Make Her Feel Good
Spotted by Detroit based K.I.S.S. Productions when she was 12 years old, American singer, songwriter and actress Teairra Mari released her first EP, “Get Away” (2003), on the label four years later before being signed by Jay-Z to Roc-A-Fella Records. Her debut album, “Roc-A-Fella Presents: Teairra Mari,” was released in August 2005 and became a Top 10 hit record on the Billboard 200 Albums chart (#5) and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts (#2). However, she was soon dropped by the label because of low album sales from her first album. Recently, in 2010, she released a digital EP titled “Sincerely Yours” under the Fo'Reel, Warner Bros. and Asylum labels. So far, Mari has released five singles, including her most successful single “Make Her Feel Good” (2005), a No. 35 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 9 on the U.S. R&B Singles chart, and the single “Sponsor” (2010), a No. 25 R&B hit. As an actress, Mari has appeared in the comedy films “The Magnificent Cooly-T” (2009) and “Lottery Ticket” (2010).
Childhood and Family:
Teairra Mari was born Teairra Maria Thomas on December 2, 1987, in Detroit, Michigan. She was encouraged by her family to pursue a career as a singer at an early age. Her professional career began when she was 12 years old. She was a vocal major at the Detroit High School for The Fine and Performing Arts.
Twelve year old Teairra Mari began recording rough demos in her cousin's basement. She quickly attracted the attention of Big Mike, Ed K and Helluvah of Detroit's K.I.S.S. Productions, which trained her for the next few years. Under the direction of K.I.S.S. Productions, she had the opportunity to work with producers and songwriters like Big Mike, Disco D, Chaz M, Helluvah, Detail, AK, Lyriq, and J.R, and collaborated with artists like J-Kwon, Lola Damone, Ray J, and Bee. She also appeared on Detroit's “Fox 2 Morning Show” and “UPN 50 Sports Rap.” In October 2003, the label released her first album, an EP called “Get Away,” which enjoyed success locally.
Her album “Roc-A-Fella Presents: Teairra Marí” was launched on August 2, 2005, on Roc-A-Fella Records/Def Jam and produced by Sean Garrett, AllStar, Bryan Michael Cox, Kendrick Dean, Darkchild, Poli Paul, Joel Campbell, Cool & Dre, Blackout Movement, Kwame, and The Trackboyz. The album rose to the No. 5 position on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Released in June 2005, the lead single “Make Her Feel Good,” produced by Sean Garrett, went to No. 35 on the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. The song also rose to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs, No. 82 on the Billboard Pop 100 and No. 15 on the Rhythmic Airplay Chart. Directed by Ray Kay, the video got very little play on MTV, but strong play on BET.
The second single, “No Daddy,” followed in September 2005. Produced by Garrett and Blackout Movement, the song rose to No. 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 29 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales chart. The popular video was directed by Jessy Terrero. “Phone Booth,” produced by WyldCard, Bryan Michael Cox and Sean Garrett, was selected as the third single but only received a radio release since the video shoot was canceled. The song failed to chart on any Billboard charts.
In 2006, Mari began work on her second album, “Second Round.” The first single, “Play Me,” was slated to be launched in the fall but production was discontinued in the middle of her second album. Due to the low sales of her first album, her label decided to release her as an artist.
In 2008, Mari signed a deal with Warner Bros and Violator, but then chose to separate from Violator and signed a new development deal with Fo'Reel Ent. A new album called “At That Point” was soon created with producers Rico Love, The Runners, and The Underdogs, to name a few, and artists like Kanye West, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Pleasure P, Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane. Under the direction of Benny Boom, the music video for the song “Hunt 4 U” was released in 2009. It was followed by the release of the single “Cause a Scene,” featuring Flo Rida, which went to No. 123 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The music video was directed by Juwan Lee.
The album “At That Point” was originally set to be released in early 2009, but was canceled because many of the tracks on the album had been leaked to the Internet. Mari then decided to return to the studio to re-record the album with a new title. On August 17, 2010, she released a digital EP titled “Sincerely Yours,” via iTunes. The EP produced the singles “Sponsor” and “Body” (both featuring Gucci Mane & Soulja Boy). “Sponsor” rose to No. 121 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 25 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The music video of the song was directed by Yolande Geralds. Mari also released a music video for the track “Automatic.”
Mari has made guest appearances in other artists' work. In 2006, she performed with LL Cool J on the song “Preserve The Sexy” that was included on LL Cool J's album “Todd Smith” (2006). Other artists who appeared in the gold record included Jennifer Lopez (“Control My Self”), Mary J Blige (“Favorite Flavor”), Jamie Foxx (“Best Dress”) and Mary Mary (“We're Gonna Make It”). In 2008, Mari was featured on Candy Hill's “Head Gone,” Lil' Fizz's “Choose U,” Pleasure P's “Did You Wrong” and R$K's “Tatted.” She also appeared on New Boyz's album “Too Cool to Care” (2010) on the song “Spot Right There.”
Mari has also tried her hand at acting. In addition to making cameo appearances on various videos, including Jay-Z's “Show Me What You Got,” Biggie's “Nasty Girl,” and Bow Wow Featuring Sean Kingston & DJ Khaled's “For My Hood,” she portrayed the character Sonya in “The Magnificent Cooly-T” (2009), a dramatic comedy written and directed by Stephen Leeds. Costars of the feature included Zulay Henao, Gary Dourdan, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Jeff Branson and Jackie Long, among other actors. She also worked with Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson, Loretta Devine, Ice Cube, Keith David and Mike Epps in the 2010 comedy “Lottery Ticket,” for director Erik White.