Tiara Thomas has been in the songwriting game for more than a minute. Since penning Wale’s 2016 “Bad” she has went on to co-write “I Can’t Breathe” with H.E.R and D’Mile which earned her a Grammy in 2021. She reteamed with H.E.R. and D’Mile for “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. She recently earned another Grammy nomination for writing Mary J. Blige’s “Good Morning Gorgeous”.
Halfway to an EGOT, Thomas is excited to venture off on her own with the single “Don’t Talk Back” from her upcoming debut album. This is a huge moment for the LGBTQ R&B singer as she speaks about being queer and confident with self-love.
As an award-winning singer and songwriter, Thomas sees the importance of queer visibility and reducing stigma around being a queer Black woman. In a recent interview with GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos, having never spoken publicly about her sexuality, she explains that she feels it is important to represent the LGBTQ community for younger audiences that are struggling with their identity and don’t see themselves represented.
“I feel like I still got to do a little bit better [of a] job because sometimes I feel like they go along with the stereotypes or there’s hella drama and trauma associated with being gay,” Thomas said. “I feel like there is more representation and I do think it’s important for people to see people like myself that are successful. I’m Black, I’m queer and you know I’m out here living my life, doing my thing… everybody deserves to see themselves and believe that they can do whatever they want to do.”
As cliché as it may sound, Thomas urges those who are struggling to try to be themselves. She realized people were watching her and from that she is an advocate for being your most authentic self – because there are likely people that are watching you that will also be inspired.
“It’s very hard to be yourself when you’re surrounded by people who don’t accept you,” she explained. “Try to surround yourself with people who are accepting of you. You might not feel super good right now, but you’ll be happy you just stayed authentic to yourself.”
“The tough part about being an artist for a lot of different artists is that your art and your being [are] vulnerable,” she said. “You’re putting yourself out there for the world to see and for the world to pick apart and critique and dissect. That’s scary… so definitely when you get to that place where you just feel comfortable with who you are, take it or leave it… it doesn’t break you and I think that’s the most important part.”
The 65th Annual Grammy Awards air live on CBS on Sunday, February 5, 2023 at 8pm ET.