Nowadays, it’s important for an artist to not only create good records, but to also use their platform for something greater. Insert Teenear, who has been singing for damn near her whole life. It was after a cover of Rihanna’s “Stay” when she was 15 years old that the Miami native knew she wanted to turn a hobby into a career. Read more…
In 2015, Teenear unleashed her debut single “Friday Night” with Sage The Gemini, which threw her name into underground and mainstream light alike. Since then, she has collaborated with Fetty Wap, and even took the stage at Rolling Loud festival in her hometown. Beyond the music, Teenear makes use of her time wisely, not wasting a single second when she could be perfecting her craft.
For those who don’t know, who is Teenear?
I am a recording artist out of Miami, Florida. I am signed to Slip N Slide records, and I have been singing for a minute now. I am out here promoting my new single, “Need Your Love,” and just working.
Where do you fit in the realm of R&B and hip-hop?
I feel like I’m a mix between it all. This is definitely something new for me because a lot of my old music has an urban/pop sound. My new song, “Need Your Love,” definitely shows my diversity when it comes to R&B, and I’m really just learning about it.
You’re from Miami, how does that play into your life and career?
I feel like Miami is such an artistic place. In Wynwood, there is art everywhere. Seeing people do their own thing, that inspires me. ‘Cause we’re all just doing our own thing and expressing ourselves in our own ways, and that’s what I want to do.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
It’s super important just because there are so many people down here and so many different outlets. Just being able to connect with people because there’s so much talent here. I feel like it’s needed because in anything you do (having to do entertainment), you need those relationships. You need to know those people.
Bring us back to when you were 15 and you covered Rihanna’s “Stay” for your parents.
That was definitely a spur of the moment thing. I had been singing since I was 5 years old, but I never really took it seriously until I heard that song. I was like “this song is just so beautiful,” and I wanted to just sing it. So I sat there at my computer and I didn’t have any microphone at the time. I was there with my little Apple headphones and just recorded it on my phone. They were like “we really like this,” and I was like “okay cool!” We decided to make this whole video about it. I remember it was like rain, and it was super exciting for me. I just fell in love with the art of doing it and everything about the creative process of videos. Then just started my own music from there.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
When I was 15, I recorded a lot of different songs, but it wasn’t until I sat with a producer out of Atlanta, Anthony Franks. We just realized there were just so many different songs they were throwing at me. I was just like “this is not me,” and he was like, “Teenear stop, let’s just sit down.” He played a beat for me, and then we sat there and we wrote my first single, which was “Friday Night” with Sage The Gemini.
Love him! I’m from the Bay.
He’s amazing, awesome spirit. Just being able to write that with him and then everyone in the office and in the label loved it. Then being like “this is my first single,” I was like “okay, this is becoming for real.” It was great energy from it. I was like “this is great, this is what I wanna do for the rest of my life.”
I was going to ask, how’d you and Sage link?
That was all the label. Honestly when they told me about, I was shocked, because I didn’t even know we were gonna have anyone on it. Then I actually got to meet him the day of the video shoot, and he was just amazing energy from the minute I met him. That made me happy because just having his positivity on my first record, it just made it feel like it was a positive thing. I was just happy that he was that way.
What was the inspiration behind keeping your real name?
I just feel like it’s different. No one has that name and it’s just me. It’s just something to keep, there’s really no thought behind it. Well to be honest at first, I was like “maybe I should make it Teenear Renee,” ‘cause that’s my middle name. But I was like “eh, too long. Teenear is enough,” so I just decided to keep it.
Talk about collabing with Fetty Wap on “Love Me or Leave Me.”
He was really cool as well. That song we definitely debated a lot in the office. I really wanted to keep it and they were thinking of other people. I was like “no no no, he’s amazing. I love his voice, he has to be on this track.” He just hopped on it immediately, so that was good for me.
What was the inspiration behind “Need Your Love”?
This is definitely a different vibe from all the other songs I’ve released. Honestly I love it. It really expresses what I am going through now and it’s really relatable for everyone else. It just shows me, my voice, my range, my thoughts, so it’s definitely a song that reflects me a lot. We have the video coming out soon that I’m super excited for everyone to see. I’ve been working really hard, and I have a ton of songs that are coming out that I’m just super excited to release.
Talk about your upcoming duet with Austin Mahone.
Oh my gosh, that is honestly my little baby. I honestly probably listen to it 3 times a day, because it’s on my phone. I feel like that record will really be able to touch a lot of people, ‘cause it’s definitely a relatable song. It’s called “9 to 5” and it’s about working and relationships. It’s definitely gonna be a really cute record and I cannot wait for people to hear it.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
Really just being yourself. If you find something in yourself that you love, just to go for it. You don’t have to worry about what other people are saying. Be yourself and believe in yourself. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else is going to believe in you. Just show who you are, don’t try to follow the other trends. That’s my biggest thing. Being an artist, I also want to be an inspiration, especially to young girls. Because this social media age is definitely crazy. It’s very hard to just see yourself in it all. I just really wanna show that I am my own person just doing my own thing, and you can do the same thing as well.
I love what you’re doing with the Miami Children’s Hospital and the American Cancer Foundation. Why is it so important for you to be a philanthropist and give back?
At the end of the day, even when it comes to not my music, I wouldn’t be anywhere without other people. You just always have to help people. You never know where anyone else is in their life, and it doesn’t hurt to reach out if you can. If I have time to do it, I’m gonna do it. ‘Cause I like making other people happy as well.
What is your take on the music industry?
I want to say it’s definitely very different. It’s not the Beyonce era at all. It can be fun though. No, it is fun, but you have to make it fun. You can’t make it all about business all the time, even though it is. You definitely have to make it your own and create your own fun in it. Because if you get stuck in all the politics, you’re just going to drain yourself.
What are some goals for yourself as an artist?
My goals for myself are really just to get myself out there more. I definitely want to put out a project very soon and I want to get into acting more. I just met with some people yesterday. Just being able to go out there, win awards, inspire people, and just do my thing.
How important is social media for your career?
Social media is so important, it’s annoying. [laughs] It’s definitely such a great thing, especially for artists. ‘Cause with just a push of a button, so many people can hear your song, your project, whatever. It’s definitely a good outlet, but like I said before, you definitely have to make the fun in it and don’t think too hard about it. The minute you do that, you’re going to drain yourself.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
A normal day in the life is… I wake up at 5am with my mother and we go to the gym. [laughs]
For real? That’s so early!
Yes, tell me about it. If I’m in Miami, most of the time I always have to go through my emails after the gym to connect with the office. Then I have meetings, rehearsals, or vocal lessons, but I’m always working on my craft pretty much. Then at the end of the night, I don’t know. There’s really no social life for Teenear, it’s really all work to be honest. I just try to work on myself.
Talk about your passion for beauty and how that coincides with the music.
To be honest, I don’t even know where the passion came from. It kind of just happened. I started playing with makeup recently to be honest. Instantly I was just like, “this is so much fun.” I just try to have fun with it, like I try to do my mom’s face all the time. Well, she makes me do her face all the time. [laughs] But I have fun. It’s like another art, because you’re just expressing yourself on your face pretty much. It’s just something I like doing.
3 things you need in the studio?
This is really weird but I kid you not — I don’t even think this is intentional — but every time I go to the studio, I definitely have Wonton soup. Why? I really don’t know. But I always have it in there, and they are always joking about it with me. [laughs] What else? To be honest, I just need my sweater because the studio is an icebox. So my sweater, my soup, aka food, but it’s most likely always going to be Wonton Soup, and… water. I’m a chill person, so there is nothing aesthetically that I need. Nah. I’m just like, “I’m gonna record, I’m good.”
Is there a go-to spot?
No, it’s whatever studio I’m at. I’m like “I need to find a place that has Wonton soup.” [snaps]
Have you been performing?
Not right now, but there will be performances soon. I have been performing, like I did Rolling Loud.
I wanted to ask about Rolling Loud.
Rolling Loud was so much fun. Revolt was so much fun. The energy is just crazy, especially for Rolling Loud. That was a new experience for me ‘cause I wasn’t into those festival things. I was like “wow, people are really out here for hours.” [laughs]
How close was Rolling Loud to your hometown?
Right there, like 20 minutes from me.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
To be honest, all my encounters are great. But I always have gym clothes on and I look crazy. But it’s always just positive and I’m like “okay, it’s good, it’s good.” [laughs]
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Right now, I’ve been listening to Young Thug, like all the time. I am obsessed with some of his new songs like “Chanel (Go Get It)” and “Icey,” I love that song.
What advice do you have for an inspiring Teenear?
Just be yourself. Love yourself. If you have a passion and you really find that in yourself, go for it no matter what circumstance or situation. ‘Cause at the end of the day, whatever God has for you is going to be for you, as long as you fight for it.