I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the "Diamond Princess," Trina. She represents a mark of distinction that strives to explore innovative and creative ways to set her musical talent apart from other traditional female lyricist. She released her fifth studio album in 2010 entitled “AMAZIN,” and is currently working towards releasing an anticipated sixth album to celebrate her long reign in Hip Hop. Having sold over two million records worldwide, Trina has maintained being a vibrant threat of a successful business woman with over a decade of success. Trina’s “Back 2 Business” mix tape is a prelude to her sixth full-length album, which will be her first official release in over two years. Trina has released her new mix tape "Back 2 Business" executive produced by French Montana, on DatPiff.com.For the tape, the Diamond Princess enlists a crew of guests including Montana and DJ Khaled for "Bitch Bad," Iceberg and Shonie for "I Fucks With You," Gunplay and Iceberg for "Beam" and Privaledge for closing track "Thinking of You.” Of the 20 tracks included on the tape, Trina includes 16 previously unheard cuts. Head over to DatPiff.com to download the project. Check out my interview with Trina below:
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What are you goals for the new year, and how did you kick off 2013?
Trina: “I actually spent it performing in Indiana, in the cold! I left the beautiful warm Miami to perform in the cold (laughs), but I enjoyed it and the show was sold out, so that was a great way to start the New Years off. My goal is just to continue to work, build my brand, and live life being happy.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Let's talk about your latest project "Back 2 Business" that dropped in Dec 2012 and what was the motivation?
Trina: “It was about making music that fans can enjoy, it really shows what I’ve been going through whether it’s the lows or the highs, and I feel like I gave my fans a mixed variety of records. Also music that is emotional, but music that’s new and fresh. It was mainly for the fans to let them know that this is the preview, and I’m working on this sixth album.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): As an artist, I'm sure every song on the mix tape was your favorite, but if you had to pick, which one would be your favorite and why?
Trina: “I would have to say the track, “Petty” I like this record because it was street, hardcore, but at the same time it’s kind of seductive and a little different. With this particular record, I just felt like it was a different vibe that went into making it. It’s also kind of different from a lot of the records that I’ve done, so that’s why it’s one of my favorites.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What do you think it takes as a female hip-hop artist to have longevity in this industry?
Trina: “Dedication to yourself and hard work most importantly! I think the drive comes from the fans and it gives you the motivation and the energy to stay afloat and want to put out music and share with them your emotions and what you’re going through. You also have to be focused and know exactly what you want and go hard at it.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How competitive is the female hip-hop world?
Trina: “I think it’s competitive, I feel like everything that you do is competitive and I think competition is great…if you don’t have anybody to compete against then how would you know the steps to get better or how good you are. I think that for women you have to know what works for you and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): As you are preparing for your sixth album, what is the direction that you will be taking with this project, and can you confirm who you will be working with?
Trina: “I’m excited to be working on this project and working with different artists. It’s going to be great music, great production, and a different level in my life…it’s going to show how I’ve grown and my maturity. People will see me more subtle, and I think that is going to reflect in my upcoming album. I don’t want to say who I’ll be collaborating with because I feel like it kind of gives it away. I want to keep it a secret for now. "
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What's your role be in the upcoming talk show named “Tiny Tonight” hosted by T.I.’s wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris, Tamar Braxton and Claudia Jordan?
Trina: “I play one of the girlfriends with the cast and we sit, talk, and discuss about everything from music, entertainment, sports, love, gossip, and politics. It was a beautiful experience because it’s something that I’ve never done before and I think it shows a different side of me. I got a chance to find out some things I didn’t know about and talk about topics that I enjoyed and know about. We shot one episode that already aired and we have a second episode which will air on Valentine’s Day so, I’m excited about that.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Speaking of Valentine’s Day, do you have a Valentine this year?
Trina: “I don’t! I would love to get some roses, chocolate covered strawberries, and some fuzzy little teddy bears (laughs)…I’m not dating, but I’m just enjoying life and being happy.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Would you say that Miami has its own culture in the music industry?
Trina: “Definitely, Miami is southern and it has a certain type of a style of music. The thing I like is that it is so many different cultures here in Miami…you have the Caribbean culture, hip-hop culture, Spanish salsa, and more. I think it’s more cultured than the other cities and you definitely get that whole different brand of music and the diversity of it.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What can your fans expect from you in 2013?
Trina: “My sixth album, and right now I’m focused on getting a single out there, and I’m just excited that I’m able to be in control of this destiny. I’m also very happy and fortunate to the production that’s going into this album and the people that have agreed to work with me. Fans will be able to see who I am still, and what I do.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Is reality TV in your future at all?
Trina: “I don’t know, it just depends on the type of show it is. I’m not too keen with the hair pulling and boobs popping out, that’s not my thing (laughs). Who knows what’s in the future…it would just have to be something that I would suit me and it would need a growing process for me in order for me to do a reality show.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How do you relax after a long stressful day?
Trina: “I usually take twenty minutes of my time and not do anything…turn off the phone, no television, no music, and just be quiet. It gives me a lot, and it helps clears my mind and helps me relax.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What’s your advice to up and coming female hip-hop artist?
Trina: “Dedication, make sure you understand the business end, and make great music! Have fun with it; don’t let the music make you, make the music!”
Also be sure to catch Trina’s appearance on MTV: When I Was 17 Special January 20, 2013. She is set to appear on MTV’S newest series of “When I Was 17” to kick off the New Year while preparing for new musical release. The Platinum Recording Artist and Co-Host of VH1’s first pop culture talk show, Tiny Tonight! invites her fans in her life growing up in Miami, Florida. The series airs on MTV2 on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 1:00pm est. worldwide. On the special, fans will be able to view Trina taking MTV on a walk of fashion, fun, laughs and adventures at the emcee being 17 years old. The show focuses on conversations about events that led up to Trina’s present-day career in music as the “Most Consistent” female emcee to date. Other topics that fans will capture include candid high school moments, fashion, personality of Trina compared to now and more.