Talent can take someone places that far surpass imagination, but honing a skill requires dedication, too. TiaCorine, the 28-year-old North Carolina artist who mixes rap, pop, rock R&B and anything else she wants together, has had a winding road to success. Growing up as a singer and multi-sport athlete, Tia was clearly gifted early on. An inquisitive attitude, plus a self-confidence in her own abilities led to her trying out rap, which was also influenced by her friends who were recording music for fun. Those off-the-cuff sessions led to TiaCorine recording “Lotto,” her 2018 viral hit that quickly turned her into a name to watch out of Winston-Salem, N.C. Due to the success of the song, she caught the attention of South Coast Music Group’s Arnold Taylor. She signed with them in 2019, making her labelmates with former XXL Freshmen DaBaby and Toosii.
When “Lotto” took off, she was expecting her child, in college and working at Bojangles; her sudden success and pre-existing responsibilities would have to find a middle ground. A hiatus where Tia decided she had moved on from music and was focused on graduating college, raising her child and building a life for her family, happened shortly after. Once again nudged by her friends, Tia was drawn back to music and dropped her debut EP 34Corine in 2020 and it’s deluxe (The Saga of 34Corine) in 2021.
Her next release was last September’s I Can’t Wait, the project that would change her career. The original focus track was “Chaka Khan,” an edgy collab with Kenny Beats where Tia bars up at an elite level. But “FreakyT,” a crawling ode to the sounds of vintage Memphis hip-hop, turned into the standout. The song’s instantly memorable lyrics (“Look at me, what she wanna be, call me Freaky T/Off the leash, I feel like a dog, I get hella flee”) and a Project Pat-adjacent delivery pull the song together. A top tier Honorable C.N.O.T.E. beat finishes the job. The record’s legs on TikTok and a fun video that features Duke Deuce helped push it even further. Nearly at 6 million Spotify streams and 1.5 million YouTube views on a two month old video, TiaCorine’s momentum is something to take note of.
In just a few months, TiaCorine was everywhere, with a still-rising single and a strong project in tow. Tia’s diversity in sound and clear appreciation for the worlds she’s entering have endeared her to fans all across the internet—a loyal legion that rides for her, one quote tweet at a time. Now with more I Can’t Wait videos on the way and “FreakyT” remixes coming, plus festival dates and a tour, TiaCorine is living it up. She stopped by for this week’s The Break: Live, breaking down her start in music, the importance of putting effort into her creations, her love for anime and more.
Check out TiaCorine’s interview below.
“Chaka Khan” featuring Kenny Beats
I Can’t Wait