Teedra Moses’ 2004 album, Complex Simplicity, was an R&B triumph. On it, the New Orleans-born singer applied her sweet, light vocals to catchy hooks supported by a seamless blend of hip-hop-accented beats and lush neo-soul rhythms. Then her label, TVT Records, collapsed, and Moses started releasing mixtapes. She’s put out four of them and continues to play live. She recently released a new single, “R U For Real.” Tonight she’s at the Park at 14th for an unplugged gig. She answered some questions about what’s she up to via e-mail:
Washington City Paper: Is a label releasing “R U For Real”?
Teedra Moses: I am an independent artist at the moment.
WCP: How is this different from mixtape releases?
TM: Because for this release we shot a video and sent the song and video out to television outlets and radio. My mixtapes are normally specifically for the fans of my music.
WCP: Are you bringing a band with you for these unplugged gigs?
TM: I’m not “bringing” a band but the house band [Sound of the City Band] will be playing. I’m familiar and have played with a few of them before.
WCP: Anything you would like to say about them?
TM: I’m blessed to have them gigging with me. Especially my homeboy Chooky, who accompanied me for my very first tour… Seagrams Gin opening for Tweet and Cee lo.
WCP: Is there still an album scheduled for August?
TM: I have an album scheduled for August.
WCP: How is this version different than the one planned for a few years ago?
TM: I gave away a few of the songs scheduled to be on The Young Lioness… I held on to the ones that meant a great deal to me. I’ve settled into the sound of The Lioness and it is strong but subtle… its champagne soul. It feels good, it’s grown up and it’s in the pocket.
WCP: Do you have any interest in writing songs for others anymore?
TM: I like writing songs… period. If I write a song that someone wants to sing cool. I would love for them to have it. otherwise, I’m just writing songs. They’re not particularly for anyone.
WCP: What artists are you listening to?
TM: I like Adele. I like J. Monet. I’ve been listening to Ahmad Jamal and Coltrane more recently. Sade…
WCP: Do you still listen to gospel? Sing in church when you’re home?
TM: I listen to gospel when I go to church and sometimes on Pandora. I’m not up to date on whats really going on in gospel like I should be, though. I don’t sing in church. I want to start singing at my church here in Miami… but I’m never home for choir practice.
WCP: Anything more regarding the upcoming album you’d like to mention?
TM: I would love to invite everyone to check out my latest video, directed by Phil the god, “R U 4 Real” on youtube.com/officialteedramoses. The single “R U 4 Real” is available on iTunes. Thank you to all the supporters of my music.. mwah!
Teedra Moses performs tonight at 7 p.m. at The Park at 14th (third floor), 920 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 737-7275. “Finest attire required”