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Interview: Green Tea … Good For Your Soul

09/11/2009

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For those people out there who are still unfamiliar with Green Tea can you tell us a little bit about you and your music?

Sure can 😉  Basically, Green Tea fuses jazz, r&b, gospel, rock and everything else in between to give you musical medicine for the soul.

How did you first get involved in music?

I’ve been singing since I can remember. I don’t even remember a time not singing. Lol, my mom even said when i would eat good food, I’d be humming. So maybe that’s the start of it all lol.

Where did the name GreenTea come from?

Green is my favourite color and it symbolizes growth and Tea is a healing and soothing regiment that people drink to feel good. It’s good for all seasons too ;). So, I want Green Tea to be in every household, cuz it’s good for your soul.

You have two albums under your belt now, Dosage I: Shades and Dosage II: Choices. The sounds on these albums are quite different, Dosage I seems a little more laid back whereas Dosage II seems to be more of a ‘message’ album. Do you agree and was this a conscious decision?

It was def a conscious decision. My first album…I was so green.. lol:). It has a mixture of everything on there: jazz, r &b, go-go…lol. I was just so excited to have a project that I tried to put everything on there….that’s why there are 17 tracks lol. On the 2nd album, I knew what I wanted and I knew the sound that I wanted.  Also, as a person there was a lot of personal growth from the 1st album (just getting out of college), till now….I’m grown now lol and I’ve learned alot!

I’ve read that as well as being a singer you are also a social worker, how do you manage the two, and what impact does social work have on your music?

Yes, I’m a social worker. I’ve been in the game for 5 ½ years and I’ve learned so much. My passion to help people is a big piece of who I am, so it’s also a common thread in my music as well. My goal in music and in life is to encourage others to grow, to love, and to heal. So I take my music very seriously and the Choices I make because I know the impact of it all.  I always think, if my kids (children I work with) saw me on TV would they be proud. Would I be okay if they saw me exposing my breasts while at the same time telling them to cherish their bodies.  Yeah so I say its made an impact…I think I look at things from a diff perspective ( I look past moments and think about consequences). But overall, I have a passion for youth and people as well as a passion for my music. I knew it would be a matter of time before one passion over took  the other. ..so music is takin over! I’m currently in the process transitioning to do music full time….but no matter what, even in music, I’ll always be a social worker ;). Listen closely to my songs,  lol, they’re therapy sessions lol.

I know you have plans to pursue music full-time, how are those plans coming along?

They’re coming along. I’m just keeping focused and staying encouraged. You have a lot of people who just don’t understand what it means to let go and fulfil your purpose. People are very comfortable working a 9 to 5 and not stepping out on faith to fulfil what they’re called to do. Now, I aint no fool lol..i’ve been preparing by paying off bills  so I wont’ have to worry about unnecessary stuff. Its  gonna take work….but I want to be happy. I’ll never know until I try. I can always get a  9 to 5 job…I got 2 degrees and I’m a social worker. As long as people are live, there will always be jobs for social workers lol!

I’ve heard that you are working on a mixtape, can you tell us a little about it and why you have decided to do this rather than release a 3rd album?

Yeah I’m working on a mix tape right now…it’s called Beautiful Weirdo: The Outkast. I wanted to do a mix tape just to do some different things and play with some different ideas.  And  I’ve always felt a bit odd like I didnt’ fit in…just some little nuggets of whats to come. Gotta keep the appetite wet ;). Also, so many of my fans want me to do a live album…so i haven’t decided if my 3rd album will be a live one or not.

GreenTEalbum Choice 1 Media-Troy Woods 091

You have embraced Twitter as a way of reaching out and connecting with fans and others in the business, how important do you think social media is to artists, particularly those going the indie route?

The way that music is going in terms of being so accessible its very important. I believe that there is an obsession with other people’s lives.  It’s about creating a touchable but not so touchable brand. It’s def tricky. lol

What advice do you have for other artists who are contemplating releasing music independently?

Do your research. Plan. Do it. Believe in yourself…oh and have some money lol.

On both of your albums you deal with those soul music staples, ‘love’ and ‘relationships’ however where I think your music stands apart is in it’s focus on the positive aspects of these themes. Did you make a decision to focus on the positives or would you say this is just your natural outlook?

It’s my natural outlook. You ask anyone and they’ll tell you this me. I’m an honest singer and person and what’s in my heart comes out of my mouth. Plus I don’t believe in focusing so much on the negative. I think that in every situation there is something to be learned. I can think of alot of things that went wrong…but my focus is this “every lesson unlearned is repeated” so what can i get out of this so that this doesn’t happen again.

One of my favourite tracks on Dosage II is the inspirational ‘Who Would Have Thought’ which deals with striving to fulfil your dreams in the face of adversity. Is this based on your experiences trying to get a break in the music business?

Yes, that’s a true story. I’m from S.E  DC…the hood. I wrote that song in college when I was about to graduate.  And it came from a conversation with my mom…where people were  wishing i failed college, stayed depressed, etc…I was like what!! Family members at that!  So I was like…i got something for all the naysayers…I’m still here :).

There are strong elements of hip-hop incorporated into your music, particularly on Dosage II. Are you a hip-hop fan and what are your views on its current state?

I love hip hop…i love the grittiness of the beats they rhyme to lol…i really think I’mma rapper lol…well I used to be lol…MC T (b-boy stance ;)) …seriously though I  did… I think hip hop has lost some of it potency…and its unbalanced. Because music and hip-hop branding is so influential for our youth…I think that there needs to be a greater balance and accountability for actions. Our kids are watching and sadly, are taking hip hop’s words for truth and the way to live. Just needs more balance.

performance shotWho would you say your musical influences are, past or present? And which current artists would you like to work with?

Ella fitzgerald, sarah Vaughn, clark sisters, Stevie wonder, india arie, fertile ground, OutKast, Anthony Hamilton etc.

I’d love to work with Cee-Lo Green…I absolutely love him!! I would also like to work with Andre 3000 and Common.

The indie soul scene has seen quite a lot of growth recently, more artists are deciding to release independently and there seems to be a renewed interest in quality soul. Why do you think this is?

People want have total creativity and keep their profit lol. Plus music as a whole has been dumbed down so much.

Finally, I’m always interested to hear what artists and fellow music lovers are listening to, what’s on your CD player/record player/ipod at the moment?

Ledisi and India Arie…and of course All the DJ remixes of my 2nd album choices…always got work. And I’m still taking remixes for my sophomore album, Dosage 2: Choices. Any more djs or producers want to undertake this challenge…shoot me an email greenteasoul@gmail.com Deadline November 24, 2009.

GreenTea, many thanks for taking the time out to answer these questions and best of luck.

Thanks for this opportunity. I don’t take this lighly at all. I appreciate your time very much :).

Twitter me folks @greenteasoul and def reach for gigs greenteasoul@gmail.com

It takes teamwork to make the dream work 🙂

** Both of Green Tea’s albums are available to purchase via the CD Baby store**

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