Teenear Renee, more commonly known as “Teenear,” is an emerging vocal artist dreaming of making it big in the Magic City and beyond.
The 19-year-old Miami native will be touring across Florida and into Georgia as part of the Juice Tour with iHeartRadio. She will also be performing at Rolling Loud, a two-day concert series at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami in May.
She put out her first record at the age of 17, titled “Friday Night,” featuring Sage the Gemini. Her newest single “Last Night,” released on Jan. 24, is about letting go of a turbulent relationship.
Though the style of her music is primarily R&B, Teenear said she is still growing as an artist and musician and believes her sound, and her audience, will more fully develop in time.
Q: What has been the most surprising thing about working in a studio?
A: I haven’t had anything surprising happen. I mean there are some funny moments, like, things happen all the time. Like, if something isn’t working and we’re just there, like, “okay what do we do now?” Or the engineer gets on the ground and has to go under and figure stuff out. There have been moments where I literally have a session at, say, 12 o’clock, and then the people don’t come until, like, 4 o’clock, and I’m just there. But there hasn’t been anything crazy that happened in the studio.
Q: What got you into singing in the first place?
A: It’s just been a passion of mine. Five years old was the first time I got to sing in front of a big group of people. It was in front of my church, and it wasn’t just the kids; it was everybody in the church and that experience was just the first time that I really got to feel the love in performing. But it wasn’t until I put my first cover up, which was “Stay” by Rihanna, that I got the confidence to actually pursue it as a career. But I always loved to sing, act and entertain people.
Q: Who have been some of your biggest inspirations?
A: My biggest inspirations, I would say, are Beyoncé and Michael Jackson. Not to sound cliché, but simply because they started at such a young age, and I feel like they grew up and built a brand for themselves out of music. That’s my ultimate goal at the end of the day. I want to do music, but I want to be able to branch out and do so many other things. I’m really big on young girls, especially now, in this day and age. It’s so hard to really stay true to who you are and not follow what social media says you should be or what you should say. I want to be an activist and telling girls that they can still be themselves, and do something with themselves and be great at being themselves
Q: So what are some of the things you voice your opinion about?
A: I constantly voice my opinion about being yourself, especially in this industry, for you to try and follow what everyone else is doing and being a female in this industry. The industry wants you to be naked, show skin, say curse words and stuff like that. I don’t plan on doing that. I’m 19 years old. I want to stay my age. I feel like this society and the generation makes you believe that you have to act older than what you are and say things that aren’t really you. You just do it because it’s what everyone else is doing. So, I really try to make sure that I stay true to who I am everyday. Whether it’s performing, talking to people, I never want to put on an act for anybody.
Q: Who has been your favorite artist to work with?
A: I’ve only really gotten to work with Sage the Gemini. We didn’t get to work in the studio, but for the video shoot I got to meet him for the first time and that experience was really good. He had a really good personality. He has a really positive spirit, and I feel like him being an artist and where he is in his career, I’m happy that he stays humble. And not everybody is going to be like that. I’m happy that he was someone that I got to have on my first single to represent who I am, because it was a good energy.
Q: Tell me about your song with Trina.
A: Honestly, I was surprised about that because they didn’t even tell me. So, when we got the track in, I was listening to it and I was like “what am I listening to this for” and then she came up and I was super excited. She’s been super supportive since I’ve started. She’s kind of like an aunt, in a sense. She’s super supportive and really nice. It was nice having her on there.
Q: What have been some advantages and disadvantages of working in your home town?
A: An advantage would be that you get some support from local artists. A disadvantage a lot of people can say it’s really hard to get their hometown to really fall in love with them. Because obviously you want your hometown to fall in love with you first and then move on. But for me it has been a real struggle. A lot of people don’t want to take me seriously, and they feel like everything that I’m doing is something that I’m being pushed to do, or it was just given to me. And I’ve honestly had to work for this for the longest time. It’s not something that my parents originally wanted me to do, but it’s been a love for me forever. People here, they just don’t want to take me seriously. It’s just really hard to just break out. But I don’t take it in a negative way because I see it as something that make me work harder. I just know that once I get my hit record, and I’m out there it will just shut them up.
Q: Tell me about the concert series you’re doing with IHeartRadio.
A: The Juice Tour. We are going to hit a few schools in Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, Georgia and then the last few shows are in Ft. Lauderdale. I’m really excited and I love performing and it really brings me a lot of happiness. And I’m really excited because we’re going to be performing from Monday to Friday, everyday. And then we get to come home for two days and then go back. I’m really happy about that. It’s gonna be my first tour.
Q: What been the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on stage?
A: With my serious career, I haven’t had any fail moments on stage. But I’ll never forget, when I was younger I used to be in pageants. And at my very first pageant I had to sing the National Anthem. This is my first time ever – I think this was right after my first cover – this is the first time I’m going to perform in front of people. I’m singing the National Anthem, and I didn’t have that much stage practice. And right before I run out my sister says, “Teenear you gotta work the stage.” And I’m like “Oh yeah, I’m gonna work the stage.” When I got to the high part “the rockets red glare,” I looked over at my family and I was like “help me.” I was completely out of breath, and I just went for it. I didn’t come out very well, but, you know, I tried. I still won first place in talent. I’m never going to forget that experience. And every time I talk about it and my sister hears me talk about it she says “stop telling people I made you mess up.” That’s been my only bad experience on stage.
Q: How does the songwriting process work for you?
A: It depends. Sometimes I get records and we’ll change things within the record. And recently, for “Last Night,” it was a completely different song, completely different topic. It was actually for the artist Ali the Producer. He’s the guy that I wrote it with, and he was playing it over and over again because we decided we were going to flip it. I thought of things that people go through on a daily basis. So, I try to think of things I know people can relate to, and I kind of just sit there and say the same things over and over again until I get the right words and it all comes together.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: In five years, I see myself accepting my second Grammy, and hopefully being nominated for an Oscar. I also hope to have my own tour.
Q: What is some advice you would give to people who are trying to start their career in music, or, in general?
A: I would say you have to believe in yourself 100 percent, because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else is. And you just have to speak everything you want into your life. Write it down, put it up in your room, see it everyday, just believe that it’s going to happen no matter what. As soon you stop having faith in that, you’re going to get lost. Just be yourself, believe in yourself and just go for it.