Milwaukee, Wisconsin native Tia Leslie, better known as simply Tia, seemed to have everything necessary to make it in pop music, but it seems pop just wasn’t ready for her sexually suggestive, electro-tinged sound. Tia released her club-friendly single “Slip N’ Slide” in America in 1995 via the now defunct Atlanta, Georgia based Ichiban Records. For younger ears, the song could have easily been an ode to the iconic Wham-O Slip ‘N Slide. But for anyone over the age of 15, it was pretty clear that the song wasn’t about the legendary mainstay of backyard summertime fun.
Juxtaposing a hypnotic beat with an infectious warbling bassline, “Slip N Slide,” written by Tia and Sunne Walsh, was one of the more memorable songs that I discovered in the summer of 1995. With lyrics like “I took the hose and put it in, that’s when the pumping would begin. The water flows most everywhere and the wetness sprayed into the air,” Tia didn’t shy away from the sexually suggestive meaning. The song was picked up by several major stations and was blasted through speakers in countless gay clubs across the United States, but the track never managed to gain enough traction on pop radio.
“Slip N Slide,” available on iTunes with remixes, was taken from Tia’s self-titled debut album. Speaking about her debut with Billboard in the June 15, 1996 issue, Tia said: “I think it will give me more of a platform to express who Tia is in the future, and it’s only one part of me.” Adding: “You only get one chance, and I’m going to take it.” Sadly, the album was released with virtually no fanfare.
Following the release of her debut record, Tia released a memorable Sir Mix-A-Lot produced cover of Gary Numan’s “Cars.” Though it has been almost four years since she released her last studio album, More, it appears Tia is working on a new collaboration with French artist Matyeux Mind. Keep an eye out for that – I know I will.