Brennen Jones: So why the name Green Tea?
Green Tea: Well…Green is my favorite color that symbolizes growth, power, energy, and tea is a healing regiment that people drink throughout all seasons. Basically, my mission is to be the healing regiment that people drink throughout all occasions that helps encourage them to heal, love, and grow through music.
BJ: How long have you been performing?
Green Tea: I have been performing a long time…first stage I hit was in my mother’s womb…I was singin up some stuff (laughs).
BJ: When did you realize that you were set to make music?
Green Tea: I have no idea. Probably in 2003 ….in college when I started singing with a rap group… or doing open mics in the Shadow Lounge in Pittsburgh …but overall i’ve always sung…in elementary school, middle school high school, all of that.
BJ: What’s your thought process when writing your songs?
GT: I look at songwriting as a therapeutic process. I’m a clinically trained therapist…so i look at songs like “okay, what’s the issue?” How do people generally feel about the issue? What stops us, etc? …And i try to find an anecdote. So sometimes I do that or just find a way to tell a good relate-able story. I love story telling. I can take anything and make a song out of it.
BJ: What music acts have you heard people try to compare you to?
GT: I think people would probably group me along the lines of Jill Scott, India Arie, Lauryn Hill, with a pinch of Mary J Blige (laughs). As for me ,I don’t think I sound like anyone in particular…but I’m influenced by music and artists as a whole. I take different things that I like about music and or artists and create my own.
BJ: Also, who would you say would be your biggest influence with your music?
GT: My biggest influence would be my God Mother, Sonya Brown. She is a woman who can sing and transform and I love that. I’ve learned so much from watching her as she is the head psalmist at my church. I also love Sara Vaughn, OutKast, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, India Arie. I love honest singers. People who sing with their heart.
BJ: There’s a lot of love in your songs. I mean, most R&B and soul singers sing about love but with your music I can tell that it’s one of the main ingredients.
GT: I’d like to say that love is big part of my music. More than just the romantic love…but the love and appreciation of one’s growth and self love, the love of life and its experiences (embracing both the great and not so great times), etc. Truly loving and being free to love in and of itself is a catalog of songs and learning experiences.
BJ: Has marriage added an additional element of love there than there was before when writing your songs?
GT: Yes it has and it’s actually kind of funny that you asked that because in spirit of Valentine’s Day I am actually releasing a FREE (laughs) three-part series of songs about my journey of love experiences which led to me getting married to my “Superman”. It’s basically 3 sets of 5 songs compiled from all of my albums telling the story as to how I got to where I am.
I really feel that being married has added the element of really seizing and appreciating every moment. I appreciate the time with my friends and fam because having your own fam consumes a lot of time…so every moment counts. Also, I have the best husband in the world which continues to expose me to love and love and more love and how to dream and b.e. while fertilizing others dreams as well. Did I mention I have the best husband in the world (laughs)! (brownie points for when he reads this article).
BJ: If you weren’t a singer, what would you be?
GT: Although I can’t imagine not being a singer, I’d do what I do now. Find and explore all the things that make me tick. I love reading books and learning, I love adventures, I love playing, and I love exercise lol and I love finding ways to fund my dream…thats how I found out that I love baking and making treats.
God gave me the idea to start G.I.G cookies. G(od) I(s) just that G(ood)…in which every time somone purchases cookies or cakes then all the contributions go towards me traveling to sing or takes care of my music expenses. Because I tell you no lie, being an independent artist, married, with 3 kids, 2 cats, and 1 dog…ain’t no joke!!! (laughs) In the process of doing that I found that I love baking! And am pretty good at it once I solidify the recipe (laughs)!
BJ: Would you care to share that recipe?
GT: I would, but if I did…I would have to kill ya. (laughs)
BJ: Understood. (laughs) So what artists are you into right now?
GT: This may sound bad…but I like a plethora of folks for different reasons…so I’m not really into artists right now. I check out Kendrick Lamar because his diction and phrasing are dope. Cee Lo Green because I’m a die hard fan. I love Katy Perry…her song writing and voice control… Sara Bareilles, Kenny Wesley…his voice and control, ooooh lawd!!! (laughs) So it just depends…on how I’m feeling and what I’m seeking to learn. You’ll notice that I love rappers because deep down inside I am a rapper at heart (laughs) but it just comes out singing.
BJ: If you could do a collaboration with any artist who would it be?
GT: I’d do a collaboration with Cee-Lo, Prince, Stevie, India, Lauryn Hill, Res, Mos Def, D’Angelo, and on and on and on.
BJ: What can fans expect from you in 2013?
GT: Welp in 2013, you can expect tours, more music, and who knows…I’m open to learn and be empowered.
BJ: What’s next for you?
GT: Well whats next is I will continue to B.E. and practice being fearless as it concerns not being afraid to fly or to even fail…more music, more experiments,etc. My mission has been to be happy and explore me…find the things that I’m passionate about…eliminate the things that I’m not….time is of the essence and i want to be a good Stewart of my time, gifts, and talents. I just want to make God proud.
BJ: The Urban Twist is honored that we’ll be one of the first sites showing your “Never Be the Blame” video. It’s a pretty dope cut off of your album and nice, easy, and smooth visuals that we could all relate with. Would you care to explain the concept behind it all?
GT: I wrote this song during my first year of quitting my job (former Full time Social worker) and pursuing music full time. I was trying to capture the catalyst of what stops people from trying to do what makes them happy. So my director Roddy Rod helped me to flesh out the concept and really everything you see in the video comes from a genuine place because I took what I do at home and recorded the process. It’s how I got to where I am, practicing and singing in front of millions.
Check out Green Tea’s new music video “Never Be the Blame” below and you can follow her on Twitter @greenteasoul and her website. Make sure you download her lates album ‘Dosage III: The Time to B.E.’ on itunes today!