Multi-platinum producer/rapper/singer Missy Elliott introduced the world to R&B singer/songwriter Tweet and the starlet was quickly catapulted to the top of the charts with her gold selling album “Southern Hummingbird” in 2002. Tweet captivated everyone’s ear with her no holds barred lyrics and stripped down, raw, emotional filled vocals.
3 years later, Tweet returned with “It’s Me Again,” which failed to make the same impact as her debut project. After that fans were left wondering what happened to Tweet?
Well Tweet is better than ever and the wait will soon be over as she has promised new music will come this year! I recently sat down with Tweet and we shared a very candid chat about relationships, music, setbacks and of course her relationship with God.
You grew up in church and I know Gospel music has had a huge influence on your music? What artists influenced you?
I would have to say quartet groups had a big influence on me. Growing up I listened to the Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Williams Brothers, The Canton Spirituals, Harvey Watkins, The Winans and definitely Commissioned. I’m an old school girl all day!
What Gospel artists do you listen to that are out now?
Of course I love The Clark Sisters, Kierra Sheard, J. Moss, Tye Tribbett, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Jonathon Nelson and a few other artists. But those are some of my favorites right now.
Does being in this industry ever completely shake your faith? Has it ever discouraged you to the point where you were upset with God?
The flesh part of me, YES! But, spiritually I know God is working on my behalf. But, of course there are times when I get discouraged because in this business, you’re not always accepted. But I know whatever I’m going through at the time, God is going to bring me out. I used to get upset and mad, but I’ve grown so much spiritually that I try not to concentrate on how I’m feeling in that moment.
How do you motivate yourself? How do you refuel?
I definitely read my bible every day. I listen to inspirational music. I watch a lot of TBN, different religious stations and church. That’s how I stay motivated.
Will Tweet ever do a Gospel album?
Yeah, I think the next one will be. There’s going to be a Gospel song on my new album with my daughter. She’s in the process of recording a Gospel CD.
How old is your daughter?
She just turned 21.
Were you worried about her going into the music business?
Yes! I did not want her to go this route at all! I was hoping she wouldn’t have the desire. I was happy that she wanted to do Gospel and not the secular side of music, so I’m grateful for that. But I definitely wanted her to do something different.
You dealt with depression and suicide when you were younger. How did you overcome that difficult time?
I came through it with God. After the fact, I got busy in the music business and that’s when the call came from Missy and I went and did all those records for her. I thank God he answered my prayer and sent someone to take me out of that. Along with keeping busy, I started to talk about it. That was so therapeutic for me, as well as writing songs. All those things kept me in the right mind frame. But it was definitely God! He was the only One that could do it because I didn’t talk to anyone about it at all.
If you had advice for someone who is battling depression and contemplated suicide, what would you say to them?
I would tell them to speak to someone. Don’t keep it inside! You will eventually explode. And also remember there is always somebody worse off than you. It’s really not that bad. Once I came out of it, I was like, “what was I trippin’ on?” So I’d say talk to someone and if you don’t have a relationship with God, definitely build that.
How do you deal with setbacks, album delays and album leaks? And how do you make money when you don’t have a project out?
Well, publishing checks definitely sustain me. To anyone that wants to be an artist being a good songwriter helps! Write your own songs because those publishing checks are definitely a blessing. Your songs can be used for video games, movies, commercials, etc., so that’s how I’ve been maintaining.
The other part of your question, its hard. When you think something is going to happen and then it doesn’t, you get disappointed. You just have to keep at it. It took me from 1994 to 2002 to get my first album out. I know about all the heartaches. If you’re passionate about something you do what you have to do.
What can we expect from the new album and will we get it this year?
Yes my new album will definitely be released this year. I took it back to “Southern Hummingbird.” On my second CD, I kind of had to compromise and make it radio friendly or hip hop sounding, and it wasn’t all me. So my new album will be in-your-face lyrics from my diary, acoustic sounds and a capella.
How is the relationship between you and Missy?
Missy and I are still friends. We’re actually going to do something together on this new project. We haven’t gotten around to it yet, but in the next couple of weeks we’re making it happen.
Who has been one of your favorite artists to work with in the studio?
Working with Bilal blew me away. He didn’t go into the booth to record his vocals; he stood in the control room and sung his song on the mic. And I was like, “Oh my goodness.” Also watching The Clark Sisters record when they did a song on one of Missy’s albums was amazing. And just watching Kim Burrell!
Do you see marriage in your future? Is it a priority for you right now?
Priority…no. Desire, yes. My desire is to be married, but instead of me choosing, I would rather God pick the person. I want God to literally tell me this is who I want you to marry. I’ve tried to choose on my own and I’m always wrong. I haven’t dated in five years. I’ve been dating Jesus. (lol) It’s the best thing for me right now. I’m okay with being alone, until He brings me that person.
What do you look for in a potential mate?
I want someone who loves the Lord. I’m not particular on them being a pastor or preacher. I don’t think I would want that responsibility of being a first lady. I also want a man who is God-fearing, wears nice shoes, is handsome and funny. I don’t ask for much. Oh and one more thing, be financially stable. Thank You Jesus!
Would you date a younger guy?
Younger than me…no I don’t think so. It depends.
What do you want people to know about you?
I want people to know that I’m tall. I’m short a chick! lol Just kidding. But that I’m a funny person, down to earth, I love what I do and I love God!
TWEET’S 10 RANDOM TRUTHS
1) Pick your favorite: Wendy Williams, The View or Oprah? Oprah.
2) Pick your favorite: Commissioned, The Clark Sisters or The Winans? The Clark Sisters.
3) Favorite reality TV Show? “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
4) Are you an introvert or extrovert? Hmmm I don’t know.
5) Mac or PC? Mac.
6) Wal-Mart or Target? Target.
7) One pet peeve? Liars.
8) Are you an overprotective mother? Yes!
9) Favorite Cartoon? “Bugs Bunny.”
10)Favorite Restaurant? Applebee’s in France.