The newly crowned Princess Of the Roc, Teairra Marí, wasnt even born when Eric B. and Rakim unleashed My Melody, the hip-hop classic whos sample is featured in her debut single, Make Her Feel Good. But when the 17-year-old Detroit native heard the bass-heavy gem recycled she immediately knew she had found the cornerstone of her signature sound. Teairra Marí recalls, When I heard that track, I was like, This is the one, because its simple but also huge. The enthusiasm that Make Her Feel Good set off at The Island Def Jam Music Group marked a defining moment in Teairra Maris young career, which began at age 12 when she started recording rough demos in her cousins basement.
Despite scoring a local radio hit with one of those early songs, four years passed before Teairra Marís demo landed on the desk of Island Def Jam Group Chairman, Antonio LA Reid, who signed the then 16-year-old singer on the spot at a brief meeting where she performed live. I couldnt believe it, she says. I was crying because I was so happy. I feel like everyones behind me, which is a great feeling to have coming from a time when it seemed that nobody believed in me or wanted to hear me. In the first creative collaboration since Shawn Jay-Z Carter became President of Def Jam Music Group, he and LA Reid recruited hit-making songwriter, Sean Garrett (Lose My Breath, Goodies, Yeah!), to help translate Teairra Marís innermost thoughts and emotions into lyrics. The two successfully completed Make Her Feel Good, a defining first single from the R&B ingénues forthcoming album released on August 2, 2005 on Roc-A-Fella Records. Make Her Feel Good is just a peek into her full-length album, which she describes as a girls dictionary.
When Sean started writing the lyrics for Make Her Feel Good, it was because of stories I was telling him about my guy friends, explains Teairra Marí, whose musical influences and inspirations include Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin (her grandmother sang back-up for the Queen of Soul), Prince, Sade, Patti LaBelle and Minnie Ripperton. I was like, Im sick of this guy; he wont call me. I was sitting right there when Sean was writing the song, and I was just basically telling him about how I deal with guys. When the song was finished, I was like, Yes! That is me! Thats what I go through all the time. Not only is it me, its other girls too. Other girls can relate because I know thats how they feel. Every girl that has heard the song is like, Omigod! Thank you, Teairra. Everybody at the label was excited when they heard Make Her Feel Good, Teairra Marí, remembers.
The whole building was just shaking. Jay-Z was like, You have so much personality, and I love it. Because of the real and uncensored emotion portrayed in the song, Shawn Carter, felt Teairra Marís debut album was a natural to be released under the Roc-A-Fella Records brand.