Teairra Mari, who scored a hit in 2005 with “Make Her Feel Good,” is back with a new label, Interscope, and a new single, “No No No.”
Managed by Cudda Love of Fo Real Entertainment, whose roster includes Nelly, Mari is in the midst of completing her as-yet-untitled label debut, slated for a late 2008/early 2009 release.
Described by songwriter Sean Garrett as an “urban Avril Lavigne,” Detroit native Mari was signed to Def Jam in 2004 (as was then-labelmate Rihanna). Brought to the label via production company Music Line Entertainment, Mari found herself on the Roc-A-Fella roster and sporting a new nickname from former Def Jam president Jay-Z: “Princess of the Roc.”
First single “Make Her Feel Good” peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s Hot
R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, while her first album, “Roc-A-Fella Records Presents Teairra Mari,” reached No. 2 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 5 on The Billboard 200. The set has sold 248,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
But after going back in to work on a second album, a then-17-year-old Mari learned she had been dropped.
“I got a call before my high-school graduation,” recalls Mari. “I kept it to myself for about six months; I didn’t even tell my mom. Then news about it started coming out on the radio. I stopped doing music for a year.”
Spending time with family as she regrouped, Mari was introduced to Cudda Love. He brought her to Los Angeles, where she cut several songs and eventually signed with his company. Mari’s production collaborators on her sophomore set include Timbaland, JR Rotem and Nephew.
In addition to recording, Mari has also been tapped as the spokesmodel for Love’s jeans line Jean Addicts, which bows officially in the fall. She also appears in the film “Doorman,” due later this year.
“I’m at a good point now, with more creative control to be Teairra Mari,” says the L.A.-based singer/songwriter. “The last time out, I was more concerned about trying to get a platinum album instead of enjoying the journey. I love music and that’s what it’s really about: getting my message across to those who want to hear it.”