Over the past three years eyes have been drawn to the North Carolina rap scene. The recent successes of artists like DaBaby, Toosii, and others feels as if the state is becoming a hub for stars in the making. TiaCorine is among that list of people to watch. From her vibrant style and distinct voice paired with her dynamic lyricism, she is gaining the respect of her peers and on her way to becoming even more of a force within the rap game.
For some artists, having a song go viral can be a double -edged sword. On one hand you become an overnight success. On the flipside the demand to follow up with a hit every time creates a lot of pressure. TiaCorine proves that a viral hit doesn’t mean anything when you have the natural talent and charisma to keep people locked in.
Back in July, I first introduced TiaCorine to Kazi Magazine through my list of “8 Female Rappers That You Should Probably Get To Know Right Now” . I had a full circle moment of my own and got the chance to chat with Tia over the phone about life since “Lotto,” and how she plans go even harder in 2021.
Check out our conversation below!
I feel like I can’t interview you without talking about your viral song “Lotto.” You noted that you didn’t even like the song that much which is interesting, what was it about the song that you didn’t like?
It was like it’s so different, I didn’t know if people are gonna like it. I didn’t really plan that song out, I kind of was just having fun and I really just liked the beat. I don’t want to say I freestyled it but I kind of freestyled it and everybody around me was like “awh, this is great.” I guess I was just more worried about people accepting the different sound.
With a song that went viral do you feel like you have to get to that point every time?
It was very hard and stuff, cause they was like, “Okay, what are you going to follow up with next?” I’m just like oh my gosh, what am I going to follow up with? I wasn’t ready for that. It wasn’t like I had a team and a plan so it was a lot of pressure to make something like that again. You don’t want to go too far off and you don’t want to make something that’s crazy, more better than “Lotto” because how can you live up to that each time? So, it was really hard to follow up after that, but I feel like I’m very smart. I just did what I felt was right and that’s how I ended up here.
Aside from the obvious of people getting to know your music , what is a perk that being viral has given to you?
I guess it’s sometimes getting free stuff. Just being out in public and they’re like “Oh you’re that girl!” and so they sometimes give me free stuff or extra things or just people acknowledging me period. Like I was in the pet store getting some dog food and I heard someone playing the song and I turned around and they’re like “Oh it is you!” People do that all the time cause I switch up my hair so much…
Yes, just randomly play the song and then i’ll look up and they’ll be like oh okay, it is you, I just had to make sure like…
I feel like that would make me paranoid like say if it’s not even playing and I just hear it because people play it randomly all the time , that’s crazy…
Yo it is. I always look around crazy like “What the fuck?!” So I mean I guess just really people acknowledging me and knowing it’s me like; “Wow, that’s really you,” and they come and talk to me. I really appreciate the love.
On the flip side of that what would you say is a no-so-nice benefit?
Sometimes I be having a rough day or something like then and they’ll come up and be like “Oh can I get a picture please?!” I’m like oh my god, really? Right now? Any other time I look great, but right now? Or if when I’m with my kid, they’ll “can I get a picture?” Like first, back up I’m having a time right now and this is not the time for that. I kind of always have to be on 10 just with my looks and everything else. People kind of catch me off guard and I don’t like that.
Last year you released your album “34Corine.” The deluxe drops this month so what can fans expect from it?
There’s going to be six new songs. I have one feature on there which is an artist named Phrase006. He’s from Charlotte, North Carolina so you know, showing the North Carolina love. I think like people wanted to see if I could do it again because 34Corine was my first project and like okay this is great, but I think people want to know is that just a fluke. Almost like lotto, is that just a fluke? Can you do it again though? It’s like, of course I can. This is just me showing that I can do it again.
We can definitely confirm that there’s another album in the works?
Lit. You cited “34Corine” as your introduction and showing the world who you are. With this sophomore project, what are you trying to define in this era?
Just really teaching people that it’s okay to be yourself and it’s okay if you want to try new things and it’s not somebody’s favorite. If you’re a real artist you make music for yourself because this is what you like to do, people just so happen to like it. I feel like I have mastered my own sound where I can get on anything but it still sounds like some Tia joint. I just want to show everybody like aye, I’m the goat, I can do anything.
Speaking of experimenting with sounds, I also peeped that you were in the studio with producers like Honorable C Note. How was that experience for you?
I don’t know if you ever heard of Tilly, but he mixes like literally almost every number one song. QC’s music, Lil Baby and things. So I’m at his house and he’s like “Yo this is TiaCorine ya’ll need to put some respect on her name,” and he (Honorable C Note) listens to like three of my songs. He was about to leave, but he was like nah, I’m about to stay and cook up and he made a beat specifically for me right there. I’m like yo, this is crazy, like Honorable C Note?! The Honorable C Note. You’re the future like what that’s crazy.
In addition to being on the studio, you also have been having back to back video releases like 34 faucet, Avril Lavigne. How do you find time in your schedule?
Uh, well I shot three videos in one week.
In one week?!
Yeah so I shot Avril Lavigne, 30, and In my Room all in one week within two days of each other. I kind of just go like super saiyan mode. I sometimes just sit and think like wow, am I normal? How I do this I really don’t know.
You co-produce and you direct your own videos. Have you ever thought of doing a conceptual album?
Actually yes. With that, it just comes with finding a team that can bring out your idea and bring it to that level. Right now, I’m just trying to up the game on everything and that means working with newer people. A lot of times I work with my friends cause I try to keep it North Carolina. It’s genuine and its real love, but now I have to take things to the next level. I’m in the process of reaching out so I’ll make posts that say “hey, who wants to shoot with me?” or “I have this idea like who can bring this to life?” So yeah, I’m definitely working on it.
Speaking of North Carolina, more eyes being drawn to that scene due to recent success stories’ coming from there. What do you think makes North Carolina stand out?
Soundwise, just the tone and the selection of beats and videos’. I feel like North Carolina, the south, we’re so cultured. We have so many different sounds and we’re like a big melting pot. We can mix country with a little soul or rap and it just comes out a masterpiece. People in North Carolina are so open minded. They don’t just say; “oh well that’s not gonna make the money,” “that’s not gonna make number one” or “that’s not trap.” They’re just so accepting and the love is just so there. I love North Carolina people man, they’re just great.
You mentioned at one point before that people often created competition for you in that scene because you didn’t sound “Hard.” I’m curious as to in what way people in your city define that and why people feel you didn’t fit the part?
That used to bother me cause I’m like; Just because I don’t rap hard does not mean I’m not hard. I just ignore it because look at my credentials, like they speak for themselves. I just know what I can do and what I’ve done and like I said the work is out there for themselves. It’s like if that is true, than you should be where I’m at or more. Everybody loves drama, but if you don’t give it to them it’s just like dang, she’s just so up it doesn’t even bother her.
In a sentence or less, how to you plan to kick things up a notch in 2021?
All I can say is I’m just gonna drop that heat. The songs speak for itself man. Just dropping that heat, keep the consistency, and up the creative.