Former Morris County Woman Making Her Move in the Music World 

Photo: Tia Tia (credit: Prince & Jacob)

By Steve Sears

Techno dance singer and songwriter, Tia Tia, recalls that summer day with her boyfriend, Ryan McMahon, by the pool.

“It started over quarantine, and we were just in the backyard in the pool, and the UB40 version of “Red Red Wine” came on, and that’s been one of my favorite songs for as long as I can remember.” Wondering if she could approach the classic tune, originally written by Neil Diamond, in a new way, she and McMahon ended up redoing it, titling their newer version “Red Wine.” 

The duo knew they had something special, and sought permission from Diamond to release it. “He so gracefully said we could release it, which is really cool,” Tia Tai says. “So, we’re technically co-writers with Neil Diamond.”

Since that first official release, Tia Tia’s feet have not yet hit ground. She has also co-penned a tune for Justin Bieber (more to come), and herself releases one new single per week.

Tia Tia describes what “moves” her, what has encouraged her writing of other popular songs like “Call Me” and “Night and Day.” “I definitely am super inspired by dance tracks of the old 2000s because of the energy. I feel like we’ve been missing that in music for the last couple of years, personally. I also grew up dancing, so I wanted to make songs that I could dance to when I’m performing, and that people can dance to, or like pregame or party to. I knew whatever I was going to do was going to have those elements to it.”

Tia Tia was born and raised in Randolph, and growing up within an hour of New York City, she thought being an actress was her calling. She and her mom would head to auditions for different commercials, but by her junior year, her mom knew her daughter had other aspirations. “She would say, ‘Tia, I really don’t think you want to do this. You write songs all the time in your room. I think that’s more your passion.’ And she was right. I went to a songwriting camp that summer before college and just fell in love, and went to Belmont University for one year where I was a major in songwriting, and just was able to be immersed in that industry, in that world, a little bit more. I was always writing songs, but I moved to Nashville to really get better at writing songs, and then was doing so much interning and writing with people that I dropped out of college and then signed my first publishing deal with Sony ATV in Los Angeles.” Eight months after signing that contract, she moved to the moved West Coast permanently and has remained there.

Tia Tia feels songwriting was always in her being. “I think it was always in me. I just started writing songs as a kid before I even really knew what I was doing. I think I actually realized that I just love trying to describe something. When you’re writing songs, you’re basically describing something that’s already been said a million times, but trying to say it a little bit of a different way. And that’s always really inspiring to me. And also, I just love a good melody, I just love writing something that gets stuck in my head for days. I think that’s also really inspiring, whenever you can put together a melody that you haven’t heard before. That’s always really fun.”

It has been a nice three years for Tia Tia. She is the co-writer of the song, “Off My Face,” which appeared on Bieber’s Grammy-nominated, platinum selling album, Justice. She and her close collaborator, Jake Torrey, wrote it in 20 minutes. “Jake did a one pass on the mic, and then that song sat around for six months. No one wanted to cut it. And then, by literally the grace of God, Scooter, Justin’s manager, loved it and played it for Justin, and he loved it, and then he recorded it. I didn’t even get to hear the song until it came out, which is really crazy. I’m still in disbelief. Every time I hear it or see him sing it, I just immediately cry.”

Tia Tia’s goal is to continue to release a new single every four weeks, and maybe one or more of those will soar higher than the rest. “In five years, I want to have a number one song as an artist on the radio, and I want to be able to tour in whatever capacity that means, just because that’s what I really love to do, and a big reason why I decided to release my own music.”

For more information about Tia Tia music, visit hoo.be/tiatia.

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