Teedra Moses Talks ‘Cognac & Conversation’ Album, Embracing Nudity as a Mother and Seeing Eye-to-Eye With Rick Ross [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
R&B heads who have Teedra Moses’ “Backstroke” and “Be Your Girl” on the their “Boo-Lovin’” playlist have been waiting for her new album to drop for years. Her music has always been Hennessy for the soul -- warm, potent and ripe with the intent to lower inhibitions. Her 2004 debut, Complex Simplicity, contained hopeful songs about lust and love and was lauded by fans and critics alike for its honesty and accessibility. On June 23 -- almost 11 years to the day she delivered her debut LP -- Moses will release Cognac & Conversation, an album that reflects some of the changes she’s been through without deviating from her signature sound.
“I want to provoke thought and conversation. My records are about love and life and my observations of things going on in society that I’m kind of confused about,” Moses tells The Boombox, breaking down the intent of the album. While she’s best known for discussing the intricacies of intimacy, the singer also reflects on political and social justice issues in the community as well. “And the ‘cognac’ part is just my vibe. I like to drink brown liquor. I’m kind of gangster.”
Cognac & Conversation has been an evolving project that is set to drop this summer. Moses approaches the final stretch but keeps finding new opportunities to make what she believes is better music. “I’m dimensional and I want to make sure that comes across. I’m grasping every woman that’s inside me," she reveals. "I know that’s kind of psycho but I got a lot of people going on in here.”
The big features on the effort are Rick Ross and Raphael Saadiq. She kept the collaborations to a minimum since she feels that her musical journey is a very personal one. The project includes production by lesser known artists such as Trackademicks from Honor Roll Crew, and the 1500 or Nothin’ crew. ”Not anyone you would know,” Moses says, insisting on an original sound from underrated talent. “Some people who made a record on my album have never published a record in their life. But it’s good stuff and that’s what matters to me.”
While Moses shies away from features, her first single off of Cognac & Conversation, “All I Ever Wanted” with Rick Ross, proves that collaboration can yield great results in the studio. “He’s a super freakin’ cool guy,” the New Orleans-born artist states about Ross. “He’s really uninhibited with creating. And he appreciates my talent and that’s a big deal to me. We both vibe out. We both enjoy herbal treats. Work hard and make good music and that’s what I like to be around.”
Moses return to the scene at this time is interesting considering what that entails in an industry obsessed with the female body, with sex and the power struggles that come along with it. While she appreciates artists like Nicki Minaj -- who put it all out there -- Moses’ approach is more cerebral. “I love my body. I would love to have an album cover where I’m totally naked but I have to think about how my [19-year-old] sons feel about that. That’s just the way of a southern woman,” she admits.
After further meditation on the state of hip hop and R&B, Moses acknowledges the lack of depth and pop appeal and how an inevitable shift is bound to occur in 2015. Some of her favorites, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, she says, have the perfect formula: thoughtful music with a message. “There is an oversaturation of mediocrity and people are complacent,” she says of some of the music she’s encountered over the past year.
Moses likens superficial music to lack of nutrition, admitting that if there isn’t something nourishing to eat, she’ll skip a meal altogether. Luckily for her, the music she creates is satisfying. Now that Cognac & Conversation is on its way, she's already four songs into her next project, LUVR.BLVR.DREAMR.THNKR. Based on the title alone, she's serving up some substance.
Listen to Teedra Moses' "All I Ever Wanted" Feat. Rick Ross
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