Free to Love (2016)

Free to Love (2016)

Tina Harris

Millions recognize her face. And with a multi-platinum record in her past, even more know her voice. Yet the world is just beginning to know Tina Harris herself.

This fall, Archer Records presents the original web series From Sweetbox to Now, a seven-episode trip through Tina’s journey from worldwide fame to relative obscurity to the precipice of releasing Free to Love, her 2016 debut album.

The former lead singer of global pop sensation Sweetbox is stepping out boldly on her own, bringing proven skills, relentless enthusiasm and refreshing humility, all of which adds up to the ultimate Tina Harris irony: a diva’s voice, looks and ambition, absent the diva.

Free to Love, her first U.S.-released album, comes years after her departure from Germany-based Sweetbox, best known for its smash 1998 single “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” The upbeat song fused Bach’s Overture No. 3 in D Major with a contemporary beat, an unforgettable hook and Tina’s spirited, flowing rap.

Sweetbox, however, was more of a brand than a band. And while it brought her a degree of worldwide fame, she says, the project ultimately left her own artistic expression dictated by executives. Years after her formal separation, the typical music-industry entanglements — hastily signed contracts, little-noticed clauses and differing ambitions — left her hamstrung, unable for years to emerge as a solo artist.

That is, up to now.

Tina has teamed up with Memphis-based Archer Records and producer/collaborator Kerry Kernan (Darius Rucker, The BarKays, Calvin Richardson) to create Free to Love. She may be at the helm for the first time, but Tina quickly proves she is an artist who knows how to use the genre’s charms – its catchy hooks and danceable melodies – to craft songs about heartache, fear, hurt. About new beginnings and the hope of falling in love.

The first few tracks swing the door open – Tina seems ready to take center stage, the R&B/Dance star who once rocked crowds of thousands, with songs like “Quit Playing Games” and “So Addicted” – but soon enough she really invites you in with songs like “Be the One,” “Broken” and the title track, “Free to Love.” Ultimately that juxtaposition – vulnerable and honest, playful and sexy – is at the heart of the record. Really, it’s at the heart of Tina Harris, stepping out from behind a moniker or band name, saying: This is me. Free to express, free to experience joy, free to trust, free to love.