Reggae Artist Tia Mills By TROYTON MUSIC
Reggae and Dancehall artist Tia, the U.S. Virgin Islands singing phenom whose music is widely known and loved locally, has been spreading her wings and dreams in an effort to expand her career globally, confident that the music she creates will be accepted and loved on an international level.
To that end, Tia, whose given name is Tiara Mills, has captured the attention of reggae and dancehall lovers with her latest single, "Nice Up", as it features legendary artist Bounty Killer. The single is a remix of the original song, and during an interview with the Consortium Friday, Tia said the feature came together after her producer sampled the voice of Bounty Killer — whose given name is Rodney Basil Price — on the original track.
She explained further: "When the pandemic hit we weren't able to push the Black Cocoon EP and the song the way we wanted to. But it was a blessing in disguise because it gave us enough time to contact Bounty through my manager Troyton Music, and asked him if he'd want to jump on the song."
Tia said the artist listened to and loved "Nice Up", and was also impressed that his voice was used as a sample. "I think he was able to hear himself on it," said Tia.
After the feature, both artists saw the song as strong enough to have its own video. Tia then flew to Jamaica for production, and the video was born.
Working with a legendary artist like Bounty Killer proved to be a great experience, said Tia, describing the "Look Into My Eyes" singer as down to earth. "You would think a legend like him that's been doing this for thirty plus years would be over the moon, but he was just so cool and a real-life person," she said.
The video sees Tia sitting near a pool with a girlfriend as her parents leave for the day. Before their exit, the parents admonish Tia not to invite "no friends, no stranger or family members" to the house. Tia appears to oblige, but of course, as soon as her parents leave, friends come over by the droves and Bounty Killer arrives.
The video's end is rather satisfying, with Tia — after an entire day of partying — is awoken by yells from her parents. The artist is then seen hustling out the room after being jolted, with her mother commanding her back to cleanup to no avail.
In another milestone achievement for the reggae artist, the video was aired on BET Jams on Friday afternoon after its premier on Bounty Killer's YouTube channel. It has been watched over 21,000 times so far, and is on track to hit hundreds of thousands of views, if not more, based on YouTube algorithm trends.
For Tia, the opportunity to work with Bounty Killer represented the standout highlight of her career so far. "This is definitely a big highlight," she said. "I'm hoping that this gives me some more international exposure, which would open doors for touring possibilities, open doors for getting other features and other videos and things being a lot easier in the sense of people knowing who I am."
She said fans should expect more music as well as another video that will be released closer to the summertime. There will be more international publications including Europe and Africa. "We want to be globally known, that's ultimately the goal and we're working towards it," she said.
Relative to producing the video during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tia said, "For a long time we had to hold off on the video because the song came a couple months back, but it just happened to play out in a time where things were opening back up — right before Jamaica went on shutdown again. I wouldn't say it was difficult, but you had to take certain precautions. Where there's a will, there's a way."
The artist has traveled to Jamaica many times, the heart of both Reggae and Dancehall music, to grow and improve her craft. Asked how those trips have impacted her career, Tia said, "It has has affected my self-confidence. I'm now feeling like, 'Okay Tia, you got this.' I feel like now being in the industry for sometime, the dream is more reachable and believable. I feel more confident in what I'm supposed to be doing."