Tiffany Evans Interview
|Next Project:||Self-Titled Debut (April '08)|
|Website:||Tiffany Evans's Website|
At the age of 15, most teenage girls spend their time working out problems with boys, clothes and school. Columbia Records recording artist Tiffany Evans, however, is not “most teenage girls.” This April she will release her self-titled debut album, four months before she turns 16.
Despite what her birth certificate may say, Evans feels she has been forced to mature quicker than most teens her age. Instead of attending house parties and school dances, Evans has spent late nights at recording studios and early mornings on radio tours. All the more reason she has appropriately proclaimed to the world, “I’m Grown,” on her current Darkchild-produced single.
In an exclusive interview with DJBooth‘s DJ “Z,” Tiffany Evans steps inside the booth to talk about missing out on her teenage years because of her career, what pickup lines a boy shouldn’t be using to get a girl, and whether of not label mate and collaborator Bow Wow is really a ‘ladies’ man.’
Listen to the Interview
Tiffany Evans Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is a young lady who has proclaimed to the world that she is now grown. Please welcome Tiffany Evans – how are you?
Tiffany Evans: Hey, I’m good. How are you?
DJ Booth: I am wonderful. New single, “I’m Grown,” produced by Dark Child, featuring Bow Wow; describe the ways you feel you’ve matured since signing a record deal a few years ago?
Tiffany Evans: I feel like I’ve matured mentally, spiritually, physically. There’s a lot that I have learned, and that I am still learning. I found out a lot about myself and I feel like it’s a new me now – it’s a new year; it’s a new me. I deserve respect, just like everybody else, and I feel like, if you’re takin’ care of yourself and you’re makin’ money and you’re focused, then you can say you’re grown.
DJ Booth: As Aaliyah said, “Age ain’t nothing but a number,” right?
Tiffany Evans: Of course, ‘cause age defines no person at all. Like, you can drink at twenty-one and you can go to the clubs at eighteen, but it’s really what’s in your head. And if you don’t have that knowledge, age doesn’t do anything for you.
DJ Booth: I couldn’t agree more. You’re fifteen, almost sixteen, this August is your birthday, but you sound a lot older on your new material. Was there a certain point during your youth when you realized, “Hey, I’m a pretty damn good singer,” and that you were above the competition?
Tiffany Evans: Wow… well, I never really thought about it like that, but, I really don’t understand what I have, and I kinda like it that way. That way, you don’t understand certain things and you try to learn about it; I’m learnin’ about myself. I don’t understand the gift that God gave me, but I am using it to the best of my ability, and showin’ the world that I can sing and I have proven that, and they understand that, and I’m doin’ my thing. Like I said, I’m using my gift to the best of my ability.
DJ Booth: Well, that was a very humble answer; I appreciate that.
Tiffany Evans: Oh, no problem.
DJ Booth: Being all grown up can be fun, but it also includes massive responsibilities. So, has growing up faster than most teenagers your age been hard on you?
Tiffany Evans: Most definitely, sacrifice – I had to make a lot of sacrifices. At the same time, this is my life, and I chose this as what I wanted to do, but basically it comes with a lot. I wasn’t able to party and go out with my brothers and sisters or go to the movies. There would be a time when I had to work, and I had to record, and my brother would be like, “Are you coming?” and I’d be like, “No, I gotta go to the studio.” Sometimes I can’t talk all night, like everybody else – weekdays or weekends or whatever, I can’t talk on the phone ‘cause I may have to get up at five ‘o’ clock in the morning to go do a run at a radio station. But there are a lot of things that you have to sacrifice, and there are a lot of things that come with it, and you definitely have to be mature.
DJ Booth: What you’re doing is you’re saving cell phone minutes, so that’s good. Being thrown into the industry at such a young age, do you feel you’ve missed out on the beginning of your teenage years?
Tiffany Evans: Because I had brothers and sisters, not really, but sometimes yes. As far as being social, my social life is not as social as it used to be, but there’s a lot of things that I’ve missed out on, like being able to go to a regular high school, or bein’ able to just go to regular house parties – I can’t even go to house parties, you understand the security thing. A lot of people tell me, “Tiffany, just act your age,” and then sometimes I’ll be like, “I don’t know what fifteen is like,” you know? But I can say I know what eighteen is like, ‘cause I’m doing certain things that an adult would do. This is an adult job.
DJ Booth: What do you think thus far has been the most challenging aspect of balancing your life with your career?
Tiffany Evans: My life with my career… bein’ around my family. I would like to be around my family more, and not being able to be around them is very challenging, ‘cause sometimes I wanna be home, and sometimes I wanna be chillin’ with them, but I don’t get that opportunity a lot. It’s just working hard and not being able to do certain things I used to do is challenging.
DJ Booth: Well, as long as you keep that hard work up, eventually you’ll get that opportunity…
Tiffany Evans: That’s right. And I’ll always believe that, I’ll have hope. You know, you always have to work hard for what you want because if you didn’t have anything to get over there wouldn’t be nothing to learn from, and, well I earned this. So I’d rather earn my way than to get it easy.
DJ Booth: Definitely. Each answer you give me, you’re earning your stripes more and more. A knock on teenage R&B singers for the most part is that they often sing about material that they actually don’t have experience with. A few examples would be long-term relationships, heavy drinking in the clubs – how do you go about choosing your songwriters and your material?
Tiffany Evans: I have great people, a great team around me who decides who gets to write on my album or produce some of my records. You have to have a great team of people around you with great heads; we just come together with a bunch of ideas, and my style and things that I should do, and my image.
DJ Booth: Okay, so what topics will you be covering on this album? We obviously know the first topic is that, you’re grown – what’s up next?
Tiffany Evans: Relationships. Like, I’ve been in a relationship before, and, I won’t say that I was “dangerously in love,” but I have been in a relationship before and I’m able to speak on certain things that I have learned. Also, I just take from other people, my brothers and my sisters, their relationships. I talk to them about it and, maybe their relationship can become a song. So most definitely relationships and just fun stuff!
DJ Booth: Okay. Well, you know what? I don’t know anybody in the world who doesn’t like fun stuff!
Tiffany Evans: Yeah. Fun stuff, like goin’ to the mall – everybody loves goin’ to the mall. When you see some guys there, or, see some girls, and you just kinda holler at them – stuff like that. And teaching dudes how to approach a lady with class.
DJ Booth: While you have me on the phone, since I’m a dude, and you’re a lady, why don’t you go ahead and explain to me how you like to be approached? Let’s say we’re both at the mall, you just purchased some earrings, I got a brand new sweatshirt, and we’re crossing one another at the same time – what would be the best move for me?
Tiffany Evans: If you made eye contact with me – don’t try too hard! [laughter] If you caught my eye, I look at you, and then I’ll smile, the best thing would be to smile first and then you can walk up and be like, “Hey, miss, your name? Can I get your name?” And I’ll tell you my name, but you have to ask in the proper way; you can’t be like, “Yo, ma!” I’m from New York, I’m from the Bronx, from boogie down, and that’s what a lot of guys do up here. They’ll be like, “‘Ey, ma, what’s good, ma?” My name’s not “ma!” If you really wanna get to a lady’s heart, just be like, “If it wouldn’t be a problem, could I ask you your name? ‘Cause you are very beautiful, and you caught my eye.” And easily work your way. Don’t be too hard, just be yourself.
DJ Booth: Definitely. I’ve been taking notes, and for all the guys out there listening, if you see Tiffany, don’t even think about saying, “Yo, ma.” Don’t even think about it!
Tiffany Evans: Yeah, don’t say, “Yo, ma,” ‘cause my name’s not, “Yo, ma.”
DJ Booth: I appreciate the tips; hopefully, it’ll help me in my own endeavors. I’m gonna name a few predominant female figures in R&B and you name one attribute that each of them possesses, that you feel might have rubbed off on the start of your career. First one, Janet Jackson.
Tiffany Evans: Her dancing.
DJ Booth: Toni Braxton.
Tiffany Evans: Oh, wow… her distinctive voice. Her voice is so amazing that [singing]. [laughter] That’s what she does! Her distinctive voice, her low tones.
DJ Booth: Okay, deep voice. Next one is Whitney Houston.
Tiffany Evans: Oh my gosh, her runs, everything about her, her classiness.
DJ Booth: Definitely. Next one: Beyonce.
Tiffany Evans: She’s very unique on stage, so I would have to say, the way she talks. I think the way she talks is so cute. Like, she’ll be saying, “y’all,” and, “Y’all so cute,” and everything.
DJ Booth: It’s from being from Houston, that’s what it is.
Tiffany Evans: Yes! It actually rubbed off on me because I started saying “y’all,” for a minute. I was like, “Hey, y’all, how y’all doin’?” and, “Y’all look so cute!”
DJ Booth: And then you realized it was all because of B.
Tiffany Evans: Yeah, she’s cute.
DJ Booth: Okay, last one, a newcomer of sorts: Ciara.
Tiffany Evans: I would say her dancing.
DJ Booth: Last question: as I mentioned earlier, Bow Wow is featured on “I’m Grown,” and this past year I had a chance to speak with both Bow and Omarion when their new album, “Face Off,” hit stores. Now, it was apparent during our interview that he considers himself a ladies’ man.
Tiffany Evans: A ladies’ man?
DJ Booth: You’ve worked with him, and you’re label mates at Columbia with him. So let’s turn over this mattress here – is Bow Wow a ladies’ man or not?
Tiffany Evans: [laughter] Yes, he’s a ladies’ man. If he plays his cards right, whatever female he’s eying down, he could probably pursue.
DJ Booth: So did Bow follow your advice that you gave me earlier when he saw you for the first time?
Tiffany Evans: Oh, we really didn’t have the chance to talk like that, but when I talk to him again I’ll be like, “Listen, big bro – this is how you approach a lady,” if he doesn’t already know. ‘Cause he probably does know, if he’s a ladies’ man. [laughter]
DJ Booth: Okay, well the mattress has been turned. Tiffany Evans’ self-titled debut, out in stores April 22nd. Give everybody your MySpace or your website, so they can find out more.
Tiffany Evans: myspace.com/tiffanyevansmusic, and you can also go to my website, tiffanyevansmusic.com, hit me up on there, show love. If you aren’t a fan, become a fan. Support the single, “I’m Grown.” Like you said, the album April 22nd, self-titled, “Tiffany Evans,” you know it will not be that hard to find in the stores. I love y’all so much.
DJ Booth: Great! Thank you so much for taking the time and joining me inside of the DJ Booth, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck.
Tiffany Evans: Aw, thank you so much, Mr. Z. God bless you.
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