe. Setting her intentions firmly on accomplishing her goals as a successful entertainer, she has kept herself grounded and on the right path to stardom. As a member of Slip-N-Slide Records, Teenear has partnered up with some of the game’s prolific players, including Trina and Sage The Gemini to provide a new sound wave to her growing fan base. Recently featured on the Rolling Loud Festival roster, Teenear showed just how in control of her dreams she really is.
The singer recently sat down to discuss what it’s like being signed to Slip-N-Slide Records, using Youtube as a platform to elevate her presence, being mentored by both Trina and Trick Daddy, and why music is her only way out.
What events led up to you signing with Slip-N-Slide Records?
I’ve been singing since I was a little girl and around the age of 15 I started singing at church. The CEO of Slip-N-Slide records goes to that church as well. I grew up at that church and everyone has seen me sing a hundred thousand times and everyone would constantly tell him, “You have to come hear her sing.” He actually came and listened to me a few times. Eventually, from there we had a few meetings; we talked about how serious I was taking it and he kinda just put it on me and said it’s up to me to show him that this is what I really want to do. From there I started putting out covers and he finally let me get into the studio around 16 and I started working on songs and actually getting into recording and into the lifestyle of doing this. He saw that this was what I wanted to do and that it’s my passion. He believed in me — we decided to go with it and we’ve been running since.
You’ve gained a lot of supporters from your music covers on Youtube. Were you ever expecting the reactions you’ve received?
Honestly, at the beginning, no. When you’re younger you don’t really think about what other people say, so I was just very out there. Getting into junior high was when I kinda started to try to figure out who I was. I was shy. Putting out my first cover […] “Fade” by Rihanna, really took a lot out of me because I was super shy and closed in. Once I saw the reaction from people and people actually liked what I was doing gave me the confidence to keep going. It was definitely surprising in a good way. I love doing it and getting a reaction from people. I believe I don’t put music out to please others, I put music out that pleases me and it makes me happy to know that people like what I like.
What’s the story behind your single, “Something Else”?
“Something Else” is a song that I feel like for me personally I’m still focused on everything that I’m doing and I don’t necessarily want to think about guys right now because I have a goal and a plan for myself. It’s really just telling a story of when I’m focused the last thing I wanted was a guy to come into my life and make me want to be in a relationship because he did everything that I wanted him to do and there’s really no reason for me to tell him to go away. That’s what I wanted to let come across in this song. This person truly makes me feel some type of way, but I can’t help but be with him because he’s something else.
How was it working with Sage The Gemini?
Sage The Gemini was awesome to work with. For the recording of the song, I didn’t get to meet him. We sent him the record, he liked it and sent his verse. I met him on the set of the video shoot and it was absolutely amazing. There was no type of awkwardness. He just had a really good spirit. Usually, you don’t know what you’re going to get from certain artists, so meeting him and feeling his spirit was amazing. It was all positive. He’s hilarious. It was genuine and there was no type of act going on.
What’s life like being on the road?
Touring was so much fun and I can’t wait to get back on the road. It’s a blast — going to different places and meeting new people and experiencing that with my team was just a blast. I love performing personally. I’d say that’s my favorite part about being an artist and doing this for life. It’s a lot of fun.
How long are rehearsals?
Rehearsals are about six hours long. Last night we left at 1:30 am because we got done what we needed. When you want something and you have a vision […] like for my show I have this really big vision that I really want to come out on that stage for Rolling Loud because Rolling Loud is a huge stage for me. It’s a blessing to be on that stage and I really want it to be my turn to make it a point to everyone that I’m here and this is what I want to do. I’m not leaving anytime soon and I’ve created a show that I feel is going to show that so when it comes to rehearsals I don’t care how long we have to be there, I want to get done what I see in my head.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Michael Jackson and Beyonce are my number one because they started doing music at a young age like myself. Through their music, they’ve built a brand for themselves and did so many things outside of music. I want to do things outside of music as well, but I want to make sure I stamp myself in music so that people can always be like she’s a singer first, but she also does this and this. She’s a singer first, but look at what she’s done for her community. I thin that’s what Beyonce and Michael Jackson did for themselves and that’s my goal at the end of the day. I look up to them 100%.
You have the title of being a philanthropist on your resume. Not too many young adults can claim that as a working title. What causes made you want to be so active in your community?
I think kid nowadays are very…they’re guided in the wrong direction because of social media. I feel like social media makes it hard for us to really find ourselves because people always want to look on social media and say, “I want to look like this.” Or “I should be wearing this.” I want to be the person that shows them that you can be yourself and still do what you want to do. Especially with girls […] all of the Instagram models and the makeup tutorials, they think that that’s how they are supposed to be and look. I want to be the person that tells them, go to them and show them that it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to be naked on Instagram to get all of those followers. You don’t have to have a ton of makeup on your face to get all of those followers. I want to be that positive person that they can look up to.
Your single “Street Lights” featured Trina on the remix. How did that collaboration come to fruition?
I sent her the track, but Trina is like a Godmother to me. She’s super close to home. We weren’t able to record it together, but she’s always here for me. It was kind of just a family thing. There was nothing too complicated behind it. It was all love.
Being signed to the same label as the infamous Trick Daddy I’m sure you two have been able to come together at some point. What have you been learn from Trick?
I recently got to really sit down and talk to him. He’s been out of the game for a while, but he hasn’t lost it at all. They are coming back with amazing music. He’s really just taught me to go for whatever I want and to believe in myself. Do you. Do what you love. And not fall for what comes within the industry.
How would you describe yourself and your music?
I don’t want to be stuck in a box when it comes to music. I love all types of music. I want to make sure […] I’m still growing and learning about myself in general so when it comes to my music I don’t want to be stuck in just R&B or Pop. I want to be able to venture into every different genre. When it comes to my lane or describing my sound I want to say that it’s me and it’s personal and it’s whatever I’m going through in life. There’s really no specific name that everyone could put on it right now and I don’t think there will ever be a name put on it aside from it just being Teenear.
Malikka writes about your favorite entertainment and pop culture figures and events. Bringing her east coast vibes to Los Angeles, she can be found hard at work curating content, writing an article, or nose deep in media clippings. Follow her on all social channels @malikkamichelle.