COVER STORY: TIFFANY HOUGHTON

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Tiffany Crystal Houghton is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, TX. I first became a fan when she released her first video, ‘High’. I was instantly convinced she was going to become one of the best pop stars to come out of TX. With her cute and fun style, relatable lyrics and upbeat personality, Tiffany have amassed a massive following all over the world. The last time I talked to Tiffany, it was 2016 and she was fresh on the scene. It’s 2020 and Tiffany is married and back with new music. “It’s been a rollercoaster! I’ve had some of my highest highs and some of my lowest lows in the last couple of years. I took some time off from releasing music to realign with myself, develop my sound, and recover from some really difficult times I went through in 2017. My song “Why” that just came out explores the difficulty of that time a bit. But I learned who my real friends and family were during that time and learned how to truly find happiness in the midst of struggle. I started releasing music again in 2018 and 2019 turned out to be a huge year of growth for me! I performed in front of thousands of people last year, including with Drake Bell, I released some fantastic music with some amazing artists, and had the biggest streaming year of my career so far!”

Photo by Shannon Williams

Two years ago on November 2017, Tiffany posted a video on Facebook where she sang a song about her MeToo moment but never really told fans the story. I was so captivated by the emotion in her vocals and the lyrics she spoke. I decided to ask. She decided it was time to tell it and I’m glad she felt comfortable enough to do so, “I had spent a year and a half scouring the internet, pitching my music, and finally getting my song into the hands of a very sought after and powerful radio executive. Something that as an independent artist, is NOT easy to do. I had just released a song at the time, that was gaining a fair amount of traction, and after he heard it he invited me up to visit the station! I was ecstatic. He told me he was going to play my record! I told my family and all my friends about it. He made decisions for one of the biggest pop music markets in the world! I took a break from touring the country in a rental car, to fly across the country only to find that when I got there, his only condition would be that I come over to his place and compensate him in a way that would morally degrade me & go against everything I believe in. I was dumbfounded to find out just how backward someone could be. I flew home, cried the whole way, and decided I’d have to figure something else out.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time it would happen to her. She decided to write a single titled, ‘Slumber Party’ that will be released soon. Patreon members have access to the song right now, at www.patreon.com/tiffanyhoughton.

She then had a few words of wisdom for other young artists in the industry who may go through this, “My hope is that as women read and hear of my story, they will feel empowered to make the decision now, that they will never compromise themselves in these kinds of situations. The decision I made came almost like second nature, I didn’t have to even consider it, because I had already decided what I would do if anything like that ever happened. Make the decision now.”

She states that her hardest challenge getting to where she is now has been Mastering her thoughts, something we all can relate too, “I have come to really believe that our thoughts create our reality. Meditating and practicing gratitude every day has changed my life. For a long time, it seemed like I was just seeing the negative, and so that is what continued to present itself in my life. I now live a life entirely committed to seeing the good, abandoning comparison, and appreciating challenges as opportunities for growth and adventure! It’s easy to get stuck into a victim mentality, but what I’ve realized is just how powerful we are. We are not helpless victims in this life. We are capable creators endowed with the mental capacity to believe in, work for, and create the future we want.”

Photo by Shannon Williams

She recently got married a year ago to the love of her life Adam. They had a fairytale wedding with Tiffany looking drop-dead gorgeous in her white dress. “We are actually just about to celebrate our 1 year anniversary on March 23rd! I’ll be releasing a music video for “Get To Lovin'” and… it just might all be made of footage from our wedding day! 😉 Wedding planning was SO much fun. My mom, @turtlecreeklane, was such a fun mother to plan a wedding with. Of course, like any wedding planning, there were ups and downs, but I truly can say that it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. The advice I would give would just take a deep breath, remember what’s most important, and hug your fiance when the planning gets stressful!” She admits that she didn’t tell him about her music right away but the way he found out was the cutest, “When Adam and I began dating I never talked about my music with him, in fact, I really didn’t talk about it with anyone. At the time, I had written and recorded an album but was letting my fears and other circumstances keep me from sharing it. On Adam’s side, when we met and he saw that I was a singer and had a social media following etc, he actually made the decision not to listen to any of my music or do any internet stalking of me because he wanted any potential relationship between us to be entirely genuine.

She continued, “One afternoon, a couple of months into dating, we were sitting on his bed and my laptop music library shuffled to one the songs I’d tucked away. Almost immediately Adam asked me who the artist was, and literally jumped to his feet when I told him it was me. “WHY ISN’T THIS SONG OUT IN THE WORLD?! WHY ARE YOU HIDING THIS MUSIC?? His response caught me off guard. I listed off my excuses, but he wasn’t having it. He reached over, put the song on repeat, and proceeded to list off even MORE reasons I SHOULD share my music again. All while dancing to the song ?).”

Ugh, that’s the cutest response I’ve ever heard to something so important. I went on to ask Tiffany, her favorite thing about being married and she said some important things, I think a lot of us can take away from, “Adam and I believe in each other” she stated. Something I think a lot of relationships need to blossom. She continued. “We [also] have killer dance parties in our kitchen on the rainy days. I love being a wife because I love the built-in best friend I know I’ve got, and the built in best friend I get to be for him. In this era of female empowerment, I hope to shine a light on the good men who empower us. To the men who show up in equal partnership. To the men who strengthen and inspire. To the men who keep us laughing through the dark times. And to the men who lead in humility and love. That’s what Adam is for me, and hopefully also what I am for him.” She says that there wasn’t anything crazy he did for her to release he was the one, she just knew, “Being with Adam feels like home to me. My dad has always been one of my closest friends, and I can honestly say he was the first person other than my father that I felt so safe and at peace with. I know it might sound cliche but to be honest, there came a time after we had dated for a while, that I just knew he was my guy.”

Tiffany is now the owner of her own record label, InStar LLC. I asked her about the pros and cons of being an independent artist, “The music industry is very complex and as an independent artist, there are a lot of hats to fill. It can be difficult to share your music and spread your sound when labels put millions of dollars of marketing money behind their top 3 artists. I had a fantastic team working with me last year and together we had the most successful year of streaming in my entire career! I’m so grateful for Team Tiff, my amazing fans that have been with me and supporting me throughout this journey. They motivate me every day to do what I do. Honestly, each and every one of you makes a huge difference when you stream my music, add it to your playlists, and share it with your friends.”

Aside from music Tiffany also has acting chops as well. She was on the Soap Opera, “As The World Turns.’ and landed a part as an alternate in Annie on Broadway when she was 10. She wants to get back into it eventually, “I love the stage and screen and hope to be able to do more acting in the future. My dream part is to play Glinda in “Wicked” someday!”

Photo by Shannon Williams

Tiffany has been releasing singles since 2019 for her upcoming album and says we can expect new music April 3rd, “I am so excited for you all to hear it. “Candace, What’d You Do” and the rest of the music on my upcoming album were actually written, produced, and recorded ENTIRELY by women, which is pretty much unheard of in the music industry.” As far as live shows go? She doesn’t have any coming up until after the Coronavirus is over sadly. It was such an honor to talk to Tiffany again and I couldn’t be happier to see her the happiest she’s ever been. Even though she’s been through so much to get where she is, she’s made it and shes made it by staying true to herself and showing her fans, they can do it as well.

Read issue 41 here and buy a physical copy here.

Connect: https://www.tiffanyhoughton.com/

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