Tweet is loving life right now.
Not only because her debut single, "Oops (Oh My)," was an instant hit and is one of the 10 most popular songs in the country, according to the Billboard Hot 100. Not only because her years of hard work are culminating with the release her debut album, Southern Hummingbird, on Tuesday. And not only because she's running with one of music's most decorated cliques the Super Friends and their protégés (Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Ginuwine and Bubba Sparxxx are among the members).
Tweet is loving life because she's not taking it for granted. She's learned life is worth living. At one point, the Rochester, New York, native had contemplated suicide. She persevered through her hardships, though, including the end of an eight-year relationship. Finally, after several failed attempts to break into the biz with an all-girl trio called Sugah, she received a call from Missy saying it was time for her to join the team. On her album, she talks about drowning in despair on the intro, "So Much to Say."
"It wasn't hard at all," she said Wednesday about openly telling people of her near deadly decision. "I kept those feelings for so long. When I got a chance to really talk about it, it was therapy, just like doing this album was therapy. I was able to talk about all those feelings I had bottled up inside. I feel if I talk about it, I can help someone else."
Tweet's intuitiveness was correct. Recently, while promoting Southern Hummingbird, she had a sobering experience with one of her fans. "I was in Baltimore doing an autograph signing, and a little girl came up and was like, 'I have a letter for you. Can you read it right now?' I read the letter and it was talking about how she was feeling suicidal and was going to take a gun to her head. Because she heard my story, her life was turned around. That's why I don't mind talking about it."
Although the album has other heartbreaking moments, like "Motel," where she catches her man creeping ("Go to hell 'cause I saw you going into a motel"), she does sing about how much she's loving life now.
"'Heaven,' that song is [about] ... what I felt like when I got the chance to sing. Really let go of that old relationship, let go of that old group situation just being able to breathe. For so many years I was stuck. I couldn't breathe, I was depressed and miserable. Because I'm so far past that, it feels like heaven."
Her career apparently isn't the only thing that has her spirits up. A man is keeping her up late at night on "Call Me." "Call me at the break of dawn/ I'll be sure to meet you with no panties on," she promises on the track.
"The second single is 'Call Me.' It's basically a story about having a friend. A monogamous thing, but you're not boyfriend and girlfriend. You're friends and you can call each other anytime and just do something. 'Maybe I can meet you [somewhere].' A lot of people freak out when they hear what I say on the song."
She says she's also made an impression on people who've had an early listen to another of her tracks, "Smoking Cigarettes." "That's like one of everybody's favorite songs," she said. "It's about being in a situation I was in. This guy leaves, and the only way I could deal is by smoking cigarettes. At the end, I say that it's not healthy but that's the only way I could deal with worrying where this guy was every night. I get a lot of responses from this song people coming up to me, guys and girls, like, 'I really can relate to that song.' "
The self-described "old soul" said she relates to the disco-sounding midtempo throwback "Make Your Move." "That's an old Patrice Rushen-type song. I like the old stuff from Marvin Gaye to Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross. I needed to have a song from the old school."
And when you're loving life, having something to dance to is essential.