One spin of TiaCorine’s music and you’re immediately wondering: who is this girl and why haven’t I heard of her before? The Winston-Salem, North Carolina native is a superhuman in her own right. Just last year, she was balancing being a recording artist, being a mother, going to school full-time, working 40 hours a week, and still managed to find time to watch anime.
Musically, Tia draws influences from anything in the 80’s to 90’s, from Sade and A Tribe Called Quest to Luther Vandross and Ginuwine. Coming from true humble beginnings, which includes recording on a $70 microphone in her tiny apartment back home, TiaCorine is extremely grateful for it all. Her overall mission is to inspire the masses that if she can do it, they can too.
With her viral smash “Lotto” taking off on TikTok and social media platforms, it was only right she tapped fellow South Coast Music Group artist DaBaby for the remix. Additionally, she recently released her deluxe project, The Sage of 34Corine, a 15-track body of work that showcases Tia in her prime.
Flaunt spoke with TiaCorine in Los Angeles, moments before Kenny Beats brought her out as a surprise guest at his show. Read below as we discuss her previous job working at Bojangles, “Lotto” going viral on TikTok, tapping DaBaby on the “Lotto” remix, shooting the music video, the definition of anime trap, must-see animes, her fashion sense, relationship with Kenny Beats, goals, and more!
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How have you been holding up with everything?
I’m good, just working. Everything’s coming together, we got a lot of stuff coming up.
Bring us back to when you were a shift manager at Bojangles.
Oh my god, that was a crazy time. I was 22, I’d never been a manager before anywhere really. They said “we’re going to hire you as a shift manager,” I said “me? Oh fuck, I got real responsiblities.” I was a shift manager, I was grinding. I was playing my music on the intercom, so my workers knew I was a rapper. I’d close at midnight, leave and go to the studio till 4 in the morning. That was the whole process, I was grinding and working. Working at Bojangle, then having my first brand deal at Bojangles is crazy.
What was the moment “Lotto” went viral on TikTok?
It was really surprising, like what? It felt like a dream. People are really making videos. When TikTok first happened, all the labels were calling like “how did you do this?” I didn’t do anything! Somebody posted the song and it went viral, the sound went viral on its own. It was this guy, his name’s Glucose Baby. He hit me up like “I made a video to your song, it’s going up. You should go check it out.” I said, “Oh okay, thank you.” I didn’t think it was that big. He comes around a week later like “No, you need to download TikTok and look. It’s going viral I’m telling you.” I go look, oh my gosh every day it’s 20K, 30K, 40K, 60K. It was going crazy.
Were you on TikTok then?
No, I wasn’t even on TikTok. I’m on it now, but it’s been viral 3 times since then. Now, there’s 12 million videos on there. Crazy. People would see me in public, they’ll play my song. I’ll turn around like, “Who the fuck’s playing my song?” They’re like, “It’s you, I didn’t know.” Now people are recognizing me out of town, in Atlanta. People are really knowing me, it’s crazy.
How’d the collab with DaBaby come about?
My manager Arnold is also DaBaby’s manager, so he had the open. I was at a session with Bankroll Gotit, my manager pulls up on me and says, “I got a surprise for you.” That’s my guy, I had a session with him today. He came and started playing the “Lotto” song. I heard DaBaby come straight on, I’m like “Oh shit!” Arnold came to my session at the end like, “Let me play you something.” My mouth was open because I didn’t know, what the freak? I didn’t even know he liked the song.
What was the creative vision with the video?
It was my vision mixed with Overcast, they made the treatment. I definitely had put input on it. I always have input on every video. Especially at the end, the muscle suit was my idea.
Favorite look from the shoot?
Probably the bedroom shoot, I really like doing my hair all fluffy. I love it.
Do you play poker?
No, but I do want to learn how to play Craps if I ever gamble.
How did it feel to graduate college?
I graduated from Winston-Salem State University with an Exercise Physiology degree, top of my class. I wanted to be a PA, a physician’s assistant. The same day I graduated, I had a show. My first paid show at a school in Ohio. As soon as I graduated off the stage, I had to drive 8 hours. It was crazy, I only had one song at that time really, “Lotto.” I had a 35-minute show, I played unreleased shit and they went turnt. Damn my first paid job, I got off a stage to get another stage.
Were you nervous?
Yeah, I was, but they were very energetic, they were happy to see me so I was excited.
What drives your work ethic?
My passion for music, my creativity. Surprising myself every time I make a new song. What am I going to make today? I can make anything, just testing my gangsta and challenging myself.
Can you describe anime trap?
So I’m that person that’s very Asian. I’m bubbly, but I’m also hardcore, I’m really gangsta, but in a nice cute way. Dang she cussed me out, but it sounded so nice. Oh wow. That’s my style, it’s really bubbly but it’s hardcore at the same time. The feeling it gives you is pink, passion, just like a cartoon.
What are some must-see animes?
You gotta watch Hunter x Hunter, Inuyasha, Sailor Moon of course. Attack on Titan, Black Eye, and Parasite. Parasite’s good, so crazy.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
It’s evolving because I’m getting more into the fashion. I’m more streetwear, but better material. I like to fuck with local artists around me a lot too.
How was it performing your first Rolling Loud in Miami?
It was great. I was nervous as heck, but it’s good practice. Even this, I’m performing tonight. I’m nervous but more so excited, not scared.
What’s your relationship with Kenny Beats?
That’s my guy. That’s my bestie, my best friend. We vibe so hard, just so honest and open with each other. He pushes me to be a great artist, he doesn’t take anything less from me.
Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Definitely want to get into acting. I want to get into my first movie soon, one day. I want to do voiceovers, I want to have my own animation show so yeah. It’ll probably be about my life, funny episodes of stuff I’ve done with my friends. I’ll animate and overexaggerate, but it’ll all be based on my life. I’ve been through some crazy shit.
Anything else you want to let us know?
I want y’all to stream The Saga of 34Corine. Keep streaming, keep me in the lookout. If anybody has anything they want me to do, follow me. Follow me on Discord, Twitter, Instagram, I respond. I try my best to respond anyway.