Teedra Moses: “Back To Where I Started”

It’s been a minute since we last heard anything from Teedra Moses (aka the Young Lioness) but for those in any doubt about  the “Be Your Girl” singer/songwriter, I gave her a call last week to find just what the Ms Moses had been up to since SC last caught up with her. Teedra recently released her fourth mixtape, Royal Patience, but what everybody really wants to know is: What happened to the The Young Lioness album?

Since Complex Simplicity, which she debuted back in 2004, we haven’t heard anything official from Teedra other than her mixtapes (Young Hustla volumes 1, 2 and 3). The Young Lioness was due for release back in 2009, but never surfaced.

“The record label went belly up,” she tells me. “Then I decided to change the songs on the album, I still wanted that title because I’m still the young lioness, but I didn’t want some of those same songs anymore, some of them I’ve kept but I won’t put that album out until it’s completely what I want it to be.”

Teedra continued to stay focused, although under the radar, and continued to write songs and record non-stop. She talks of how she uses her music as therapy that she has sometimes had to be selfish with; “Sometimes it’s just not always something I want to give away, sometimes it’s just for my own listening pleasure because it’s more about how I felt at a certain time and I need that to therapeutically get me through what I’m dealing with.”

So there is plenty more of music for her fans to hear but she hopes the new and reworked Young Lioness will be out in August this year. Still curious as to why she was unhappy with the initial version of the album I had to find out what really happened.

“In the time that I put out Complex Simplicity to today I’ve written for so many different artists and I spread myself like mustard in certain situation and so I lost a piece of myself and I was experimenting with what it was I wanted to put out. Now I did a 360 and I know now it’s time to put this record out because I feel 100% myself. It was like I was being pushed and pulled writing for different people where I was like, ‘I like that style, maybe I’ll try that’, but really it brought me right back to where I started. Just plain Teedra and if people don’t like what can I do.”

She makes it clear that she is far from a people-pleaser, the singer who started out as a wardrobe stylist for the likes of Kelis, R Kelly and No Doubt, is now 33 with twin boys and a perspective on life that has been changed since having her children.

“When I was a young kid I used to feel like ‘What the f*** is the point?’, I used to live with my mum and dad and a lot of the time there was a lot of chaos and drama in my household and it made me feel like this is bull**** but then time passed and then I had children and then I truly understood my purpose and then I made music and then it all became completely clear to me what I wanted out of life.”

Currently working with Hennessy as an ambassador for Lady Hennessy, the singer is touring the US performing and promoting herself and her music but still finds time to collaborate; “Raphael Saadiq called me and told me he’s doing a new album and he was like I want to come in and work with me again so that should be happening soon.

“I also have this record that I just wrote that I spoke to Anthony Hamilton a year ago about this record but I hadn’t gotten it produced it yet, so hopefully he likes it. It’s a really beautiful duet, I think it’s called “Heartbreak”  – not too sure, I haven’t decided on it… That will definitely be on the Young Lioness record.”

Her take on the industry is reflected in her enjoyment of remaining an underground artist and speaking on not compromising her music she says, “I’ve been in positions especially with song writing.  I admit I curse so much, even though I am a classy woman I can be so hood and get vulgar in the studio and say crazy shit, and I was in there one time and was saying to this guy, ‘I’ma put my booty on you’ and then the guy was like ‘Oh my God, that’s great, let’s do a song called ‘Let Me Put Me Booty On You'” and I was thinking ‘What the f*** am I doing?’ This is a cross road right here, this is one of them situations where you want to say ‘hell no’ but he was dead serious; and for them it’s just about finding next best catchiest thing but I knew if I start putting out stuff that seems like I’m just trying to make money then I lose what makes me unique because I know at least someone out there knows I’m doing this from the heart.”

So what is she listening to right now? “I’ve been listening to Sade and the Gorillaz new album. I do like Nicki Minaj I think she’s dope, a lot of people don’t like her but I do, I don’t know if she writes her own stuff or if she not but I like how entertaining she is, she’s colourful. Also Janelle Monae’s new album and the older stuff from Drake, Kings of Leon, I love their stuff, I’m not a music snob at all.”

Teedra explains the respect she has for the artists like Sade and Maxwell, who have left significant gaps between album releases, and looks up to them; believing quality should always override quantity.

“For everybody that’s been like we’re have you been? I just been here living, I’m still just a human being like everybody else I don’t live my life based on music, I’m just living through different experiences and ups and downs and God-willing August 2010 I can get the album out and people will still want to hear it.”

Teedra is currently about to start shooting her latest video for “Kisses Never Taste So Sweet” from her Royal Patience mixtape.

teedra-moses.com / @TeedraMoses

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