Standout Track: No. 7, “Strive,” a bubbly, house-driven song that finds singer Teisha Marie at her wit’s end. “Getting tired of dancing to the same song in a different way,” sings the Fort Washington resident, 31. “It’s time to move on, I need a change.” “Strive” was the third song recorded for Marie’s new LP, The Girl From Nowhere, her first album since 2008’s Addicted to Life. While that release followed a more straightforward R&B formula, The Girl From Nowhere experiments with hip-hop, jazz, and rock.

Musical Motivation: Marie, a music teacher in Prince George’s County, says she wrote the song because “I was fed up and sick of my job.” For “Strive,” Marie initially wanted to sample a cello part from Frank Sinatra’s “It Was a Very Good Year.” She explained the idea to “Strive” producer Ahmed Sirour, and he took it in an entirely different direction, turning it into an upbeat dance track.

Budget Negotiations: To find inspiration for The Girl From Nowhere, Marie drew from her own story. She grew up an Air Force brat and “nerdy tomboy” who didn’t always fit in. She had plenty to say for this album, just not enough money to pay for it. “It’s all funded from a music teacher’s salary,” Marie says. “I’m gonna ride this one until the wheels fall off.”

Listen to “Strive” after the jump.