Thursday, December 7, 2017

Artist Spotlight - Ms. Tia

Tia McNeil is a breakout singer, songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a debut single scheduled for release in the fall of 2017. She started singing in church when she was just six years old and she’s been singing ever since.
Tia’s gift blossomed during her time at Martin Luther King High where she joined the school choir and partnered with a few schoolmates to form a girl group that gained popularity singing at the local galleria and other frequented places around town. When the group disbanded Tia continued her work as a vocalist singing backup for Gospel recording artist Billy Thompson. Even in the background Tia was a standout. So much so that Thompson featured her as a lead singer on his celebrated project, Billy Thompson, From the Heart.
Tia sang, toured and did studio work with Thompson until she enrolled in Lincoln University. There she joined both the University Choral and the Gospel Choir. She was a featured vocalist and lyricist on their first recording. Upon graduation from Lincoln, Tia successfully landed a job in corporate America and purchased a home intending to settle into a traditional lifestyle; but her passion for music would not be upstaged.
Tia continued to receive, and accept, invitations to sing backup for local artists; she joined local choirs and chorales including the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale under the direction of J. Donald Dumpson; she performed in the Shout for Joy Christmas Extravaganza; she was a featured soloist in Eleone Dance Company’s Carols in Color; and she even sang in concert with the great Kathleen Battle. Tia has performed at renowned venues like the Philadelphia Kimmel Center, the National Constitution Center, and the world famous Apollo Theater. Her audiences have included the likes of former Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton and Pope John Paul. Tia has always been excited by, and grateful for, the many opportunities afforded her; but she was not completely satisfied singing in choruses or backup for other artists. So, in 2014 she decided it was time to come out of the shadows and launch her solo career. Before long she was known as “Ms. Tia” in the most popular venues around town. Ms. Tia first drew crowds at Philadelphia’s Bourbon and Branch, then Warmdaddys, Relish, Pub Web, Firehouse Café, World Café Live and Philly’s own Platinum Grille where she was artist in residence for more than a year. She has opened for R&B artist, Carl Thomas and singer, actress Demetria McKinney. Ms. Tia now regularly performs at Kelsey’s Soul Food Restaurant in Atlantic City. She always packs the house, and she never disappoints!

Social Media Links:
Instagram @mstialive
1.) What made you want to get into the music business in the first place? 
My cousin was murdered when I was 16. Singing and writing my own music was my way of communicating with him
Did anyone influence you to do music? If so, who? Influences? Role Models? 

Yes! My musical influences are Sade, Anita Baker,& Mary J Blige. They all have a style that I absolutely love. I admire their vocal and performance ability.

2.) Unfortunately, the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don't get any recognition for their talent and/or work. What do you plan to do to make sure you stand out and get noticed? 

My plan is to create a great marketing strategy that will stand out from most artist. 

3.) Would you rather be on a major label or would you rather stay independent? Why or why not? 

I'd rather stay independent. I want to prove that I can be just as great without a major label backing me.

4.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not? 

No, I don't think it's dead. I think it provides a good foundation for new artist to build on, so we can apply it to the new music industry model. 

5.) How do you think the internet and social media affected the music industry and how musicians are able to market themselves? 

I think social media plays a major role in how musicians and artist market themselves. It has a positive impact on everything we do. It allows us to connect with fans locally, internationally and all around the world

6.) What is the most difficult thing you've had to endure in life and has that had any effect on your path to becoming a musician? 

The most difficult thing I've endured in life so far was the death of my cousin. Prior to my cousins death I never wanted to sing or write music. After he was murdered, singing and writing music was my outlet. Which increased my desire to become a singer/songwriter.

7.) Artists who try to make music for the general public and make more money are usually seen as "sell-outs." Do you see it that way and if so, what do plan to do to make sure you make music that is true to your brand and make a good living at the same time without having to "sell out"? 

I believe it's important to know who you are as an artist, develop a strong fan base and know your audience. Once you do that the money will fall into place.

8.) When you do music, what would you like your listeners to get out of your music? 

Through my music, I want people to feel inspired, encouraged and empowered to love more, live more and follow their dreams.

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