The fine art of romance is a difficult éclat to master, and if anyone understands that, it's Tiana Major9. After all, muddled feelings about relationships are what inspired her new EP, At Sixes and Sevens, which dropped on Aug. 7. A follow-up to 2019's Rehearsal @ NINE, the 24-year-old star's latest project is an introspective journey through love's tangled nexus. "During this period of my life, I've been feeling very conflicted about love, how to be in love, and how to navigate love," the "Collide" songstress told POPSUGAR. "So the EP is really about all of those things."
"I learned that I'm highly sensitive and very in tune with my emotions, and that's what I love about the EP."
But At Sixes and Sevens is more than your cookie-cutter "love is complicated" collection of tunes. There's an overarching theme of self-awareness that enriches the exploration, and the London-born vocalist harps on that insight by interlacing short affirmations. "I accept my emotions and allow them to serve their purpose," she repeats on the 46-second track "I Accept My Emotions." She shares more assertions on "Open to Love," declaring, "I'm strong, I'm resilient, and I'm open to love." Major9, who's been focusing more on self-care while social distancing, wanted to incorporate such pronouncements as a way to validate her sentimentality. "We all fall in and out of love, and sometimes we feel like we've made mistakes in those situations," she said. "So I included those to help me not beat myself up over the mistakes that I've made in my experiences." The singer also hopes listeners will recite the vows whenever they're struggling with romance-induced anxiety.
Naturally, tapping into her innermost thoughts took Major9 on an emotive wandering through which she discovered more about herself. "I learned that I'm highly sensitive and very in tune with my emotions, and that's what I love about the EP," she said, citing "Same Space?" as her favourite and most personal song on the record. "It's so honest, and I tapped into a side of me that I don't show people or talk about much. But the EP still has a lot more to reveal to me as time goes on. This isn't the start of my journey, but it is a project that symbolizes the beginning of my journey, so I've still got a lot to learn about myself through it."
"You should have high standards for things, but you shouldn't have any expectations because people will surprise you in good or bad ways."
Major9's endeavour to peel back the layers of her persona and showcase her range also extends into the production of At Sixes and Sevens. While her signature jazz and R&B styles imbue each track, she upticks the sonic experience with "Think About You," a reggae-inspired tune suitable for a relaxing at-home spa day. "I've never recorded a reggae song before, so that's something that I was excited to explore," she said. "That was very special because of my Jamaican heritage. Being on a bigger platform now, more people are starting to become aware of me, so I want to give them more of an idea of who I am and where I'm from."
By the end of the EP, it's clear that Major9 doesn't have all the answers when it comes to love. But she's more mindful of how she processes certain situations within relationships, and perhaps that's more important. "I've learned that you shouldn't have any expectations of anything or anyone," she noted. "You should have high standards for things, but you shouldn't have any expectations because people will surprise you in good or bad ways. Nothing is set in stone, so just be open."