Trina: Still Da Baddest

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Hard to believe, but it's been 10 years now since Trina first hit the scene with her seductive yet grimy verse on Trick Daddy's hit single "Naan." Now a seasoned vet and megastar in her own right, she discusses her eagerly anticipated fourth solo album, reflects on the magical swagger of her home city, and offers advice to young ladies hoping to break into the business.

MP3: Hey, what's up Trina? Trina: How are you? Good. How are you doing? I'm fine. Right on. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I appreciate it. OK, no problem. So let's talk about the new album, Still Da Baddest, coming out April 1st. April 1st. What do you got in store for us? It's crazy. I'm really excited about the new album. I worked with some great producers on this album, Young Sears, Jim Jonsin. I worked with Scott Storch, Yonni and Matlock outta Cleveland, J Rock, who produced "Single Again." And I worked with some amazing artists as well. Keyshia Cole is on the album. Missy Elliot is on the album. Pitbull is on the album. Rick Ross, Plies is also on the album. And it was just a lot of energy, just going in the studio, just doing fun records, having a great time.

I wanted lot of different angles. I wanted to do something real fly with Ross and something a little more sexier and grimier with Plies. And the me-and-Missy joint is a very up-tempo kind of club record. And there's the Keyshia Cole record, which is a more ballad, slow and more melodic for the ladies. And "Single Again" is just, like, the ladies' anthem, the fun party record. So it's been really great. I mean, I'm in a great place. I'm really excited. And I had a lot of fun working on this album.
That sounds good. Now, it's been about 10 years since you first came out doing "Naan" with Trick Daddy. Obviously you've gone from having a buzz to being an international superstar. This is album number four, plus you're doing the modeling and the acting and all your different side projects. Do you feel like the past 10 years went by quickly and, like, all of a sudden you're here? Or how does it feel to you, coming from that, spitting a verse on a track, to now just being a huge star? Wow. It's crazy, you know? It's been an amazing journey, you know? It's been so wonderful. It's had its ups and greatest moments and it's had some rough patches and some times that weren't so great. But overall, it's been just a wonderful journey, a wonderful process, a wonderful exposure.

It's a transformation just like growing from a girl to a woman, evolving, leaving Miami to visiting South Africa, Tokyo, Japan, London. It's just crazy to be one person and be all over the place like that and come from one record to where people know you as a household name all over the country. That's, like, the most amazing thing that I can ever say that has happened.

And it's just--it's kind of hard to explain. There's just so many different moments. Everything I think, from every album to every road trip, every tour, whether it's international or whether it's in the States, it's just different. Everything is different. Each time I come out has been a different experience and you get more fans and it's different overseas than it is in the United States and just the way they do things and we do things is totally different. So just to be able to experience and indulge all of that has been a wonderful, wonderful experience.
Excellent. Now you were just in the Bahamas recently, right? I was in the Bahamas and Freeport, actually, over the weekend. It was a two-day trip. It was amazing. It was crazy. The show was oversold, packed, crowded, 5,000, 6,000 people at each event. It was, like, a crazy experience. I was so excited to be on the islands. And it's warm, the weather is nice. And to have all them people come out, it was a crazy amazing experience. Just one day I was in the Bahamas and the next day I went to Freeport, which is, like, 30 minutes apart and both nights it was just wonderful. Cool. And once the album drops, are you going to be doing a full-on headlining tour? Yes. Actually, I'm looking forward to going on tour. I believe it's myself, [Rick] Ross and Plies. Nice. Once the album drops in April, I'm not exactly sure which date the tour's going to start. But I'm sure we're going to go worldwide, maybe even international. So that'll be a great thing, a great experience. Now, I wanted to ask about Miami. In general, it's huge right now and really has been for the past couple of years. I know Rick Ross has the number one album in the country right now. Plies had that single, which was just crazy everywhere, there's also yourself and Khaled and lots of people. What is it about Miami, do you think, that just makes hits? I just think Miami is just...it's a different population. It's a variety of different people, different ethnic, different types of music. You've got rap. You've got R&B.; You've got salsa. You've got reggaeton. You've got Caribbean music. It's just so many different varieties of music to where people...it seems to be more free.

It's a great experience and a different exposure. You go and it's not the same type of theme, you know, the same type of music that's playing. We have clubs that have so many different floors and levels of music. I think it's just that whole variation of music actually here in Miami, you know?

People love to come here. It's the best weather and you have so much fun, amazing parties and amazing night attractions. That's really what attracts people and attracts people to liking the music because it wasn't so big back in the days, Miami music. It was kind of stereotyped for one music. And now it's expanded out to so many different types of music to where I don't think no one else is really doing that.

And I think that's what shines the light on Miami and people love to record here, love to come to collaborate here. And all that movement, the whole Miami swagger, the movement with Khaled and mixing the artists, the remixes, putting so many artists together on one different track. It's amazing. It's crazy. It's never been done before to that extent. So it's gained a greater shine on Miami and I think it's very beautiful.
Excellent. So, I know outside of the music that you have a lot of other endeavors. You've got your foundation. You've got the perfumes and your acting career and whatnot. Obviously right now you're pushing on the album and doing promo spots and stuff. But can you give us a little update on how your Diamond Doll Foundation is doing and your other ventures? The foundation is actually doing great. I'm looking forward to launch the second annual Diamond Doll Day, which is in a couple of weeks. And I'm really excited about it because I'm excited to see how many more girls are going to participate this time and the questions and the panel and just the whole process of putting the whole thing together. I'm really looking forward to that. I'm sure it's going to be a much better experience this time than the first time and I'm looking forward to that challenge also.

I'm working on my clothing line and the perfume line. It's something I always wanted to do. The perfume is doing extremely well. And the clothing line, which is barely launched, it's really new, it's a denim line. It's called Pink Diamond Couture. I'm really excited about it. I love the way the designers are coming up with different ideas and they way the clothing's actually coming out. I'm just excited. I'm just waiting to see it actually hit the stores and for people to actually be able to purchase it and wear it and do the first fashion show and just put the whole thing together.

Those are, like, my main focuses, as well as the album. It's just a lot of work tied into one. But working in so many different areas has been, like, a great experience. I get to see the fun side, the music side, performing, and the serious sit-down business side of it, you know, putting together the clothing, making sure I like this sample, picking this, you know, "No, I'm not really feeling this." So it's been a great experience, especially with the time I had off, since my last album. So it's all coming along so great. I'm just really excited.
Right on. Well I've got one more question for you and then I'll let you roll. Hip-hop has come a long way. It's constantly changing, you know what I mean? It goes through different phases and different cities blow up and different artists blow up and sounds and whatnot. But with the exception of yourself and several other huge prominent female artists, it is still to some extent kind of, like, a boys' club, you know what I mean? Mm-hmm. And there's a lot of talented young female emcees that are out there that are trying to get on and having troubles just trying to break into it. Being that you've been in your position and keep expanding and getting bigger for the past decade, what kind of advice would you give to the young ladies out there that look up to you and are trying to get into a similar spot? I just think you've got to definitely be prominent and you've got to just be focused. You have to remain focused because it is a male-dominant industry and there's only a few females and there's only a few that's actually still remaining. And the reason being you have to grow beyond just the music, you know?

You have to branch out and do other different things, make yourself become a household name, make yourself become a brand. You have to brand yourself in order for people to keep being interested or wanting to know what is it about you that should make them want to follow you or what to look up to you or do certain things.

And that's all. It's just a lot of work. You've got to work hard. You've got to know what it is that you want. You've got to go after it and you just got to hit them hard and just keep on evolving, keep on doing different things. And I think it's just the excitement of who you are as an artist or who you are as a person transforming into an artist is what makes people want to stay paying attention to you.
Excellent. That's great advice. Thanks a lot for taking the time, Trina. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Good luck with the album and everything else you got. OK, thank you. Take it easy. All righty. Bye.

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