HHD: I see that as your list of skills you’re a rapper, writer, drummer, and a producer. How did you get into each one of these talents and develop them as skills?
TP: Everyone in my family either plays an instrument or sings. My dad he’s a drummer, and a producer, and a writer. He taught me how to play drums. Eventually I started writing and I turned out to be really good at it.
HHD: Your website states that your lyrics convey a compelling story. What stories do you talk about and why do you feel like those stories are compelling?
TP: The stories I tell are not just about money, clothes, and parties. It’s about life…the ups and downs.
HHD: How do you plan to reignite hip hop?
TP: I plan to reignite hip hop by being one of the few female artists from the west coast. East coast has Lil Mama. We have no real female hip hop artist that’s really doing it big as the guys out here.
HHD: Why do you think that at this moment hip hop needs reigniting?
TP: Hip hop needs reigniting because everything right now is generic. There’s no originality in hip hop. Everybody using the same sound.
HHD: Reading your bio I saw that you’ve written over 600 songs. How old were you when you began writing songs?
TP: I was about six or seven when I wrote my first song.
HHD: What’s your writing process? What do you do with 600 songs?
TP: A majority of the time I’m sitting in my room. I sit right in front of my computer. My notepad where I write my songs is directly below my laptop. I have a certain pen that I can write with. I can’t write with any other pen.
HHD: Are you interested in writing songs for other artists?
TP: Oh yeah, definitely.
HHD: I saw that you like to volunteer. What are the causes that you like to volunteer with?
TP: I hope to start my own foundation called I CARE. It’s a picture of an eye with the word care. There’s so many different needs out there. This foundation will see a need and meet the need.
HHD: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?
TP: I think it’s very important to volunteer because it shows that you’re more than just an artist, you’re a real person. Those who don’t volunteer, I think it’s selfish. I feel like everybody should volunteer.
HHD: What do you think it takes to become the voice of young America? What do you think you have to fulfill that role?
TP: To be the voice of young America, I feel that I would have to be honest. They may not be able to be heard but through me they can be heard.
HHD: What issues do you think today affect young America that hip hop can be influential in addressing?
TP: Teen pregnancy. It’s becoming way too common. You have kids that can’t take care of their babies and mothers depending on the welfare line. The economy is messed up as it is. It’s ridiculous. The homeless problem, the economy itself, and the regular issues in life.
HHD: Describe your music for us. What can I expect to hear?
TP: Aside from great beats and great rapping one can expect to hear a story. Stories that will make you visualize something. Me personally, I don’t like to hear stuff and not be able to see what I’m hearing. If you can see it you can better understand it. A visual journey is what I would describe my music as.
HHD: What projects are you working on right now?
TP: Right now I’m finishing my first album. It’s due late fall and is going to be entitled “Legend in Training”. I hear the word legend being thrown around a lot, especially by new artists. You can’t be a legend on your first album. I hope to one day become a legend. This is my journey and I’m just in training at the moment.
HHD: What is your definition of a hip hop diva?
TP: My definition of a hip hop diva is definitely a female who has swag. A female who is honest with not only herself but her listeners. Dedicated to hip hop and speaks 100% truth in her lyrics. That would ultimately be me I guess.
For more on Tia P. check out her website www.tiaparchman.com.