Blending soul, R&B and jazz, we get to know Tiana Major9 in the Summer 19 issue.

Tiana Major9 wearing Gucci Pre-Fall 2019 for Summer 2019 issue sitting down

All clothing and accessories GUCCI

Tiana Major9 wearing Gucci Pre-Fall 2019 for Summer 2019 issue sitting down
All clothing and accessories GUCCI

The opening verse of Tiana Major9’s “ALTITUDE”, the first song off her debut EP, “Rehearsal @ Nine”, describes an idyllic morning: rising early, “the sun shining down on me”, and turning on the radio to hear her favourite song playing, “the music is moving something inside of me”. With a persistent bass, building percussion and rich, soulful vocals, “ALTITUDE” sounds as bright and rousing as its lyrics. The track sets a precedent for the entire EP, which — blending soul and R&B elements with jazz — feels like it was made to soundtrack a mellow, sun-soaked summer afternoon. Her moniker also reflects this distinctive sound, referencing the major 9th – a lightening chord that’s frequently employed in jazz.

Having released “Rehearsal @ Nine” in January, held her first headline show at Hackney’s Hoxton Hall the following month and performed at a string of UK festivals so far this spring, 2019 has already been a seminal year for the East London-born singer. Fitting in five minutes between her busiest summer yet, Tiana told us more about her musical influences, identity as an artist, what she wants to be remembered for and new projects on the horizon.

Tiana Major9 wearing Gucci Pre-Fall 2019 for Summer 2019 issue
Tiana Major9 wearing Gucci Pre-Fall 2019 for Summer 2019 issue
All clothing and accessories GUCCI

WL: Let’s go back to the start. Which artists inspired you to get into music? TM Oh my God, too many to count. But to name a few: I’d say Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Yolanda Adams and Brandy.
WL: That’s an eclectic mix – would you say your own sound fits into a genre? TM Genres can be restricting so I won’t give my style a name, but I love jazz, soul, R&B and hip-hop. All of these genres can be heard, one way or another, throughout
my music.
WL: What influenced your choice to go by the name Tiana Major9?
TM: I came up with the name with my brother shortly after I decided to become an artist. I wanted something that related to jazz.
WL: Your “Rehearsal @ NINE” EP is such a confident and succinct debut. What do you want people to feel when they listen to it?
TM: I want people to feel the freedom to dance to my music, but mainly, I want them to relate to my lyrics.
WL: What inspired those lyrics? Do you write from personal experiences? TM Yes, I do write from my own experiences, but also like to exaggerate my truth because I’m dramatic…
WL: Have you been writing more music since? What new things are influencing you right now?
TM: Of course! The work don’t stop. I’ve been going back and studying Stevie Wonder – he’s amazing, by the way. I got put onto Funkadelic recently and have also had Lucky Daye on repeat.
WL: So what exciting things have you got planned next?
TM: I want to release another project, and hopefully another headline show.
WL: And what’s guiding the direction of it all? What do you want to be recognised and remembered for with your music?
TM: I want my music to be remembered for the lyrical content. I make it my priority to add my personality to each song I write – like I would say those things even if the music wasn’t playing behind it.

William Marsden
Shaquille Williams
Kristopher Smith using Bumble and bumble
Bari Khalique using MAC Cosmetics
Federica Barletta
Production assistant
Camilla Liconti
Special thanks
CLF Art Cafe (Bussey Building)