You can't talk about Miami music without mentioning Slip-N-Slide Records. It's a label as important to this city's sound as any other — responsible for introducing the world to names Rick Ross, Trina, Plies, and Trick Daddy. For almost 20 years, Ted Lucas, the CEO of Slip-N-Slide Records has brought Miami the hottest hooks, but now its time for a change, or at least a slight course correction. “Rap is not the same anymore and like any business or organization, you have to keep showing growth. It’s time to reload with new young talent that the company believes in,” says Lucas.
Slip-N-Slide was always known for being a hip-hop/rap label, but recently, it's focus has changed. The iconic Miami label will now, according to Lucas, focus on building brands rather than selling records. As the digital age renders record sales less and less important, an artist's brand can become all the more powerful. Artists reach fans and build empires through social media and technology just as much, if not more, than face-to-face interaction.
Although booty shaking music is something Miami will never get tired of, Ted Lucas has decided to switch lanes and introduce his latest signee, Teenear, to the music scene. “I think she’s what the new generation is looking for. She is young, talented, with a drive to be successful.” Teenear's sound can be compared to fellow newcomers Tinashe and Natalie La Rose. She's a singer with a pop edge, something relatively new for Slip-N-Slide.
We caught up with Teenear, a Miami native, in between tour dates to ask about her sudden success, and how it feels to be the new face of Slip-N-Slide.
New Times: You're the first pop signee to Slip-N-Slide records. Do you feel pressure to create a voice for yourself?
Teenear: No not really. I mean people are always going to have their concrete thoughts about Slip-N-Slide, but I feel like my voice is already created, it's just waiting to be heard.
You're only 18. How did you achieve a dream some artists have been trying to achieve for years? Tell me the story of when you were first noticed by Slip-N-Slide Records.
Growing up, I’ve always loved to sing. When I turned 15 I decided to start posting covers on Youtube and became a part of my youth praise team. Ted Lucas goes to my church and I was asked to sing a solo one day for the whole congregation of the church and he happened to be there at that service. After that service he came up to me and we started talking about taking my career to another level.
How do you deal with the pressure of living up to the legacy Trina left for the label?
She's a huge name on Slip-N-Slide, but I feel like we're taking different paths so I don't try to stress myself out about it. Of course I want to get to where she is and where she took her name, but I know there's a lot of work I have to put in and it's not going to be easy.
What was the inspiration behind "Friday Night?"
I wanted to write something that girls my age can relate to. Catching your boyfriend cheating can be quite tragic so I wanted to write something uplifting. It was a fun video with all my friends getting ready for Friday night.
Who do you want to reach with your music?
I want my music to reach everyone. I feel like it can relate to a lot of people, especially girls around my age.
Tell me how it was working with an already well-established artist, Sage The Gemini.
I actually met him for the first time on the set of the video shoot. He was so much fun to work with and had such a great spirit.
What have you learned working with him?
He's shown me that the star "lifestyle" doesn't have to change you. He's a real down to earth person and he was so much fun to work with. I haven't met many celebrities, but he's definitely been the coolest and when people meet me for the first time I'd want them to think the same about me.
What's next for you? You dropped a party-starter, but what's next?
Right now I’m performing for the Her College Campus Fashion Week Tour, which is taking place every weekend of October in Boston, New York, Atlanta and Washington. In between that, I'm going to be jumping around to a few local schools to perform at pep rally's for homecoming.
Like Teenear on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and keep up with her music on Youtube.