Tiara Thomas to perform during MFW

Photos provided by Casey Photography (caseyphotos.com)

Midwest Fashion Week is known for mixing fashion with other forms of expression. Art, culinary, architecture have all played a part. This time MFW is also adding music to mix. Tiara Thomas, a local musician, will perform today at Bartini’s right after the Art of Fashion event.

Thomas, 22, is a singer, song writer, guitarist and a full-time student majoring in telecommunications at Ball State. She is best known for singing the chorus on Wale’s “The Cloud” (off his mixtape More About Nothing) and was just recently named among “5 fierce female singers to watch” by Vibe magazine. She’s often compared to recording artist Lauryn Hill.

Thomas has a also a foot in the fashion industry. She was selected as a spokesperson for American Eagle’s 2011-2012 Back to School campaign. She was in a billboard in Times Square and wrote a song for the campaign that played in AE stores around the world.

Check out our interview with her and learn more about this talented girl.

MODA: Being a rising artist, how do you balance college life with a music career?

TIARA: It’s hard. I have a good team and supportive family. I’ve been lucky enough have professors that are understanding and excited about what I’m doing. At the same time, I’m a regular college kid so I don’t get any special treatment. Balancing traveling, late nights in the studio, early morning flights, homework on the road, and class is hard, but I make it work. I’m always on my toes.

MODA: For those unfamiliar with your music, what should attendants expect to hear at your concert on March 15?

TIARA: I’m going to do some familiar covers with some of my new shit. It’ll be dopeness and everyone in the world should be there.

MODA: What inspires your music and personal style?

TIARA: Hm. People/circumstance/life/relationships/encounters/love/sex/alcohol. I find inspiration in everything. I kinda do my own thing with the music. I try to be as honest and real as possible. I want people to be able to relate to me. So I write shit people relate to, even if it’s a bit out there.

MODA: Let’s talk a bit about your involvement with the fashion industry. How did writing a song/collaborating with American Eagle Outfitters come about?

TIARA: I have a friend who lives in NY. She called me one day and said that her boss worked for American Eagle and they were looking for a cool looking black girl that wasn’t a model. She said she thought of me. She gave him my contact info, I sent over some pictures, and I got the job to be in the AE Back to School Campaign. As far as the Denim Song, the AE shoot was a huge opportunity. I was there with experienced models and I wanted to make sure I made an impression and put my own touch on my experience. So I sat down for about 10 minutes and I wrote a song about the denim fits. I played it, they loved it, and they used it!

MODA: Based on pictures we’ve seen, it seems like you have a fun, vibrant style, with an edge. What part does fashion play in your life?

TIARA: I love fashion. Simple things make me feel cool/sexy. crew neck sweatshirts, weird pants, and printed shoes. I kinda do my own thing. I wear what looks dope.

MODA: Just recently you were named by Vibe magazine among “5 fierce female singers to watch.” What’s next for Tiara Thomas?

TIARA: Yea, pretty cool. I’ve been working on my project that is scheduled to be released soon. I’ve been working on it while in college and I just keep adding more and more. I trust my team. As an artist, you only come out once, so we want to make sure the timing is right on everything. In the meantime, this is my last semester in school, so after I graduate I’ll probably be touring and being a full time musician. I can’t wait to be with my team! Look out for my project “Dear Sallie Mae” coming soon!

Don’t miss Tiara’s concert today! It starts at 10 pm. Tickets are $20. Visit midwestfashionweek.com for more information.