The Constant Rebirth of Tiye Phoenix…(interview)

Besides being one of the top female mc’s in the current state of hip-hop, Tiye Phoenix embodies self reliance and constant self rebirth. After interviewing Tiye, I realized that this sista’ is truly ahead of her time, and what a honor it was to interview her. Tiye has worked with the likes of Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek, Nas and Gill Scot Heron just to name a few. Not only does Tiye just rap, but she’s been classically trained in piano since the tender age of 7, and she’s a producer! Can you say “SUPERWOMAN”???? My thoughts exactly =) Without any further ado, I present – “Tiye Phoenix”:::::

Boy-Cott: What’s new and exciting in your world?

Tiye: Well, Im writing and recording all the time..with some exciting people- fellow artists, great producers, just great people. Coming off of the heels of my solo album “HALF WOMAN | HALF AMAZIN” released last May (2009)- a very critically well-received album.. performing quite a bit here and there, prepared to expand my audience by performing abroad..(To anyone who didn’t pick up the album, I strongly suggest you do so..Itunes, Amazon.com, etc.)

Boy-Cott: I know that you’re Classically trained in Piano. My questions is, who got you into playing the Piano?

Tiye: My late mother signed me up for piano lessons. I had about 4 different private piano instructors between the ages 7-13. (My birthdate is 7/13 by the way interestingly enough…I’m into the vibrations of numbers and synchronicity and stuff like that.) After 13, I played on my own for recreation at home here and there. Its amazing how you reflect on your childhood and stuff comes back to you like wow..I used to perform in piano recitals and everything..I never really reminisced on that til’ just now….wow..I’m having mental flashbacks right now, tripping out a little bit.

Boy-Cott: What was one of your greatest musical accomplishments in your youth?

Tiye: Well now that I think about it, I’d have to say performing in the piano recitals..Obviously that experience was designed to prepare me for stage fright/anxiety before audiences, and to help me develop my skill w/respect to memorization and execution..I used to be proud of myself..Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, I played all “classical” music..{I put classical in quotes because the definition of classical varies from culture to culture..eg., Scott Joplin or Jazz is classical African-American music..you get my point. I digress..} excuse me for a second but recollecting on that experience has me realizing how much I took that for granted…wow, I’m really grateful to both of my late parents for providing me with that opportunity to expand my musical frame of reference in my childhood..it was the cornerstone of my foundation…

Boy-Cott: For the people out there who don’t know about the “Phoenix Principle”. Can you fill them in?

Tiye: The “Phoenix Principle” – well, I’d have to say that it supports the idea that you can resurrect or rebirth at anytime..you can make yourself new whenever..few people really know the full story of the legendary bird in antiquity..every time it was consumed by fire it reemerged afterward even better, more youthful, more beautiful than before..we have the option to do that as well if we choose whenever..

Boy-Cott: At this point in your life as an Artist. How does it feel to be in the position your in?

Tiye: I honestly feel like this is an exciting and pivotal juncture in Hip Hop music..We are at a time when great female lyricists can be deemed “great lyricists” and not great female lyricists/mcs..We truly are in a time when Hip hop music and culture can become the closest its ever been to being genderless..

It feels like hip hop is returning to a space where everything is pure,authentic,quality-driven…perhaps Im tapping into a reality that hasn’t fully come into fruition as of yet but I perceive its eminence nonetheless…I feel excited to be a contributor and a participant in the artform/culture/music as it sits on the cusp of a monumental resurgence of…something to be treasured..

You know how you can feel the presence of something illuminating in the distance although it’s not completely within your field of vision yet? That’s how I feel…

Celebrity is not something I focus on too intensely..I intentionally focus on the cultivation and expansion of my ideas and my work because I am confident that my ideas and my work contain within them such an immense intellectual property and vast currency..

I am currently nurturing and manifesting many ideas, both musical and non-musical…

Boy-Cott: One of your latest singles called ” Down (The Armageddon Theme)” is hot in the boards. Can we expect a new album in 2010?

Tiye: “Down (The Armageddon Theme)” is a song I gave to KevinNottingham.com for his mixtape..I produced that song as well and decided to “throw it out there” so-to-speak..it was well-received.. Yes, there will be a new sophomore album entitled, “The Mastery”. Perhaps an EP “Black Athena Vol II-The Flow-saic” {follow-up to “Black Athena Vol I 2003}.. [Black Athena is a series of eps, mix tapes of songs that produced by me]

Boy-Cott: Do you think there will ever be a Polyrhythm Addicts Reunion?

Tiye: I never outrule anything in life. You never know. At the end of the day, the other members love music dearly like I do so music brings people who love music together oftentimes…

Boy-Cott: If there was anything in the industry you could change. What would it be?

Tiye: Anything that I will to change I’m actively changing it by virtue of my efforts..I like quality music containing recognizable musicality, insightful skilled lyricism, inspirational honest composition, beautiful melodies, etc.- and everytime I enter the studio with that intent to manifest such things in my work I create change. I dont focus on what I dont like or what doesn’t appeal to me because I wont energize ideas and circumstances that dont serve me or my intent…Plus, you know what they say..if you wanna SEE a change, then BE that change..

Boy-Cott: When you’re stressed out from grinding on the music. How do you relieve your stress?

Tiye: Sleep..i can sleep like a baby EASILY.. relaxation…massage, bodily release, etc.. not too different from most people when it comes to employing tactics to alleviate stress..lol

Boy-Cott: On your track – “The Award”, you drop a bar that you’re Afrika Bambaataa’s granddaughter. How has he been a influence in your life?

Tiye: Much respect and reverence to Afrika Bamabataa, one of the pioneers founding fathers,cornerstone/progenitors of hip hop music and culture. That line was saying that I’m a daughter of those who built this culture- a humble and grateful reflection of the foundation that they laid..that reality remains ever-present in my mind indefinitely..modern artists have a responsibility to uphold the torch passed to us by the ground-breaking forefathers and fore-mothers of Hip-Hop.

Boy-Cott: On the track – “Ladies and Gentlemen” by Eternia that you were featured on. You dropped the following bar – “Dudes don’t know what dimes are because they f*ck pennies and nickels”. Do you think that some men are that dense?

Tiye: Umm, yeah. lol There are dense men and women walking around on the planet. Of course. lol

Boy-Cott: On your track – “Go Even Harder”. You dropped the following bar – “I’m the First Lady bringing you change like Michelle Obama”. Do you think you’ve made a change in society? If so, how?

Tiye: Yes, because I’m following my visions,manifesting my calling. Anyone who honors their vocation/calling/destiny is making a change in some way..more specifically, I’m a female, an original woman at that..and I’m not doing or representing conventional common ideas in my music or otherwise..there has to be something noteworthy to be said about that…

Anyone who honors their vocation/calling/destiny is making a change in some way..

Boy-Cott: When you leave this earth, how would you like to be remembered?

Tiye: Wow…I intend to be remembered as a woman who demonstrated to other women (and men for that matter) that you are not confined to limitations or barriers that the world or society places upon you..you can venture into uncharted territory if you so choose as long as your intentions are pure and your plans/agenda is well cultivated..I intend to be remembered as someone whose creativity knew no bounds, who was fearless with respect to new experiences and new realities…someone who represented the glory of the historical past (via my name Tiye Phoenix) yet embodied all of the possibilities of what the future could be…

More specifically, I would like to be remembered as a woman who demonstrated to other women that you can redefine/expand our traditional roles and responsibilities without abandoning them..motherhood, I believe is one of the gateways to evolution of your womanhood and you do not have to choose between motherhood and manifestation of your visions..if you are sincere in your intentions and committed to your goals a way will be made for you to do what you set out to accomplish..I could go on indefinitely but overall, I would love to be remembered as someone who was true to myself and shone a light into and deeply touched the lives of those whom I encountered…

Boy-Cott: When you leave this earth, how would you like to be remembered?

Tiye: Wow…I intend to be remembered as a woman who demonstrated to other women (and men for that matter) that you are not confined to limitations or barriers that the world or society places upon you..you can venture into uncharted territory if you so choose as long as your intentions are pure and your plans/agenda is well cultivated..I intend to be remembered as someone whose creativity knew no bounds, who was fearless with respect to new experiences and new realities…someone who represented the glory of the historical past (via my name Tiye Phoenix) yet embodied all of the possibilities of what the future could be…

More specifically, I would like to be remembered as a woman who demonstrated to other women that you can redefine/expand our traditional roles and responsibilities without abandoning them..motherhood, I believe is one of the gateways to evolution of your womanhood and you do not have to choose between motherhood and manifestation of your visions..if you are sincere in your intentions and committed to your goals a way will be made for you to do what you set out to accomplish..I could go on indefinitely but overall, I would love to be remembered as someone who was true to myself and shone a light into and deeply touched the lives of those whom I encountered…

I intend to be remembered as someone whose creativity knew no bounds, who was fearless with respect to new experiences and new realities…BQ

Boy-Cott: Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers?

Tiye: Thanks this was fun, and the questions were awesome.. :-D