We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracey Phipps and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tracey, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
We all have dreams, but we don’t all believe that those dreams can become a reality. I treat my dreams like a glimpse of what the future holds for me, like potential chapters of my story. The first step is always the hardest, and that’s just simply believing. If you aren’t convinced that your dreams can come true, then it’s impossible to convince others. However, life has a beautiful way of surrounding us with people who will encourage us and pull the best out of us. Once you’ve made up your mind that you can achieve this, the next step is to “violently” chase it. Yes, “Violently Chase After Your Dreams”. That’s my quote in life because for me it is a matter of life or death. Even after I am gone I expect my legacy to continue on. The fruit of your labor is a sign to know whether or not to continue going. Is it growing organically? You shouldn’t have to force anything. When you have a great idea, people should become attracted to it. Some people may even copy it! My mother taught me this lesson after I founded Time for TEA. She said “Tracey, you are a leader. The point of being a leader is allowing people to follow you. So don’t get mad if people try to do what you do… that’s a sign that you are onto something.” So just remember, everything you need is on the inside of you, just be yourself and continue on. If it’s meant to be, it will organically fall into place and grow. Always be patient, because timing is everything, and you may just be early. If you never start, you’ll certainly be late.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve had a strong passion for music, arts, and business my entire life. Even at a young age I always found ways to be creative. I grew up singing in church with my sisters whenever my mom traveled as a minister. As I continued to grow, my interest in fashion and business also grew stronger. I made a decision to major in Fashion Business Management. After I graduated, I aggressively pursued a career in Fashion and eventually took a big risk and moved to Japan for 3 months. It was difficult for me to really focus on my music earlier in my professional career. People often would tell me that I would have to choose. After reaching more success in my career, my need for music became larger and I committed to writing and releasing a single. In 2015 I released my first single, Empire. That was the first step, putting something permanently out into the world for others to enjoy regardless of my fear or title. I continued to work on music but it wasn’t until 2019 that I really set a clear goal for my musical career and began to aggressively work on producing more content. When the pandemic hit in 2020 it became the opportunity for me to silence the extra noise and really find my voice. I have learned so many lessons along the way, but the most important is that there is a time and a place for all things. Sometimes people don’t pursue their goals because they think they are too young, too old, or not talented enough. I learned to understand that God was going to open doors for me in His timing. God’s plans are better and bigger than my own. Today, I am fully focused on my target. My life experiences have armed me with the courage to believe in myself regardless of what people think. That’s literally my secret… I believe I am different, I am light, and I am not just called to Orlando, Or NYC, or DC, but that I am called to the nations. And genuinely believing that is what gives me the authority to walk into rooms the way I do. I want the world to know that I walk by faith and not just by sight because I have already seen my future and simply need to believe it! I will honor God everywhere I go because he has made me, the same way he made you and loves you too!
I just released my newest single “Without Me”, and it talks about not dimming your light and just accepting your purpose and fully walking into it with the right people beside you. This song is a reminder that you can not do things alone and that change will come if we work together to achieve our dreams. The song was produced by HMBeats and the music video was directed by Herb Maximo and is available on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?
My latest R&B single “What I Want” is releasing April 16th. It was originally released on the RNBNext Volume 2 Album hosted by Ne-Yo. You can catch it here: https://distrokid.com/
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For Orlando, I would take them- Brunch would be at The Glass Knife, a beautiful cafe in central Florida. For lunch definitely Sushi Eat Station for a little Asian Sushi style food. Dinner would be at Seito Sushi for the best sushi in Orlando or Thai Thani for some authentic Thai food! Evening drink at Mathers downtown for my favorite “Toasted Almond” drink. Over the weekend we’d go have some girl time over tea at The Tea Room Experience in Orlando, maybe a wine tasting at Coopers Hawk and end the evening at Mangos for some dancing near I-Drive.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate my shout-out to my mother, Francisca Phipps. My family & pastors- (Twin) Stacey Phipps, (Sister) Franchesca Phipps, and my Brother in law Sergio Chavez (Pastors of Hope Center Church in MD). My best friend Dimas Drullard. My music manager: Rhonda Stanley of Divine Dreamz Entertainment. Career Mentor Serena Peck SVP of Legal at Fast Retailing. My friend Arlene Blake of Women on The Rise who has mentored and connected me in Orlando. My mentor Tekoa Pouerie of Acceleration Church. One of my favorite producers, HMBeatz. Last but not least, my staff members at Time for Tea: Anna Aguilar, Ursula James, Shantel Cambell, Alayna Pagan, Alberto Dilone, Maxwell Cogdell, Danny McMillan, and Pablo Ortiz.
Debyphotography Enosch Henry David Daudin MYTO Studios Herb Maximo