All Grown Up: Tiffany Evans Dishes On Sexy New Single 'Red Wine' And Valuable Lessons

#TeamTiffany, your insatiable thirsts have finally been quenched.

A pre-teen inking a major record label deal isn't an everyday occurrence. But every now and then a rare breed blossoms, equipped with a voice well beyond her years, knocking music lover's socks off.

Before the rotating chairs, celebrity one-on-one's and blind auditions, Tiffany Evans was crowned Grand Champion of Star Search, the original star-molding competition at only 10 years old. Evans made history as the only contestant with perfect scores on all performances in 2003, all before puberty. Fast forward four years later, the Bronx, New York native had young adults rocking to an ode of promise rings with a Grammy Award winning Ciara, peaking at number 66 on the Billboard Hot R&B/ Hip Hop chart.

Evans, an undeniable gumbo of star power's ingredients; heavy dosage of raw talent, dash of spunk, stage presence to season and personality to taste, the 22-year-old willfully ditched the spotlight to focus on family: "Family is always first for me being that I'm one of 10 children. I come from a big family and I'm used to growing up with a lot of kids. I spend a lot of time with them and involve them in what I'm doing."

During her five year hiatus, the petite singer jumped the broom and became a mother to now a 2-year-old daughter Adalia. Her lull inspired content for her comeback hits. Her tried and true fans, affectionately dubbed #TeamTiffany, remained loyal, but their insatiable thirsts has been quenched. All grown up, Evans returns with super-sexy single, "Red Wine," a follow up to her first single, "Baby Don't Go," penned by Evans herself. The beauty is showcasing the complexities of her talent, and we are here for it.

Vixen caught up with Evans as she talks balancing home and career, her accessories brand Eye Hunee and the last time she cried. - Angela Wilson

 

VIBE Vixen: Describe your new single "Red Wine."

Tiffany Evans: I had performed in November at SOB's and it was to give my fans a preview of the type of music I'm doing. When I performed it I noticed there was a lot of demand for that record. So they've been begging for it for a while now and we're finally going to give it to them – the studio version. It's so sexy and so vulnerable, but it's real. When you hear it everybody will be able to say it's relatable.

Will there be a video?

Yes, we're shooting the video in the next week or so. We're putting the finishing touches on the treatment then we're going to get to work!

Anyone who's been in a relationship can identify to you're first single "Baby Don't Go,' was it something in your life that inspired the lyrics?

Of course, I say this all the time – every record that I sing is probably a record I've written or written along with people who understand what I'm going through. I want to be real and open about the experiences I've had in my life and a lot of people can relate to them and [my songs] can help their situation at home.

When I wrote that record it was early in the morning, maybe 3:00 a.m. We were recording inside my house and I was really angry with my husband at that moment, and I said I have to take this energy and put it into a song because I know what I'm feeling right now would probably make a good record. I started vibing and singing and it turned out really amazing, more than I expected. It's was eyry passionate.

You took a break to focus on your family, do you have any regrets looking back?

No, no I don't. I learned a lot in this time and I started when I was 9, I'm 22 now and in that whole time frame I've grown up a lot and matured. All of these experiences I had were necessary in order for me to become the woman I am today, so I don't regret anything from the process or anything that I went through.

Aside from music, you're also an entrepreneur with Eye Hunee, so why did you choose eye wear?

It wasn't something I chose off the bat- when I was pregnant I had an idea to do a T-shirt line, with cute T-shirts with cute slogans on it. But we never went into full production so I said until we get really passionate about something, let's just wait until the right time.

My husband really love shades- and I do too, but I need contacts because I can't see for nothing! I spoke to my partners and we partnered with a designer named June and she's worked with Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg. I love the whole process and we came up with some stuff that can cater to everybody.

We started two years ago and everything came together in one year. We also have accessories as well, bucket hats, vizors for the summer soon and we also have a sale going on for women's shades.

How can fans purchase?

Go to Eye Hunee We're also in 13 stores in New York and we're working on getting Atlanta on board because that would be a really dope market for us. Eventually the goal is to expand into the mainstream retail.

Keri Hilson, TLC, boxer Adrien Boner and others has all worn Eye Hunee, how does that make you feel?

It feels really good. Whenever you have a dream and others believe in it and love what you're doing it's a satisfying feeling. It's a new venture- I've never done anything like eye wear before, so me being new and not knowing much about it and for people it is satisfying and unbelievable at times, too.

What was the most valuable learning lesson you learn and how did you learn it?

My most valuable learn experience was learning how to speak up, and that came over time. I learned how to speak up for myself. I started [singing] when I was 9 so a lot of people had their hands in my career and I didn't gain control until I left Columbia at 19. So many people were involved in the process or my career and I never had the chance to say,"This is who I am and work with this." If I did I didn't know how to present that without being afraid of what people would say.

I learned in business and in my life period it's okay to speak up and tell people what you want and ask questions if you don't know something. It's all about asking questions and learning. I've gained the strength and boldness to say [what I want], but I'll be polite, although sometimes you have to be assertive – not demanding, but assertive. And as long as you're respectful there's nothing wrong with speaking up for yourself and about what you will do and what you won't do. That's something I've been implementing since I've been on my own.

As in, "It's not always what you say, it's how you say it?"

Exactly, and sometimes we hold stuff in and we'll wait until later then complain about it when it's already done, it's in the past and you're the one living in regret without saying anything. I didn't want to live like that anymore. If they don't understand where I'm coming from, I can't let that be a burden to me.

When was the last time you cried and why?

The last time I cried was like about a hour ago. I was talking to my husband and we had a personal conversation and I felt like pouring out my heart and how I felt about the things I've been though and things we been through and he's right there listening. I felt like that was very important, it was like a relief.

I really don't cry about everything and I think that's bad. I think it's better to cry than to keep stuff in so I had a pow wow with my husband and he said he understood everything and how I felt and that he hears me. I'm glad I let it out.

What's something fans would be surprised to know about you?

That I curse a lot! Blame it on my father because he curse so much around us. I think older people in general from the south, that's just their way of life, whenever they're explaining something, that's just how they speak. But my dad always expressed his emotions so whenever he talked about food, a person, a situation, it would always follow with a curse word. My mom doesn't curse, she hates it, but I have six brothers, only four girls and I just knew I was one of the boys.

My mouth is really bad but I try to keep a muzzle on it, but I'm trying to fix it because I know it's bad. It's not every five seconds, but every 10-15 seconds.

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Yvette Nicole Brown and Gabourey Sidibe were some of the actresses who were vocal about the treatment of actors of color when faced with beauticians in Hollywood.
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Celebrities Use #ActingWhileBlack Hashtag To Point Out Pitfalls Of Hollywood's Beauty Scene

While being a working person of color in Hollywood is something to admire, those fortunate enough to be working in these spaces often have difficulties finding the right person to do their hair and makeup with the right amount of diligent care.

Model Olivia Anakwe took to Instagram earlier this month to detail the issues she faced before a runway show, when she was disrespected by haircare professionals who refused to work on her textured hair.

"Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others?” she wrote. “It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class."

The hashtag #ActingWhileBlack began to spread on social media over the weekend, and people of color chimed in to share their stories.

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown shared that she often carries her own hair extensions and clothes for shoots, and that having stylists who are untrained in black beauty often runs the risk of them looking bad later on. Oscar-nominee Gabourey Sidibe shared a similar sentiment.

Insecure’s Natasha Rothwell hit the nail on the head in her tweet about the issue with not hiring the right people to work with ethnic hair.

“If you cast a POC— And thank you for doing so!—you also have to hire someone who knows how to do ethnic hair,” she wrote on Mar. 11. “Not someone who's "comfortable with it" but someone who actually knows how to style ethnic hair types.”

Check out some tweets from celebs on this issue below.

 

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This message is to spread awareness & hopefully reach anyone in the hair field to expand their range of skills. Black models are still asking for just one hairstylist on every team no matter where your team is from to care for afro hair. I was asked to get out of an empty chair followed by having hairstylists blatantly turning their backs to me when I would walk up to them, to get my hair done. If I am asked to wear my natural hair to a show, the team should prepare the style just as they practice the look and demo for non-afro hair. I arrived backstage where they planned to do cornrows, but not one person on the team knew how to do them without admitting so. After one lady attempted and pulled my edges relentlessly, I stood up to find a model who could possibly do it. After asking two models and then the lead/only nail stylist, she was then taken away from her job to do my hair. This is not okay. This will never be okay. This needs to change. No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist! Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair, why does the same not apply to others? It does not matter if you don’t specialize in afro hair, as a continuous learner in your field you should be open to what you have yet to accomplish; take a class. I was ignored, I was forgotten, and I felt that. Unfortunately I’m not alone, black models with afro texture hair continuously face these similar unfair and disheartening circumstances. It’s 2019, it’s time to do better. || #NaturalHair #ModelsofColor #BlackHairCare #HairCare #Message #Hair #Hairstyling #Backstage #BTS #AfroTexturedHair #Afro #POC #Braids #Message #Spreadtheword #Speak #Awareness #Growth #WorkingTogether #BlackGirlMagic #Melanin

A post shared by Olivia Anakwe (@olivia_anakwe) on Mar 7, 2019 at 9:07am PST

#ActingWhileBlack Makeup & Hair in one bag. The other bags are filled with clothes because some wardrobe stylists don’t know that cute clothes exist in sizes larger than size 10. “Here try on this mumu, I know it’s a little big, we’ll just belt it!” #ActingWhileBlackAndChubby https://t.co/gl3b64Omtj

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them. It’s either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya! https://t.co/mGAzpuoKtb

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them. It’s either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya! https://t.co/mGAzpuoKtb

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 11, 2019

If they don’t have the budget to hire a black hairstylist for me, or won’t, I just get the director to agree that my character should have box braids or senegalese twist.

— Gabby Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) March 11, 2019

PSA: If you cast a POC— And thank you for doing so!—you also have to hire someone who knows how to do ethnic hair. Not someone who's "comfortable with it" but someone who actually knows how to style ethnic hair types.

Congratulations on advancing to the next level of inclusion! https://t.co/A1Q9ZpvXmH

— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) March 11, 2019

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Kim Kardashian is seen on February 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

Kim Kardashian Credited For Making Crimped Hair Cool Like Beyonce, Janet Jackson And Naomi Campbell Don't Exist

Spring is nothing without doses of cultural appropriation from those out of touch with black culture.

Insert Vogue, who decided to give props to Kim Kardashian for bringing back crimped hair on Friday (March 15). The businesswoman has been on the move lately, rocking a mix of kanekalon and yaki ponytails during fashion month, Chance The Rapper's wedding and other Kardashian-related events.

“What makes this look so modern is that the front is sleek,” explained her stylist Justine Marjan. “This gives a cool contrast to the texture.”

The texture? 

With many trends from the aughts coming back to the mainstream, this is one that hasn't really gone anywhere. But black beauty markers (layered gold chains, perfect baby hairs, name chains) paired with media ignorance and the Kardashian's own fascination with black culture has made it okay for her to receive all the props.

But we can't forget those who have slayed kanekalon, yaki and crimped styles like...

Janet Jackson

The singer's look for her comeback has been a uniform-like one, with Ms. Jackson rocking all black and her now signature ponytail.

Beyoncé

This. was. last. year. How could anyone forget this? The entertainer rocked various styles of kanekalon hair for Beychella.

There was also this amazing look at Serena Williams' wedding.

 

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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Nov 19, 2017 at 9:01am PST

Ruth E. Carter

The Oscar-winning designer made the look all her own while on the red carpet for Black Panther. 

Nicki Minaj

Fans of the rapper are aware her early looks included fun crimped and wavy styles. When she made to move to ditch her color wigs in 2014, she's kept the crimped styles close to her heart.

And we cannot forget about our queen, Naomi Campbell

She's owned the look her whole career, from the runway to the red carpet, Ms. Campbell has always been on the forefront of casual beautiful looks.

Social media also got wind of Vogue's post, including actor O'Shea Jackson who like many of us, is just over it.

Maaaaaaan come on now. Come ooooon now. Bringing it back? Vogue stop this https://t.co/FEGSw3GM9V

— Stone Cold Shea Jackson (@OsheaJacksonJr) March 15, 2019

https://twitter.com/SassySouthpaw20/status/1106642402448732160

https://twitter.com/riridotxo/status/1106924628851728384

Perhaps there's a bit of truth of the theories of fashion outlets trolling readers but this just deserves a permanent eye roll.

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'Boomerang' Episode 6 Recap: Homecoming

On this episode of BET’s Boomerang, the love story between Bryson and Simone begins with a flashback to their freshman year of college. After several years of not seeing one another since their childhood, Bryson is shocked to see a slick-back pony-tail wearing Simone insert herself into his class during a presentation. Nothing has changed with her. Even pre-bob and with Bryson rocking a sharp Steve Harvey-like hairline, even from their younger days, they have always been the dynamic duo of marketing strategy. The product featured this week: Pro-Black T-Shirts.

The devastation of not having his secret love in his life spills over into their sophomore year when a beanie-wearing David and Crystal are happy in their fake hood love. By this time, a rapper named Prisoner has all of Simone’s attention and this makes Bryson big mad. The man can’t even hide it. In an apparent fit of jealousy, he calls Simone out for living under her father’s shadow, in front of everyone. It’s safe to say that sophomore Bry struck out badly.

This isn’t just about Simone and Bryson; they’re not the only ones who’ve made transformations over the years (and I’m not just talking about their hair ‘dos). In his earlier life, Ari was less eccentric and more focused on making his family proud as a young black man in college who isn’t running on BPT for class. Ari was as straight as 180 when he’s first put into a situation where he’s forced to confront his sexual identity. As big and bad as he looked while working as a “rough & tough” bouncer at a nightclub, a flirtatious patron sees right through that persona.  After being charmed by the man who helps him realize self, the rainy night sets the tone for a steamy kiss between the two in the front seat of Ari’s car. The look on Ari’s face is a blend of fear, then relief, then ultimately bliss as he seemingly reminisces on his random but welcomed encounter. Although he enjoyed it, Ari didn’t seem to embrace his identity totally. That same year, we see a less hood-David changing more into the Christian we now know and Ari isn’t buying it. Something about this “we can do all things in Christ mentality” rubs him the wrong way. Facing one’s true self is tough.

Junior year, Bryson has a much better barber but things haven’t changed; he’s still checking for Simone. She and Prisoner are still dating if you want to call it that. Prisoner is the type of dude you’d expect to see Simone date in college. He’s flashy, has money, probably doesn’t even go to the school, and he’s rude AF. As Simone and Bryson reconnect for the two millionth time, Prisoner’s pimp tone telling Simone to hurry up is a strong indication he’s not here for their friendship. In analyzing the hair, it’s clear that Simone is not herself. Seriously, at this point, she’s rocking a glueless lace wig.

With her new hairstyle, she realizes that she made the mistake of loving a man more than herself. Prisoner is officially a dub. To celebrate her revelation, she finds herself drunkenly wining and grinding on her childhood bae, Bryson. Does this look familiar? Well, think back to last week when they were doing the same in the parking lot before 5-0 arrived. Because she couldn’t hold it, Simone ends up using Bryson’s bathroom which leads to a very sober thoughts-type of conversation in the bedroom. It is recognized that Bryson has always had a thing for the kid and Simone regrets that she never said anything about her feelings. His commandeering attitude (like the day she walked into his class freshman year) reminded her of the Different World “Strangers on a Plane” episode. It was an iconic one because it’s where Dwayne and Whitley’s love story began. That’s a telling comparison.

With that being said, Simone always felt Bryson was the Dwane to her Whitley. Unfortunately, the timing was always off and just when we think the two finally catch up to one another, cue: the vomit. Poor Bryson. Did someone do brujeria on this kid? He has the worst luck. But, like the gentleman he is, he takes care of his queen to make sure she’s all comfy in her drunken slumber. He whispers, “I love you Simone Graham,” but on the wake up it looks like sis suffers from sudden amnesia. She pulls the “best friend” card, making it clear that it’s friend zone from here on out. Prisoner’s trifling friend calls to offer to take Simone out to eat and in an act of “let me solidify that Bryson knows this is going nowhere,” Simone agrees to go out with her ex's friend. Once again, a blue-balled Bryson is left sorting out his feelings that Simone continues to perpetually confuse.

It’s important to note that the story of Brymone is not a new one. We’ve seen it in many action movies, comic book flicks, and on “Strangers on a Plane” where the geeky male character is overlooked by the badass female, only to win her affection in the end. Nice guys don’t always finish last, but in Bryson’s case, could it possibly be heading in that direction and is Simone even the heroine worth winning? In browsing through what is essentially the best years of any young adult’s life, Simone had many times to figure out if Bryson was the one for her and yet she chose to ignore her feelings. Unlike David, it’s not like she found Jesus; she hasn’t yet found herself.

One thing she does know is that she cannot lose Bryson because it’s possible she may love and need him more than she’d like to verbally admit. He’s no Prisoner or no flashy member of the entourage. He’s the “gentleman who wears tuxedos and makes sure his homegirl is safe” type of dude and unfortunately, that isn’t one Simone is interested in, for now.

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