Tina Bright is as radiant in person as she is by name. Since she was young, she's been enmeshed in the Los Angeles music scene, from growing up in a song-filled home to a brief career as a rapper in the ‘90s attending parties with the likes of Dr. Dre and Eazy E. More than any of that though, she’s a self-described “6x Champion Beautiful People Maker” crediting her six sons as the greatest accomplishment in her life.
Her third youngest son, Mizan, is a close friend of EVERYBODY.WORLD and a longtime model for our online store. Recently, we asked him and Tina if they’d like to rally all the boys for family portrait and the timing turned out to be perfect.
Afterwards, we spoke with Tina about what that day meant to her, the liberating power of knowing your truth, and everything she's learned on her journey as mother so far.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Creative, resourceful, rare.
Where did you grow up?
In Santa Monica, California until 3rd grade, then my family moved to Pasadena because the moisture from the beach air affected my younger brother’s bronchitis. Taking the doctors advice my mom moved us to a drier climate.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little I wanted to be a roller derby star like Skinny Minny.
How do you stand into your power?
By standing in my truth. The truth about who “I” am and what “I” want from me. Not what anyone else wants from me. I feel like the best way to relinquish your power is by caring too much about what others think, giving them power over you. I used to struggle with that, then one day it became clear that I liked who I had become and how I think, even if it is different from the masses. I started loving myself even more when I recognized that I wasn’t a sheep. We tell ourselves little lies to help convince ourselves that certain things are okay. We tolerate things and people we really don’t like, and make excuses for it, but when you start telling the real truth and stop lying to yourself it’s powerful, liberating. I truly know now what it means when they say the “truth will set you free.”
You were famously the “Good” in Marla Mar & The Good ‘N’ Plenty Cru, and were signed to Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. How did you get into rap?
Yes, I had a short stint as a rapper. I was “Plenty” actually! My life has taken me on so many interesting journeys they don’t even seem real when I’m telling the stories. I always knew I wanted to be in entertainment growing up.
What has music meant to you throughout your life?
Music has always played a major role in my life. My mother bought new music weekly. All types. There was always music being played in our house. I always say that music is what feelings sound like. I can’t live without it.
You’ve raised six beautiful, strong, gifted sons who are a positive force. What life lessons have you learned from your boys on your journey together so far?
Thank you for recognizing that in my seeds. That means a lot as a mother. I learn so much from my Suns (not a typo!). But one thing I learned early from them was that adults owe children a certain amount of respect as well. I hate when people treat children or young adults as if they have no say on what goes on in their lives. I hate the “cuz I said so” type of parenting. Children's opinions should not be silenced because we think we always know best. Sometimes as parents we force our opinions, likes and dislikes on our kids. I’m guilty of it. Our job as parents is to recognize our children’s gifts, give them the tools to make it happen, and encourage them to keep raising their vibrations. I learned to let my kids figure things out and come to me when they need or want my input, not force it on them, if I can help it. I didn’t always feel the need to flex my parenting power.
Brandon Stanciell recently photographed you alongside Trevor, Garfield, Tairiq, Mizan, Nasir and Cairo for EVERYBODY.WORLD. How long had it been since you last shot a family portrait?
I had been trying to put one together for about two years now. I just didn’t want it to be some corny shoot with us dressed in Canadian tuxedos. When the opportunity to shoot with Brandon came about, I was ecstatic!
Can you describe that day for me? What was that experience like for you?
Shoot day was a really dope day. It was picture perfect. We had some great music playing so that paired with everything else made a very tranquil vibe. The shoot went smooth and Brandon was a pleasure to work with. He seemed to know exactly what he wanted. I loved what we wore. I felt so comfortable. And we didn’t look corny!
What does the Bright Family love to do together?
EVERYTHING. We do EVERYTHING together. We like to have a good time and make fun lasting memories. That’s always our goal. We like do whatever we can together. We're the type of family that has passes to Magic Mountain and use them often.
What do you think is the key ingredient to your happy house?
Describe what your perfect day looks like.
My perfect day starts with meditation. When I look at my phone and see that Breonna Taylor’s murderers have been charged and arrested, that will be my idea of a perfect day.
What activities or daily rituals help get you through the week?
I have such a non-addictive personality that I don’t like to have anything in my life that starts to feel too redundant. The one thing I am a stickler for is meditation. My days suck without it. It really helps me stop, organize my thoughts, calm my nerves and gain some clarity on my next moves.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ve been fortunate to have some great advice thrown my way. But the best I would say is to “put out what you want to get back.” That has been key in every instance for me. If you put out love and kindness you will get it back. And also not to worry about things out of my control. Worry doesn’t change the outcome, it only makes you sick.
Lastly, what’s something coming up in 2020 that you’re most looking forward to?
Honestly, everyday I wake up and put my feet on the floor is something to look forward to. Things feel very uncertain in the current state the world is in. But I’m really looking forward to seeing the growth of my Suns this year. They all have some really great things brewing. Especially the twins with their music. I’m so proud of them all. It’s another way I can stand in my power with confidence. I mean have you met them? They are all awesome. All so smart. Real solid men. I am the shit!! How could I not stand in my power after raising 6 Kings? I am a 6x Champion Beautiful People Maker. A boy mom.
Photos by Brandon Stanciell