Teedra Moses Doesn't Need a Middleman

R&B singer talks about playing Yoshi's, breaking into the industry and raising children

By Sajid Farooq
|  Friday, Aug 7, 2009  |  Updated 2:05 PM PDT
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Teedra Moses Doesn't Need a Middleman

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Teedra Moses will play Yoshi's San Francisco in a rare Bay Area appearance on Aug. 13.

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Writing is a relationship for Teedra Moses.

The New Orleans native was writing R&B hits for artists such as Mary J. Blige, Christian Milan and Macy Gray for years before the industry finally determined there was room for her to show off her own voice. But the passion she pours into her writing has carried over to her music and live shows. 

"It's like coming to my living room," Moses said about her on stage performances. She will play Yoshi's San Francisco on Aug. 13. "I hope when people come to the shows I want them to see a home girl on stage. Someone touchable...someone not iconic...I hope people say she is touchable."

The mother of twin boys broke into the entertainment industry as a assistant wardrobe stylist for artists such as Will Smith,  R. Kelly and No Doubt. Moses said when she first shopped for a record deal, producers told her there were already a lot of female R&B singers in the industry.

So Moses began to write songs for those artists instead because it was a door into the music world and it supported her children.

"I went through a period of where I was writing hard for other people because that's what brought in the revenue," she said. "But honestly it did take a little out of me...you do lose a little of yourself."

In 2004 Moses finally released her first album "Complex Simplicity" on an independent label. While the album was well received by critics and performed well on indy charts in struggled to break the mainstream charts. Still Moses built a loyal following.

Five years later her second album, "The Young Lioness," is scheduled to be released later this year. But Moses wasn't taking it easy during the gap. She lent her voice to several collaborations with artists such as the Ying Yang Twins and Raphael Saadiq, she also tried her hand at acting, released mix tapes and connected with her fans on Twitter and Myspace.

"I always used to tell my label, 'if you put me in front of people I can reach them,'" she said. "On Twitter there is no middleman. Random thinking and thoughts I think is the greatest thing."

And Moses says she is able to balance raising her children, which is her No. 1 priority, her career and her fans.

"It's not that hard really because my children come first no matter what," she said. "Being an artist is something that I have been blessed to do (and) being able to connect with fans is nice but it's not my No. 1 job on this planet."

Her Bay Area fans have rarely gotten an opportunity to see Moses play live. While she spent some her younger days hanging out in Oakland and Berkeley with her cousin, who attended UC Berkeley, she has not had the chance to play in the Bay Area too often. Tickets for her San Francisco show are still available.

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