Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!
TeaMarrr isn’t your average R&B singer, she keeps it as real as it gets. Instead of crying and moping over your heartbreak, the 26-year-old demands confidence, courage, and self-love. Upon hearing/seeing her, the “One Job” singer instantly wins you over with her strong yet buttery voice and attention-grabbing lyrics. Read more…
Real name Thamar Noel describes herself as a raw mix between Lauryn Hill and SZA — which you can only imagine to be propitious. Instead of sulking over your ex, records like “One Job” give you the confidence you need to stand your ground and love yourself.
As for her name, the tea is a mere reminder that music heals all, proving to be the medicine you need to get through this thing called life.
For those who don’t know, who is TeaMarrr?
TeaMarr is a Haitian singer-songwriter, from Boston, who’s gotten her heart broken a little too many times. I’m finding the new medium to just express myself, but I am a Boston brew tea!
How long have you been here in LA?
Actually, February makes my year anniversary in LA. Been here a year now.
Where do you fit in the realm of R&B and hip-hop?
I fit in the realm of just music. For some reason, my soul and the way I approach records have this hip-hop/R&B feel, but I’ll approach a rock song with a hip-hop, R&B feel. I’ll approach an opera song with a hip-hop/R&B feel — not like I could ever do opera. [laughs] I guess I fall in a Lauryn Hill, SZA type of feel.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
It’s important for opportunity, but for my soul and personality, it’s not that important. It’s actually dwindling my personality. I don’t think I’m as fun anymore. It’s where the work is, so I know I have to be here for that. As soon as I can get to a level, I’ll move and be somewhere I want to be. Fly back!
What’s your favorite part about being LA?
The fact the sun is out more than it would be if I was home. When it is wicked sunny, it’s not hard to find an outdoor swimming pool.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
In 2015, I recorded “Yu-Gi-Oh Cards” for the first time. The producer was like “are we doing this for real? [claps] Or are you just making demos?” I was like “I could do this.” From there, it became real. When my mom actually took time out of her day to cook an entire meal for my EP release party. They’re usually like “okay daughter, who’s not in college, who’s not duh duh duh [imitates parents]” She really took time out of her life to make entrees for my party. I was like “okay, this is real! My mom’s behind me and that feels really real.”
What can we expect from your debut album, Tea Turns To Wine?
A lot of different genres. It’s definitely a story. You’re going through this. Moreso here’s what I went through without actually saying it. I say ‘you’ a lot to talk to myself. It’s easy for women like me to say you to someone else I guess. The album is cultured, it’s colorful, it’s vibrant, it’s jazzy, it’s soulful, it’s hip-hop. What’s the HBCU? [sings anthem]. Those orchestras! There’s a record on there for that. No features, but I’m hoping we can find one.
Do you have your eyes on anyone?
I have my eyes on Aminé and Smino for “Whorey Heart” or “One Job.”
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
It’s okay to make mistakes and be exactly who you are. I don’t really regret anything. Every thing, ever boy, every tear that was shed was for a reason. It’s supposed to teach me something. Take notes from these records and use these songs as your prescribed pill for when this pain hits. I can’t tell you “don’t date fuckboys.” You won’t actually know when that guy is coming but when it does hit and you see these signs, here’s the medicine to help you cope or stop you from doing it. What does the bottle say? Apply as…
Use as necessary?
Yeah, that’s how I feel about music. Play it out till you feel better about whatever it is. I’m the pharmacist and Spotify is the CVS. You go in and click what you need.
What is your take on the music industry?
I’m an artist in the industry, I wouldn’t say I’m an industry artist. The industry is a beautiful thing if you’re looking for an opportunity and it gives it to you. Obviously it’s gonna open doors, but you gotta tip-toe. You gotta be cautious and wise. You gotta know who you are. People are gonna try and tell you all the time “oh, this is more of a you thing.” You kind of agree ‘cause you think it is, then you’re like “oh shit, wait is it?” You really gotta have your head here. The industry is scary. [laughs]
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Wake up, roll up, annoy my manager Kareem for like an hour. Ask him a million questions. Make breakfast. I go on this adventure walk where sometimes, I find a spot and just tan. I’ll just walk and walk and walk. Sometimes I find a scooter and ride around in those. I have no 9 to 5, but I really should be out here getting it together.
I’ll hum around to myself, sometimes I paint. I haven’t really been fun lately. It’s super lit when there’s a show or a week of sessions. Whenever my heart is broken: studio, studio, studio, studio like nobody’s business.
What were you doing before music?
I was teaching kids how to swim and working at Shell Gas Station overnight. Swim teacher by day, then overnight Gas Station worker. I was trying to master things for Thanks for the Chapstick, using every dollar I could to make it sound legit. Because everyone back home was just putting shit out. I was like “wait, there’s another step before you put it out?” I didn’t know that.
I was like “no, thank you for telling me! I’m going to make sure this sounds the way music sounds on the radio.” I didn’t know what mix and master was, but I was grinding my ass off for it. When I first moved out here, my job situation, I wanted to try and find J-Lo’s kids, teach them how to swim as my side hustle. [laughs] Didn’t work out. I wanted to teach mad rich people’s kids how to swim, so I can stay in the game but also hustle.
3 things you need in the studio?
Water, my teacup, and honey. And a real producer. Real vibes, need vibes.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I would’ve found a way to start something for the kids. The way I was passionate about teaching kids to swim, I probably would’ve found a way to open up a swim school. The parents were coming to me saying “can we squeeze you in next week?!” They were skipping going to the desk, trying to get to me. I love water. I love swimming.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
The first encounter was open mic at El Cid, that was the first time in LA performing “In My Mind.” The vocal track stopped, like the beat stopped, so I had to sing the rest a cappella. The song had just started, I think the guy hit it and the screen went black. Sang the whole thing then got off the stage and they’re all clapping. This one girl was running towards me, like running. I wanted to look behind just to make sure, but there was nothing behind me. It was one of those things that was like “whoa.” It made me think I might really need security one day, for real.
She said to me “you are going somewhere! There was no music, the music stopped. She was about to cry. She was so teary, she was so sweet! It frightened me for a second, but then I was like “aww, thank you!”
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Amine, Drake, and Amy Winehouse.
What advice do you have for an aspiring Teamarr who wants to do what you do?
You have to believe in yourself, harder than anyone else. You got to love who you want to be and get excited about that. Really excited. Drink lots of tea!