When you lose someone you love, it feels like the world is ending. After losing her parents, experimental indie artist Tesha says that while the loss is painful, you can heal.
“Pain is a growing mechanism and I want to transpire that with visuals and sound,” Tesha tells BTRtoday about her debut album Growing Pain II. “I really try—I’m not perfect [and] it’s not easy, but I feel like my music gets me through it—making music, being in that state of mind really helps me.”
She’s used music to help her through tough parts of life since she was nine. After her parents’ recent deaths, she’s poured her heart into her work, hoping that by expressing her personal pain, she can help her listeners with their own struggles.
“I wanted to heal people,” she says. “I remember I wanted to do that since I was really young, so I feel like when I discovered music I was like, ‘oh, ok that’s how I’m going to do that.’”
Growing Pain II is a slow and ethereal take on experimental indie. Tesha’s vocals are dreamy and emotional on their own, but through sampling and distorting her voice, she creates an evocative, alien-like harmonization. The beats to tracks like “Funeral” or “ Shape of the Window” are gentle but edgy. It’s a hazy sound that’s able to pull any listener out of the dark.
Since she puts all of herself into her music, listening to her own work can be overwhelming. But as difficult as it is to hear herself sing about her mother’s soul leaving this earth, she says it’s a necessary part of healing.
The track “Shape of the Window” especially is one that Tesha says she tends to get stuck on. “It’s one of those songs that I feel like it’s a part of me,” she says. “[It’s about how] you keep getting back to the same situation of the same thing and you try to realize what was that one detail that you missed that you can change.”
She hopes her music opens minds and gets tears to flow. She believes music and culture focus too often on fleeting and trivial emotions and hopes to address the hurt that tends to be hidden.
“There’s a lot of pain in us that we’re not dealing with and somebody needs to talk about it,” Tesha says of her music.
The LP was almost named ‘Grief’ but Tesha chose to use ‘Growing Pains’ because of the album’s focus on the healing and her desire to avoid dwelling in the darkness. Even the album artwork, a photo of Tesha with extra large starry blue eyes, creates an air of hope.
“I really like to be in touch with the unknown, I feel like that’s part of the healing process, to get in touch with higher places of yourself,” she says. “I like making images that are mind-bending and proactive to open people’s minds and perspectives.”
Tesha’s currently working on her next album and a music video. In the meantime, hear the entire album and interview with Tesha on this week’s The Music Meetup.