With hard-hitting beats, profound lyrics, and a killer voice, Teesa is not your average pop princess.
“Culturally, I think I’m a big melting pot,” laughs Teesa during our interview at Tiago in Hollywood. The half-Japanese, half-Filipina singer was born in Japan and adopted by an African American military family. Teesa grew up as an air force brat, constantly moving to different places. At a young age, she already showed herself to be a prolific musician, teaching herself guitar, bass, and drums.
Teesa cites Prince as her ultimate inspiration. “He’s just an all-around bedazzler.” However, just as her music is influenced by various cultures, Teesa also draws inspiration from a myriad of music genres ranging from KPOP to classic rock. “I’ve always been into dance music and rock music. I think with the turn of the fashion of music over the past few years, everything has become a bit more electronic and I’ve just been trying to put my own stamp on what’s going on right now.”
With her upcoming EP “Rebel,” Teesa is doing just that. Don’t let the upbeat tempos fool you. Teesa’s lyrics are emotionally charged and surprisingly honest. Her willingness to be vulnerable and open to her audience is what sets her apart from others. “Right now with the pop industry, it’s incredibly contrived. I think the rawness of the nineties is going to comeback and I want to be a part of it.”
The EP shares its title with the lead single. Teesa calls Rebel her own personal anthem, a song that exemplifies her spirit and her refusal to let others define her. “Being an attractive female, people kind of put walls around you…Nobody knows what Asian American sounds like. Rebel represented being rebellious against all those stereotypes.”
In the coming weeks, Teesa will be taping the music video for Rebel, which will include a cameo by a famous Filipino celebrity. She will also be playing shows in Little Tokyo, West Hollywood, and the Bay Area. Check out her website for more details and don’t forget to purchase your own copy of Teesa’s EP, available this Friday on iTunes and Amazon.