Grammy and Oscar award-winning singer-songwriter Tiara Thomas, a 2012 Ball State University graduate, returned to campus as part of the David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series.

In March, Ms. Thomas won her first Grammy award for co-writing the 2020 Song of the Year, “I Can’t Breathe,” in collaboration with singer-songwriter H.E.R. The following month, “Fight for You,” another song co-written by Ms. Thomas and H.E.R., won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Her passion and purpose propelled her to becoming one of the top singer-songwriters in the industry and she spent the day in workshops sharing that passion with students and ended the day with the traditional lecture. “A Conversation with Tiara Thomas” was an intimate hour full of honesty, ambition, and hope.

In the afternoon Tiara hosted a workshop in one of our audio suites, along with her producer, Kelson Camp. This workshop allowed students to ask questions and get a better understanding of how Tiara worked with Kelson to create her award-winning song.

Later, Kelson opened up the original files from 2012 to give students a look into the actual project. He went on to talk about how the entire song was created using stock sounds in the software. This was a great insight for the students. He encouraged them use what they have, not every hit needs to have ultra unique sounds and beats. It’s all about your creativity and hard work.


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Keep your eyes open for more content from Tiara Thomas’s day at Ball State, including a behind-the-scenes look inside the songwriting workshop!