Sometimes you stumble upon a singer that forces you to stop and examine yourself for a moment. That's the case with Tiffany Houghton, who opened up to BreatheHeavy.com in the sincerest way about her music, love, success and staying true to yourself.
It started off with the obligatory 'what are you up to' question, but as the interview progressed I realized she's no ordinary 20-year-old. She's genuine. Even better... she has her shit together.
"I feel SO blessed, and so excited. I'm having the best time out here on tour," Tiffany tells BreatheHeavy. "I grew up loving music and moved to Nashville when I was 17. My whole life I've dreamed of doing what I'm now doing, and I'm grateful for that time that I got to learn about myself and my purpose and who I am as an artist and who I want to be."
I mentioned her song "Love Like That," and asked if she'd ever been in love. Her response was introspective; people learn to love through experience.
"I do think I've been in love. I really do think I've been in love," she assures me.
"I think that love is something you have at different capacities at different times in life. I think at 16-years-old, I was in love to the point that a 16-year-old can be in love. I think that that capacity gets bigger. That definition changes as you get older and as you go through more things with somebody. My 16-year-old self has been in love. I don't know if my 20-year-old self has."
Her true love right now is music. Music she's passionate about without the burden or pressure of obtaining number ones - that's secondary. Love what you do and the rest will follow.
"I'm a very happy person - I really am, and I focus on that. That is something I've really had to work at as I've gone through so many things, and failed so many times, and fallen so many times. That's something I work on daily - making sure I keep myself in check and being confident. "
"I think that the true measure of success is, at the end of the day, that after I've achieved all these huge dreams and goals that I have that I'm still that same girl as far as wanting to be happy, wanting to be nice and good to people. I want to have Grammys and number one songs on the radio and I want to be an empire. I want to be one of the biggest artists in the world, but at the end of the day that's just part of it. What real success is is being able to change peoples' lives and being able to not let the world change you."
Lately there's a lot of chatter about writing credits and what defines an artist. Are you more authentic if you write your own songs? Is an actor better if they write their own script? There's a fine line in the biz, but there's room for everybody.
"I think that there's so much talent out there. Writing for me is something that I always wanted to do. I don't think that necessarily takes away from any artist that doesn't write their own music, I just can't imagine being who I am and not being behind all my messages. Maybe I'm more of a control person [laughs]. I think there are some incredible song writers that write incredible music for people who have strengths elsewhere. The music industry needs all type of artists."
Linda Perry just called out Beyonce for claiming to write her own songs.
With that, I asked her what she thought about when an artist lip synchs. I never mentioned the Queen of Pop, but this was her reply:
"I'm actually not going to lie to you. I had a different opinion on this..." (she knows BreatheHeavy used to be about only Britney). "Let me tell you: Britney Spears' show in Vegas LITERALLY blew my mind. I'm not just saying that. It was incredible. I don't think she sang one note that entire show, but it was one of the best shows I've ever seen in my whole life. That was perfection, and she's an entertainer and she can entertain. There's a difference between a performer and an entertainer, and people go to shows to be entertained!"
She continues, "personally, I will never do that, but there are so many artists that do such a great job, and they know who they are and how they want to perform. I can't say anything bad about them. She killed it."
Finally, I ask her what her latest project was besides touring, and her inner 13-year-old girl, a far cry from the person reflecting about love and its capacity, came to say hello.
"I'm not going to lie to you. I have a weak spot for Nick Jonas. I love the Jonas brothers. You know like your first love? They are my first boy band love. To me, Nick Jonas will always be up on this pedestal. I would love to sing with him."
She loves him so much, she kinda sorta just wrote a song about him.
"Well... it may or may not be about my love for boy bands and it may or may not be called "Band Boy."
"It's literally about the fact that I'm a huge fan girl."
She composes herself once more and left me with a valuable piece of advice:
"Pursue your dreams, and let them break your heart and fail a couple times, because it makes the success so much better."
- Jordan Miller, BreatheHeavy.com