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At a young age, she was encouraged by her grandmother who sang back up for Aretha Franklin to pursue a musical career. She began her career at age 12, recording in her cousin’s basement. She soon caught the attention of Big Mike, Ed K and Helluvah of Detroit’s K.I.S.S. Productions, which developed her from the age of 13 onward. Under Big Mike’s guidance, Marí spent every free moment in the studio, working with some of the hottest producers and songwriters in the game, including Helluvah, Disco D, Big Mike, Chaz M, Detail, Lyriq, AK, and J.R. K.I.S.S. Productions arranged for Marí to collaborate with artists such as Ray J, J-Kwon, Lola Damone, and Bee and for Marí to appear on Detroit’s Fox 2 Morning Show and UPN 50 Sports Rap. In October 2003, K.I.S.S. Productions released Teairra’s first album, an EP called Get Away, which became a local sensation. Teairra attended Aaliyah‘s alma mater, the Detroit High School for The Fine and Performing Arts and was a vocal major, performing in many of the school’s talent showcases. At the age of 16, K.I.S.S.’ Big Mike felt that Marí was ready for the big time, and he brought the R&B starlet in front of a who’s who of label execs. Candy Tookes, a friend of Big Mike, introduced the pair to industry veteran Daryl Simmons in Atlanta, Georgia. Simmons then shared Marí’s K.I.S.S. Productions-produced demo disc with Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Chairman of The Island Def Jam Music Group. After hearing Teairra Marí perform live, Reid offered her a contract on the spot.

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http://www.myspace.com/teairramari