Austin, Texas' very own sister trio, Tiarra Girls, debuts their newest single “Can’t Stop The World,'' a cover song by none other than The Go-Go's. Working together as a band for a decade, these sisters have created their own brand of music, taking inspiration from Latin, pop, rock, blues, dance, mariachi — you name it. With gigs including the sought-out SXSW musical festival and Trans-Peco Festival, and now scoring a huge deal singing with Lucky Hound Music with producer Michael Ramos, this band is just getting started. BUST chatted with them over Zoom to talk about their newest single, how their upbringing inspired their music, and how they're using their platform to uplift and inspire those around them.
“We’ve been doing this for almost a decade, it’s been really nice and moving. We have been able to find our own voice in music and our own personal lives. Being recognized is really validating especially as young women of color,” shared Tori Baltierra, lead guitar and vocalist. “Our whole mission is to help people who look like us, be seen.”
While Tori is on the guitar and vocals, there is also Tiffany Baltierra, the eldest of the sisters who is on bass, and Sophia Baltierra on the drums. Both Tori and Sophia are Leos, and Tiffany a Sagittarius — talk about a fiery band!
The band misses being onstage: the energy, the people. But with things changed now because of COVID-19, that hasn't stopped the bond between the Tiarra Girls and their fans. Tori mentioned that whether it’s an award or a like on Instagram, she appreciates everyone uplifting them.
Tiffany recollects that being a part of the band's success is also about being there for the community and giving back. “We love giving back to the community, and that is something our parents instilled in us growing up and in school. It was a part of education. We are able to give back and be creative at the same time.”
The Tiarra Girls are also each continuing their education as well. Tiffany is currently in nursing school, working at a hospital, Tori is studying studio engineering, and Sophia is working on her Business Marketing degree. Along with community and education, the trio also details the importance of family, especially coming from a Mexican-American background, and how it has inspired them immensely.
“We grew up listening to Selena, and she was our statue of honor. We watched the movie all the time. Especially [because,] how we are a family band and seeing how she was always put in the spotlight of not being Mexican enough or not being American enough,” Tori asserted.
Tiarra Girls grew up doing covers of Selena, Juanes, and other Latinx artists. And of course they all got a taste for music growing up in an environment where Mexican culture thrives off music. Not to mention, their dad Hector was nationally known as a breakdancer and DJ. His taste was celebrated. Mixed with hip-hop, country, R&B, soul, pop, and traditional Mexican sounds, the girls would accompany him to gigs at clubs, house parties, and weddings, learning how to dance to a wide variety of music.
“We kind of fell in love with the music and realized we can use our talent and our voice for that. And we can use our voice for issues like detention centers and the horrible conditions these people are in, and the horrible rhetoric people use against people of color,” Tori continues.
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🔵 today marks 100 yrs since the ratification of the 19th amendment, but we need to recognize that women of color still had to fight for decades to secure that right. we promote voting because it’s your VOICE for change and it’s an outlet that we NEED to use for those who are suppressed/blocked from that right, while we shout with/for them. we all need to stay aware, center marginalized voices, and use our privileges for good. 🤎
“We always play music in English and in Spanish even though we aren't fluent, we push ourselves to learn more words, incorporating Spanglish. We are multifaceted people, we are multifaceted Mexican-Americans. We come from very deep, powerful traditions.”
With everything that is happening in the world, from the pandemic to racial violence to wildfires, the Tiarra Girls still manage to bring the heat, including their recent with Kathy Valentine and cover of The Go-Go’s classic “Can’t Stop The World.”
“We are super excited to release it. The label came to us to partner with her and cover 'Can't Stop The World,' so we went in and tracked the instruments. Michael Ramos, our producer, had the idea of changing it to a pseudo reggaeton,” said Tori.
And with the lyrics, the band felt that it was great to see how malleable and personal lyrics can be to others.
“It was really interesting to piece it together. Our whole mission as a band is to be a voice for others, empowered in general,” said Tori. “With lyrics like ‘You knocked me down, but don’t know, I’m better on the ground,’ it's kinda like the world has knocked me down now. It's like I can take things into consideration now that I'm on the ground and be out of my head and see what's around me.”
Tiarra Girls keep trailblazing through, despite these unprecedented times. They continue to make music, share smiles, and uplift those around them. The sisters close out our Zoom interview with their proudest moments.
“I'm proud of how confident we've become with our voices,” said Sophia.
“Being grounded in who I am now and who I am gonna be,” said Tori.
“I’m proud of the balance that I have,” said Tiffany.
Listen to Tiarra Girls' newest single on all streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.
Follow them on Instagram @tiarragirlband and their website tiarragirls.com.
Photos courtesy of Tiarra Girls x Lucky Hound Music
Collages by Aeva Karlsrud
Aeva Karlsrud is a graphic and editorial designer based in New York, NY. You can find her work on her website at aevakarlsrud.com
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Natalie (she/they) is a graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Feminist Studies and a Editorial Intern for BUST mag. Hailing from the Bay Area, California they love to read, write poetry and analyze their birth chart. Check them out @hunnistix on Twitter for causal updates on how Mars square Saturn transit has been treating them.