The task of any great artist is to create days of future past, to make memories that will be looked back upon one day with fond nostalgia. Heartfelt songs that invoke love, play, heartache and reconciliation tend to stand that particular test of time when it comes to R&B music. And although these days female R&B singers are a dime a dozen and one seems to be more generic and forgettable than the next, there is the occasional star on the rise that seems to catch your ears and eyes and makes you pay attention. Teedra Moses is such an artist. Born in New Orleans, reared in Los Angeles and signed to the ..1 indie label, TVT Records, Teedra Moses may appear to be just another nameless R&B singer but theres more to her than meets the ears and eyes. One listen to her debut, Complex Simplicity, and you can definitely sense Teedra Moses talents. She is from the school of the hard knocks with the scars to prove it and thats definitely an underlying theme throughout all 14 self-penned tracks.
Appropriately enough, Teedra Moses and her partner-in-crime producer Pauli Pol met at the tail end of a bittersweet romance like those sprinkled throughout Complex Simplicity. Best known for his production on Black Eyed Peas debut single Joints & Jam, Pauli Pol was referred to Teedra Moses by a mutual friend as she prepared to put behind her days as an assistant stylist to the stars in pursuit of her singing dream. [Pauli] did the entire album with me because I wanted it to be something really personal and a union, like a marriage, not all over the place, says Teedra. The finished productexecutive produced by both Pauli Pol and Teedra Moses herselfis exactly the seamless combination she intended; though made up of a variety of different feelings and moods, their unity of vision shines through.
The magnetic Teedra Moses didnt shy away from expressing her emotional vulnerability, describing a crush from afar on Be Your Girl, the album opener and lead single which borrows from the Nas track, One On One. While alternatively tackling the other side of the game on her mid-tempo lamentation You'll Never Find (A Better Woman) the street single that initially generated a buzz about Ms. Moses. Utilizing another sample, this one being Alicia Meyers Better Woman or Bigger Fool, this hip-hop edged production helped Teedra Moses attract both R&B and hip-hop fans with the feature from famed MC, Jadakiss. The lyrics have a strong sense of honest reality attached and the infectious line, youll never find a better woman or a bigger fool, solidifies its appeal. Other guest appearances include Raphael Saadiq for both the production and feature on the duet Take Me which includes beautiful strings by Claire Fischer. An orchestral ballad on which their voices interweave almost imperceptibly, creating realistic romantic bliss.
Teedra Moses crafts her songs just left of a hip-hop soul center, which can be heard on No More Tears taking the horn section from Outkasts Spottieottiedopalicious and coupling it with a shaky, bluesy bassline and slick drum programming gives the record a happy, yet relaxing vibe like that from the 1980s; which can also be heard in the up tempo production of the title track Complex Simplicity and through out. Ask about Teedras influences and she will respond rapidly. People like Teena Marie, Patrice Rushen, Caron Wheeler and Starpoints, Object of My Desire. Thats like my favorite song! My mom passed not long ago and it made me very nostalgic for youthful things. Im just remembering that music. I cant honestly say I listen to it a lot right now. But it really moved me; thats where my thoughts are right now.
Raised by her gospel-singing mother in New Orleans, Teedra Moses moved with her to California, upon her parents separation. Though her brother and two sisters were not inclined to pursue music, her mother was once a successful gospel singer on the church revival circuit in the South. Teedra Moses must, in turn, be inspiring to her siblings catching earfuls of tunes like Caution and I Think of You (Shirleys Song) the heartfelt tribute to her mother which begins with both Teedra and her now deceased mother singing a song in church and then segues into a loving tribute to her mom who passed away a year ago.
Having transcended humble beginnings writing brand-new lyrics to favorite songs (I started out writing over [Prince] music that I liked, but then I started to just write songs and make the music in my head) and emceeing at family homecomings (I used to rap exactly like Rakim, study his raps, write his words down and get his flow down pat!). The process may be unorthodox, but theres no doubt about it that Teedra Moses has found her own voice and is sharing it with the world; not only a writer for herself but now others, Teedra Moses has authored hits like Christina Milians Dip It Low, Trina feat. Kelly Rowland Here We Go, and loaned both her pen as well as her vocals to friends like Raphael Saadiq, Ying Yang Twins, the Bravehearts and a host of others.
But its the debut album that sets the stage for Teedra Moses and makes you long to know, why Complex Simplicity? Because I feel like its the best way to explain myself, my music and my experiences in life. Everything about me, I feel is complex simplicity. Im truly blessed. Im the simplest person on the planet but most people that know me dont feel the same way.
However you cut it, Teedra Moses and her music are simply beautiful, and theres nothing complex about that
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