Interview: Tiara Thomas’ ‘Bad Influences’ Inspired Her New Album

Tiara Thomas has a Serena Williams-like focus in the ’05 Australian Open when it comes to the “Popular” singer’s mindset for the arrival of her debut album Bad Influence.

Although there’s no release date set in stone, the 25-year-old is steadily carving her name on the list of rising singers to pay attention to. Following the 2013 release of her Dear Sallie Mae EP, the Indiana-native’s’ moniker was pinned on the musical map. Thomas showcased her songwriting technique and unique vocals as an appetizer for fans before her main dish of melodies is served.

In an exclusive interview with VIBE, Thomas speaks candidly about her freshman album’s details including the upcoming producers she worked with plus Rico Love, creating the storyboard for her Set If Off inspired video “One Night,” and what she hopes fans will gain from Bad Influence.


VIBE: In your song “One Night” you talk about having a fling, but what is your ideal relationship like?
Tiara Thomas: I hate when people lie for no reason. You have to be honest. I just like openness and honesty and I’m pretty wiling to work through a lot of stuff but not that bullshit though. I like people that love their family like love their mom and treat other people well besides me because that says a lot about you as well. I’m just attracted to creative people, because we all have weird brains so maybe somebody will just understand me.

What are the top 5 songs in your playlist right now?
“One Night” is on my playlist. This is really ghetto but “Hot Nigga” because that song just gets me in a good mood. Honestly everything that I’ve been listening to as of recently I’ve been listening to my album over and over again. I listen to the same song over and over again for like 10 times then I move on to my next song just because I’m kind of about myself right now because we’re wrapping up the album so I’m just trying to make sure everything makes sense to me and make sure I don’t have any cracks or anything. I’ve been listening to Brandy, I listen to a lot of old stuff but I like some new stuff too. I like Drake. I like the new stuff Drake is putting out and I like The Weeknd, he’s got some good vibes.

What are your thoughts on R&B & Hip-Hop newcomers?
I definitely think we’re going through a wave where the realness is coming back. As far as people just saying what it is, there’s always going to be people throwing out any kind of music, but I really like this new wave of kids. I think Ty Dolla $ign is dope. I like Sevyn she writes really good music. R&B wise she writes really good music. Tinashe has good music too. I like YG too I like his album. He’s one of my favorite rappers right now. I never met him but he makes real dope music.

Do you have any artists that you’ll like to work with in the future?
It’d be cool to do a song with The Weeknd, I think he’s dope, we would make some fly music. Ed Sheeran is dope I like him. He’s got such a cool voice. He doesn’t look like what he sounds like so that’s really cool. I think he’s really dope.

Which one do you prefer, to rap or sing?
I do like 50/50 on the album. I don’t have a song on the album yet where I rap the entire song, so I sing on every song. Some songs I sing the whole time and some songs I rap and I sing. It just depends on when I get in the studio and I do the first verse and I’m like, ‘What’s the second verse going to be?’ And sometimes I want to spit some bars. I like to write sexy music, so I like singing, but I like rapping as well. If I have to say singing it’s because you can be a lot more sexy with where you go with your notes and how you enunciate your words and tone, so I would say singing, but I like rapping as well too.

Check out the rest of Tiara’s interview on VIBE to find out what she says is her bad influence and more about her album.