Tiara Thomas is most notably featured on Wale’s 2013 single “Bad”. Since that big moment for her, the American singer-songwriter has released a handful of EPs, but we’re still waiting for longplay, and even if one of those EPs, Up in Smoke got some great support from the likes of Alicia Keys, it still feels like people are sleeping on her.
Tiara’s last mini-album called Don’t Mention My Name was a soft and acoustic six track project. Perfect sultry R&B sound to late nights. And while she was on tour recently with the singer H.E.R., she has given us a chill with another EP titled FWMM, which stands for F**king With My Mind.
Continuing the wavy sound mixed with acoustic storytelling, Tiara is still talking about her past situations related to love, music and break ups. She recently told Noisey, about the new record, “I live inside my head a lot. I like it. I think my head is really interesting”.
The EP starts off with a upbeat track called “I Need“. She seems to be very calm singing verses like “I need money / I need peace / I need new shit, I need / I need love / I need sleep”, but Tiara doesn’t hide the fact she – just like everybody of us – is overthinking.
The songs are not just about the cruel and cold music industry or her career goals, but also about trying to forget her ex-lover. “Babe I can’t forget / All the time we spent / Friends for a benefit / I hope you got what you needed”, she shares her regrets in the steamy EP title track. Tiara’s sensuous vocal brings pure heat, even is she’s the one who’s actually upset and torn.
Thomas understands she’s not a powerhouse singer like Whitney Houston. She was raised on some cool-ass voices like Erykah Badu and Sade, which is part of what makes her a dope singer effortlessly. Take a song like “Sex Drive” as a proof. This slow jam is filled with b**ch-don’t-give-a-f**k attitude.
She keeps being bad tempered on the next track called “Retro 1s”. This tribute to Michael Jordan’s classic sneakers is probably the most savage track on the EP. “Retro 1’s with the orange / B**ch get hit in my Jordan’s / B**ch get naked in a foreign / She whip me eggs in the mornin’”, she sings over the bittersweet production.
The most interesting thing about Tiara is her lyrics. She said in one of the interviews: “My main thing is my writing. I actually like to spend time writing my songs, because it matters to me like how the lyrics come across, how the lyrics touch people. I think that’s my strongest point. I just want to be a relatable artist”.
Each track on this record flows into the next in a very natural way. “OTW” is a very sensual and sassy song which can be compared to early Tinashe’s work. “When I get some new hoes, I might start releasin’ some ni***s / I’m too old for this s**t, I might just be teasin’ these ni***s”, she flows being confident as ever.
FWMM closes with a very happy dance-influenced track “Ride You Like A Wave”. This is a hopeful goodbye to the listener who has just been on a journey that captures the ups and downs of love.
F**king With My Mind is another short project from Tiara Thomas, and a perfect compilation of a young woman who understands how to express herself. She delivers an enjoyable contemporary R&B EP – the question is can we expect a longplay soon? Hopefully.
With an attitude similar to SZA or Kehlani, she could easily be featured on Rihanna’s Anti or Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy. The only thing she’s missing is actually popularity, but Tiara is a badass, even if you recognize her or not. Purchase Tiara Thoma’s FWMM on iTunes here, and stream it below.
Words by Julia Borowczyk