It’s great to have you, Tess. So you’re not just a musician, but you’re also an entrepreneur! Tell us more about your entrepreneurial pursuits.
Yes! I’m really passionate about equity and gender and racial justice. I’ve been working on similar projects since I was young, and currently I lead a nonprofit initiative that focuses on making the technology and AI field more inclusive and diverse.
How do you balance your creative and professional lives?
They feed into each other, actually. Creativity and authenticity helps me be a better leader and entrepreneur, and music these days is also highly entrepreneurial. If you’re an independent artist, you have to have grit, dedication and drive and understand the music business, design, branding and marketing. Music also helps me express myself, bring out other parts of who I am and also is therapeutic. Plus, I believe that art is a very powerful tool for social change, and this is also how my various passions connect.
What was it that made you get into songwriting and singing?
I wanted to be a singer when I was 12 but I put it away for many years. Just a few years ago, I started to get back into it and realized the dream was dormant inside still. Thanks to my first singing coach, I started writing songs and my interest and passion around it increased 10x. I am so happy I found it again.
Do you feel like music helped you discover your true self?
I’ve written songs about things inside myself that I could never put into just words. Music has helped me heal pain, bring out what’s in the shadows, and find new joys I never knew. To me, it has an infinite potential for discovery. As we grow, it grows with us, and helps us keep growing.
Who has influenced your music the most?
Classical music really influenced me early on when I was first learning the piano. Also, Radiohead, Fiona Apple, Labrinth, Bob Dylan and the Beatles.
What do you miss most about performing live?
The energy of the crowd. There is nothing like that, and to me a great show will be a dance and exchange between the audience and performers. I’ve been doing more livestreaming which is fun, but not the same unfortunately. But- one upside of the virtual setting is being able to connect with my audience from overseas that wouldn’t have otherwise come to live shows. Love connecting with people from all over the world!
How do you stay connected with fans?
I’ve been performing for livestream shows and going on Instagram live to connect more closely with people. I also sometimes get my fans to participate in the songwriting process which I love doing and getting their ideas.