Tiffany Evans' (Musical) Promise: 'You’re Going To Get A Complete Woman'
Tiffany Evans is an old soul in more ways than one. Unlike most millennial artists, her success story is quite reminiscent of her R&B predecessors. After appearing (and winning) on Star Search at 10, Tiffany signed to Columbia Records, where she released singles “Let Me Be Your Angel,” “Promise Ring” and “I’ll Be There.” However, after a six-year run, the Bronx-bred songstress parted ways from the label in 2010 and learned the business herself. “A lot of artists don’t know goes on behind their projects,” she explained. “I want to know what goes on behind what we do. There’s so many different hands in your projects: your A&R, road manager, product manager. Really, you’re not learning anything because they try to handle everything for you.” At 22, Evans has solved that problem as the CEO and founder of her production company, Little Lady Enterprises, and new record label Live Love Entertainment. A joint collaboration with husband, Lorenzo Henderson (yep, her promise ring turned into wedding bells), Little Lady Ent. provides full production and development services for up-and-comers in need. As for her own catalog, Evans continues to release music independently like the 2013 fan appreciation EP 143 and most recently, “Baby Don’t Go.” Here, VIBE plays catch up with the child star-turned-working mother about her business and being a grown woman.—Asha Boston VIBE: You’ve been laying the foundation for a solid career within the past few years. Can you tell us what you’ve been up to musically? Tiffany Evans: I really wanted to take this time to learn the business myself. I didn’t t want to be just a part of the artist side. That was a perfect opportunity to step to the back and be an artist and learn to be a businesswoman at the same time. I wanted to know exactly what was being handled when it came down to my career. I started recording and working with Elijah Blake shortly after I parted ways with Columbia. We actually became writing partners and he taught me a lot about writing and coming up with concepts. All in all, I’ve been making sure that the next time you guys see me again officially, you know that this is Tiffany. These are the kinds of stories that I want to tell. It’s not even a game. What about Little Lady Entertainment? Is that just for artist/brand development or do you work on your own projects as well? When I parted ways with Columbia, that’s when I started Little Lady and it was an idea that me and my husband had. After we shot the video for “Won’t Find Me,” I really was interested in production. I was using it as a name for my imprint, something that I could attach myself to but it wasn’t necessarily a label. We wanted to gear towards artists who don’t really have teams in place to help them do what they need to do. So essentially you help them develop and understand the business? Yes. When independent artists come to Little Lady, it’s just great for us to teach them that. We’re not a label. We’re just going to show you how to get what you need done. Do you ever get people who just want to “do it from the ‘gram”? You know this! It is crazy because some people think, “Oh you can’t put me on?” No, I can’t put you on! You got to put yourself on. I believe in helping people out and helping someone is not always giving them money. It’s not always showing someone an executive and saying, “Oh yeah! I’m down for this person.” If I can help and show you how to maneuver [the business] then that’s what it is, but a lot of people are not up for the challenge.People still tie you to “Promise Ring,” even though you’ve grown vocally and personally since then. What are you hoping to say through your new music? Basically it’s just telling my story. My goal is to really help people with things that have happened to me. I wouldn’t say that these stories are depressing, it’s just something that when you hear it, you’ll say “Damn this is real.” I really want to talk about things that people are afraid to speak about. Some people might be ashamed to speak about them because of what people might think. I won’t be the first person, but I want to [help] be that voice. You’ve been teasing the visual for your new single “Baby Don’t Go.” Should we expect a video soon? Oh yes! I’m actually shooting [this] week. I’ve been at rehearsal every day for it and it’s been really awesome. This is the part that I can’t wait for because I love when songs come out but it’s something about a video that really takes that song to the next level. In addition, you’ve been rolling out some dope covers. From a soulful performance of “Didn’t Cha Know” praised by its original artist, Queen Erykah Badu herself to a clever spin on Future’s “Move That Dope.” Yes, [Erykah Badu] did! She’s so awesome. I love her. Doesn’t everybody love her? All she had to do was say one word and I was like, “Ok this is great! The lady herself tweeted me and said ‘Yasss’” and I loved it. I love putting spins on music from other artists. That’s what music is about, being able to push yourself and take yourself out of a box that people might put you in. Now I won’t rap professionally but if I know how to rap, I’m going to rap on a song. If I know how to sing opera, I’m going to showcase that simply for the fact that I love music. Not that I’m trying to pursue that type of style of music because I’m not a rapper, I’m not an opera singer but if I know how to do it, why not show that?
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) May 7, 2014
Not only are you an artist, but you’re a wife and a mother. That must get pretty crazy sometimes. What keeps you focused? Well, I will say that there are times that I kind of get ahead of myself and have to slow down and really soak in the moment. What keeps me focused is praying and knowing that God is in control of everything. Some things may not happen the way I want it to happen or when [but] I wake up in the morning and I thank God and say ‘Lord what do you want me to do today? What can I do to make sure I don’t get in your way?’ because I know that I do that a lot. And then you know, family. I love family. I’m a family person.
Speaking of family, we see your daughter, Adalia, harmonizing with you on Instagram sometimes. Is she going to burst into the business soon? I actually want to keep my baby as far away as this industry is concerned but it’s funny, she knows all of my songs, all the dances and can perform. Maybe one day, you guys might see us doing something together. If mommy takes over, she takes over too! What can we expect from Tiffany in 2015? You can expect great things. As far as Tiffany the artist, you’re going to get a complete woman. I’m embracing everything about me, where I am in my life, my looks, my hair, my skin, the shape of my body, the experiences, the B.S. and good things. You guys are going to see a real woman who’s not afraid to be just that—and can sing and dance her ass off.