Q&A with Tamia

We got the lowdown on Tamia's album Love Life, working with Def Jam, and her favorite things.

--Adam Downer

GGM: Your sixth album, Love Life, is set to drop soon. What makes it different from your previous albums?

Tamia: The last few albums have had some heavy things on there. This album is a lot lighter and reflective of the love life. It’s a sexier album than my previous ones. That’s the main difference.

GGM: Did you choose the title because it’s so sexy, or is there more to that?

Tamia: It’s both. It’s a double entendre. One, it’s Love Life because they’re all love songs. The other is because it’s a good album to play in your love life!

GGM: Beautiful Surprise ended up exploring a lot of different genres. Is that something you look to continue with Love Life?

Tamia: I think, with this being my sixth album, and me celebrating my 20th year in the business, it’s important to explore different sides of my personality, different sides of my voice. To get slightly technical, “Sandwich and a Soda” is in a lower register that people aren’t used to hearing me sing in. It’s fun to do something a little different and explore different sides of my voice. There definitely will be some of that on this album. There’s definitely still a lot of singin’ on it (laughs), but I’d say it’s a little more classic R&B for sure.

GGM: This is your first album with Def Jam. How did the move to the label influence the album?

Tamia: They didn’t influence me at all! The great thing about Def Jam is that when we agreed to go into a partnership together, they were very much just “do your thing and let us know when it’s done.” That’s every artist’s dream. I really appreciate the fact they respected me and my vision for the project.

GGM: You have had some classic collaborations through the years with Quincy Jones, and Fabolous. Can we expect some more on this album? Is there one artist you are dying to do a duet with at the moment?

Tamia: Love Life at the moment doesn’t have any duets or features, but you never know with remixes. Yes, I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great vocalists and producers, so we’ll see. As far as who I’d like to work with, as far as male vocalists, Maxwell would be awesome. Bruno Mars could be great. Those two come to mind right away.

GGM: What are you listening to right now?

Tamia: During the writing process, I don’t really listen to anything, but when I work out, that’s when I listen to music. So, uptempo stuff like Drake.

GGM: What’s your favorite album of all time?

Tamia: I’m classic R&B, so I’d say Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love of All.

GGM: Do you keep up with TV shows?

Tamia: I’m more kept up with TV than movies. I can watch things in twenty minutes. I’m all caught up on Scandal, Empire, and Modern Family.

GGM: What are you reading?

Tamia: I listen to books on tape a lot. I’ve gotten several books for my kids on audio, since we have a good ride to school.

GGM: What are they into?

Tamia: The 13 year old listens to her own music (laughs). My little one is interested in anything that has to do with dogs and animals. They love fact books.

GGM: Can you tell me a favorite restaurant?

Tamia: Nobu!

GGM: Are there any designer shoes or jewelry you particularly enjoy?

Tamia: Anita Ko! I really like her jewelry. It’s thin, dainty, and you can wear several. And I like Giuseppe shoes.

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