September 7, 2023

Read the full interview on TheSource.com!

It’s not everyday you get to be a part of a hit record, but Torica is a walking testimony of how one record can change your life. You may recognize her name from the vocals to the hook of Field Mob’s “Sick Of Being Lonely,” released back in 2022. Produced by Jazze Pha who brought Torica in, the record continues to be in rotation today — proving the true power of timeless music.

Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, but now calling Atlanta home, Torica has been infatuated with music since she could remember. Beyond the music, the singer-songwriter is a true definition of a hustler, something she learned early on from her father. Currently, she’s a serial entrepreneur with multiple businesses, specifically in the nightlife and hospitality industry.

Torica is true a champion for women, stating, “ As women, we’re all superheroes in our own right. We’ve been in love, had our hearts broken, turned closed doors into opportunities, been successful in male-dominated industries, while being nurturing mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and best friends. This is a man’s world, but you know the rest.”

This aligns perfectly with her most recent song, “A Whole Mood,” which reminds a woman that their self-worth could never be defined via a relationship.

The Source spoke with Torica in downtown Los Angeles about how she ended up on the Field Mob song, getting a Business Marketing degree from Howard, “A Whole Mood,” and more!

For those who don’t know, who is Torica? 

Torica is a lot of things. Torica is an entrepreneur. Torica is a MILF. Torica is a champion for women. Torica is a life experience, R&B artist. I make music that people can live with, and learn from and grow with, heal with. My debut entry into the business was singing on the hook of “Sick Of Being Lonely” by Field Mob, which is how many were introduced to me. But people are going to be really excited to hear what I created most recently on my new EP, because it’s very different from what they’re accustomed to. I’m really excited to introduce this new version of myself as an artist.

How did that moment with Field Mob take place?

I moved to Atlanta in 2002. I happened to just be in the right rooms at the right time. It was a lot of chance encounter situations, but I was introduced to Jazze Pha. A month later, he reached out to me and said, “I have this project I want to involve you with. I need you to come to the studio when I call you.” I’m like, okay cool.

He hit me and said, “Hey, are you available? I have a session tonight. I would love for you to come and see if you can do this hook.” I’m like okay. I show up to the studio, I meet Field Mob. We started talking about the concept and what we wanted the song to be about. We came up with it. I recorded that hook in 30 minutes.

That hook got me a Grammy nomination. We were #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks. We were Top 30 in all the R&B/Hip-Hop albums out at the time. We performed on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Soul Train, 106 & Park, and The Chappelle Show. We were literally everywhere. What’s crazy is even till this day, that song is still relevant and people still play it. People still ask me about it and they ask me to sing it. It’s a timeless classic song, and I’m very grateful for that record.

Was it a lot for you to do television at that time?

Everything was a lot, because I wasn’t really prepared for the whirlwind. Things took off without us really having a manual or handbook. There was no guideline, we were going with the song’s momentum. We were getting booked here. Literally, the labels would call me the night before like, “Hey, you need to be on a flight to LA at 6am. You need to be on a flight to New York, you need to be on a flight to Florida.” I spent a lot of that time tired as hell. [laughs] Because I was always having to be places. We didn’t anticipate the record doing what it did, but I’m happy it did.

Did you move to Atlanta for the music? 

Yeah, that’s exactly what I moved to Atlanta for. 

You have a degree in Business Marketing from Howard University. What’d you want to do with that?

I originally went to school to be a pediatrician. I was a Biology, Pre-Med major. I wanted to go to school and become a doctor, not only because I really loved kids, I loved medicine. I’m always digging around on things and trying to figure things out, but I wanted to be the first pediatrician in my family. I fell into the whole family pressure of doing what they wanted me to do.

Once I got to school, I learned it’s so many other things out there. So many other careers, so many other options. I want to do something else. I figured Marketing was an industry that I could apply to any company or business. Every industry needs marketing. I figured if I could still do medicine, I could be a marketing executive for a hospital or a pharmaceutical company. That’s how I ended up choosing Marketing.

What is “A Whole Mood”?

A whole mood is really an empowering feeling of being in charge of your emotions and being okay with all of the different ranges of emotions that we go through. A lot of people are afraid to love. They’re afraid to be vulnerable, they’re afraid to look weak. But honestly, that’s your power. Your ability to be okay, even though everything’s not always okay all the time. We have gotten caught up in this societal view of perfection that’s not realistic.

A lot of people feel pressure to be perfect and hold things in because they don’t want to be judged or looked at as flawed. They end up being really depressed or really sad, or comparing themselves to other people. But it’s simply because no one’s being attached to their mood. However you’re feeling that day, it’s okay to feel that way. Don’t hang onto it forever, but go through the motions. Don’t be afraid to be emotional and to feel. When you’re feeling good about yourself, feel good about yourself. Say it out loud. Don’t feel like oh well, other people are feeling insecure. Don’t let their insecurities affect your confidence.

Talk about signing a publishing deal with Warner Chappell. 

That came about through my relationship with Brian-Michael Cox. Shout out to B. Cox, that’s my big bro. At the time, he was working on his own deal. He said, “I’m not really in a position to do anything for you right now. But when I am, I’m going to come back and get you because you’re such a good writer. You’re such a good person. I want to be able to help you expand your career.”

When he got positioned where he was, he said, “Listen, I have an opportunity for you at Warner Chappell. I want to bring you over there, that’ll be a good home for you as a writer.” He literally made good on his word. He brought me over there, Chris Hicks signed my deal. Chris Hicks is now working on the entertainment side of film in Georgia. Chris Hicks ended up going to Def Jam right after that, heading up Def Jam so there was a huge shift at Warner Chappell. But I got signed over there based on my relationship with B. Cox, also because I was talented too. I really appreciate him sticking to his word, coming back and getting me. It’s important that when you rise to the top, that people reach back out and get you.

Does that mean you’ll be songwriting as well?

Yeah. I’ve written for Monica, Rick Ross Jeezy. I’ve done 4 songs with Snoop. I’ve worked with Terrace Martin. I’ve worked with pretty much all the heavyweights in the industry, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more.

What have you learned from working with those legends?

I’ve learned a lot. I’m really a sponge, I’ve always been a student of the game. I used to be in the studio with Sean Garrett. I learned how to write songs and format them to the industry standard, just being in the studio with him. I used to write and sing with The Clutch. I’d demo records for them, so I learned how to record. A lot of times people think because you can sing, you can record. No, singing and recording are two totally different things. There are people that can sing beautifully live. When you get them in the studio, they sound like trash, because they don’t know how to record. There’s some people that know how to record, but they don’t know how to sing live. Those are two separate things.

Luckily, I was blessed to be able to do both, but I really learned how to perfect my recording voice. That’s a whole thing. I thought I could go in there and [sings] “No, that’s too loud. Step back when you’re doing the sound,” or “open your mouth to form an ‘o’ when you’re making this sound.” Or “smile when you’re singing this part. Look sad” or “hunch your shoulders forward.” I’ve been in the studio and watched Usher record. When Usher records, he looks like he’s performing on stage. That’s why his records come out sounding the way they do, because he’s moving around.

Anything else you want to let us know?

Follow me on Instagram: @toricasworld. Log on to toricasworld.com and download “A Whole Mood.” It’s on all streaming platforms right now.

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