Q&A with Vanda & Young 2022 American Songwriter Spotlight Winner, Tia P.

Videos by American Songwriter

“That Action” 
By Tia P.
Interview by American Songwriter

Tia P. is the first ever Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition American Songwriter Spotlight Award Winner for her song “That Action.” American Songwriter caught up with her to get the story behind her song.

How did you feel when you learned that you won the American Songwriter Spotlight Award for the 2022 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition? 

I was ecstatic! I know the judges have no shortage of incredible songs and artists to choose from every year, so to be recognized amongst so many global applicants is an extreme honor. 

What was your inspiration for “That Action”? Why did you want to write it? 

When I first heard the track, I immediately felt like I was in a movie – an action scene to be specific! “Lights, camera, action” just came to me and I ran with it, envisioning myself in a fun, cool, James Bond, car chase scene. I love when instrumentation talks to me, and this track from super producer trio “Howie Dewitt” told me exactly what I needed to hear to make a nice lyrical pairing.

Who are your all-time favorite songwriters and why? 

Oh man, haha. Where do I begin? Ok, this is in no particular order:

  • Stevie Wonder – I don’t know what’s better: his chords or his lyrics?!?! He’s always discussing topics we all have heard or can relate to, but in such an unexpected colorful way. He paints a picture no seeing man could.
  • Missy Elliott – Missy keeps you on your toes. She’s fun, different, raps and sings, and is always pushing boundaries. I think that’s what keeps her lyrical content fresh.
  • Pharrell – I can ALWAYS tell a Pharrell song or collab. His sound is ingrained in my mind, from the production to how he writes. Sometimes he makes the simplest lyrics so cool. He can go from talking about partying, to God, to outer space. I love it.
  • Babyface – the man just has a way with words unlike no other songwriter, then or now – ESPECIALLY love songs. You could literally turn them into poems.

What I love most of all about each of these songwriters is that, not only are they amazing artists in their own right, but they’re able to take that songwriting gift, and apply it to other artists across various genres while still creating something authentic.

What do you hope listeners take away from your music?

I want my listeners to have joy! I want them to crack a smile, feel good, feel empowered, feel encouraged and be motivated when they listen to my music. Take away some inspiration to do that thing you love to do!

What do you think sets your music apart from other artists, and how do you strive to differentiate yourself in the industry?

My music is really for everybody, but what sets me apart is my perspective, plus there’s always an element of fun. Perspective is something that I think is lost and sometimes shunned in music right now, which leads many artists and writers to believe they should sound like something that’s already in existence. There’s only so many topics we can write about, but there are infinite ways that my creativity, experiences, and imagination can inspire me to write about these topics. That’s what makes a great songwriter identifiable without them even being on the track. Also, fun can be dope without always having to be overly sexualized or super explicit. These are what keep me working and carving out my own lane in this industry.

What advice do you have for aspiring songwriters/singers who are just starting out?

Do you, but don’t pigeonhole yourself. Try stuff out, listen to other genres you wouldn’t normally listen to (not just the popular stuff, some random cuts too). It’s easy to sound like somebody else, but do what you do so uniquely that they want to sound like you.

What are your future goals and aspirations as a songwriter/singer, and what projects or collaborations are you most excited about?

I’m looking forward to putting out a project of my own later on this year. I’ve been doing so much work with sync placements, I think it’s time to give the people a for Tia P. project, and let them know what’s going on in my world where I can let loose a little more, and try new things. I’m always looking forward to the next collaboration as a songwriter or feature. I love to help people express their lyrical creativity. The phone rings constantly and I’m blessed to be in demand, I just never know what the request will be on the other end of the line these days, haha, but I know I’m ready for whatever the task.


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