When you hear Slip-N-Slide Records, you may automatically think about rap heavyweights like Trina, Trick Daddy and Rick Ross. Since 1994, the Miami-based label has made a mark in the Florida rap scene and has even helped the aforementioned artists find success in mainstream music. Emerging singer Teenear, a Miami native, is carving out her own lane at the rap-dominated label. She is the first R&B artist to sign to Slip-N-Slide Records, a move that supports the label’s pivot into the R&B world.
“There hadn’t been any type of singers on the label, so me being able to start that was just an opportunity in itself,” she tells Rated R&B over the phone. “I tried to take out the pressure part of it and just focused on making something out of it.”
Like a lot of R&B singers, Teenear started singing at a young age in church. She and Slip-N-Slide’s founder Ted Lucas actually went to the same church. “It was really word-of-mouth with people telling him, ‘You have to come hear her sing,’” she says about meeting Lucas and eventually signing a record deal. “I feel like it was just a moment that he was there and I was in the right place at the right time. It all started with a conversation, ‘If this is what you want to do, you have to show me that you’re going to take this seriously.’”
Taking his words of wisdom, Teenar began focusing more on her craft. “He told me to put myself out there, so I started my YouTube channel and I posted my first cover ‘Stay.’ I felt like the response gave me the confidence and courage to keep doing it and from that moment I kept going,” she says.
And she kept going. In 2015, Teenear released her debut single “Friday Night” featuring Sage the Gemini, which feels like “got everything going” for her career.
In our interview with Teenear, she speaks on her latest single “Need Your Love,” her plans for her debut project, what she’s learned so far from the music business and more.
Your new single “Need Your Love” is making waves with over 400K streams on Spotify. What inspired that song?
That song is really the definition of young. When you’re young and you meet someone, you don’t really know how to place all those feelings that you gain. Immediately, you’re like, “I’m just going to claim it as love and go for it,” even though you’re friends and family is telling you that it’s just a little phase and a little crush. It’s just about meeting someone, gaining all these feelings and just saying, “You know what? I’m going to go for it because I feel like I need your love.”
You’ve released one single each year since 2015. When can we expect an actual project?
You should be expecting it really soon; hopefully, early this year. I’m really excited about it but there’s no date set in stone yet.
What can we expect from your debut project?
Honestly, it’s really me just telling my story of me growing up in love, I guess you can say? It’s going to be a big representation of who I am and my thoughts.
Has being from Miami had any influence on your music in any way?
I feel like Miami is such an artistic place in general. Everywhere you go, every corner you turn, you see someone doing something they love. That in itself is inspiring to me — just seeing people put their passion out there no matter what gives me the courage to do the same.
Is there a lesson you’ve learned over the years since you first got into the industry?
Believing in myself. I feel like I’ve always believed in myself in the beginning but there are moments where I find myself doing things just because other people are telling me to do them. It got to the point where I had to realize that this is about me and my purpose. So if I want to fulfill my purpose the way I feel like it’s supposed to be fulfilled, I have to do things my way, believe in myself and anything I put out there. I can’t always try to follow the crowd — I just have to be my own person in this world.
Do you think social media has played a role in you trying to follow the crowd?
One-hundred percent, that’s why I want to be somebody that a lot of young kids — especially young girls — can look at and say, “She’s doing what she loves and is doing it her way.” I know social media is a crazy thing to grow up in and it’s very influencing right now and I just want to be somebody they can listen to.
Follow Teenear on Twitter/Instagram at @TeenearR.