R&B Songstress Tiffany Gouché Talks About Embracing Her Sexuality & Forthcoming Debut Album

Rikkí Wright 
Tiffany Gouché

Releasing her first two singles in two years, Tiffany Gouché debuts the sensual and sultry "Dive" along with the playful and flirty "Down," exclusively on Billboard.

Gouché is an all-around musician, acting as a singer, songwriter, and producer. A native of Inglewood, California, the multi-talented artist last got the public's attention back in 2015 with her esteemed Pillow Talk EP. Having worked with or shared the stage with the likes of Ty Dolla $ign, Solange, Anderson Paak, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, and Terrace Martin, Gouché is no stranger to the music scene. 

In addition to producing for Lalah Hathaway's new upcoming album, the artist is also working on her debut LP slated for release this year. Billboard hopped on the phone with Tiffany for a transparent and vulnerable look into the woman behind the music.

If somebody asked who is Tiffany Gouché the person verseus the artist, what would you say?

I would say she's no different from the artist. I'm a very caring and loving person. I play different instruments, sing, produce and write my own stuff. I'm very family-oriented. Just a creative altogether, but no different from the real Tiffany. I just don't display that side the most. If you see me in the streets, I'm the same way on stage.

This year you're slated to release your debut LP. What made you do 2 EPs first before coming out with an album?

I was coming into accepting myself and a newfound place in my life. So I wasn't scared to express myself in the way that I did, but I just wanted to give a taste of it and see how people felt about it. And I didn't want people to digest it too much at a time. I wanted to split it up.

Did you always want to be an artist?

No, I didn't. I actually wanted to be a composer for film. I started out making beats at 11 and started playing the piano at 7. I've been creative my whole life and I just discovered I could sing. I come from a whole line of musicians, but I didn't like my voice too much at my age. I felt like I sounded like a guy. So I didn't want to be an artist too much. 

You're very well respected and loved in the artist community in LA. How has that helped shape your experience in the industry?

It's definitely encouraging. It gives me a sense of purpose. Everybody doesn't sing. So that alone, and then for people to appreciate it is just a beautiful experience. Just having people to be able to share your gift. It's inspiring, definitely.

Who were your musical influences growing up?

Well, my parents are Christian, so we listened to a lot of gospel music. But in that are a lot of different chord variations that you might find also in R&B songs. I also listen to Destiny's Child and Missy Elliott, heavy on melodic but [had a] sensual approach. So I listen to everything, but I listened to a lot of Ginuwine as well. 702. Timbaland beats. I took those sounds and compacted my experience with those type of feelings that I felt at the time when I was inspired by those beats. Along with losing my mom at 14, I created the sound out of needing to feel a shelter or peace around me. My sensuality comes from loving myself through that pain. 

What do you want people to take away from your music?

Be yourself 100 percent, because that's who God made you to be. We all have purpose and we're all unique. That's what I want people to take away from it. I spent a lot of time not being who I was and going through depression over it. The moment I accepted myself, the moment my music changed for me. I enjoy my music more now. 

When you say accepting yourself, what do you mean by that?

Accepting my voice, accepting the fact that I was a queer woman. Coming up in a Christian home, that's not celebrated. You're always told you're going to get sent to hell if you do this or do that. I was the black sheep of the family, so I had to accept my identity as well, and how I express myself. I believe you can't be your vulnerable self unless you truly understand who you are as a person. Just a full acceptance of who I am as a person and my sound. 

Talk about the inspiration behind "Dive" and "Down". 

These songs are about the first time being single ever. So it's kind of liberating. I get to foster these beautiful relationships and meet people. So these songs were just expressing two different women I've met in this process. This one girl in "Dive" where we're both busy, but both like each other. But if it ever came to that time, I would go all in. Another girl I met, we're cool, I met her in the U.K. and she's chill.I  wanted a smooth record people could listen to, but also when it comes to showcasing my musicianship more. "Down" is going to give more of that live experience. 

What are your goals for the rest of the year?

I'm actually going to be going on tour with Kalela this year in October, opening for her so that should be cool. Then, I have 2 visuals coming out as well this year for those two songs. I'm gearing up also to score a few film projects I'm creating on my own. So just getting into that more. I'm excited to give you my music and what I've been working on.