Tessa Kaye is an artist you need to have on your radar, her new song "Girl, I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend" immediately hooks you with her gentle voice and sweet lyrics with those catchy hooks that reel you in. We caught up with Tessa Kaye to talk about the changes she wants to see in music and what's been inspiring her lately.
How did you get started in music?
Tessa Kaye: I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t obsessed with music! I started talking before I was a year old and have been singing ever since then too. I performed all throughout my childhood and just never stopped. It’s always been a huge part of me.
You grew up Mormon?! Can you tell me about deciding to leave to pursue music?
Tessa Kaye: Yes, I did! I left the Mormon church for countless reasons, but I’d actually say pursuing music wasn’t one of them. During my Mormon upbringing, I was still singing, performing, and doing all things music. I don’t feel one really had to do with the other.
Do you feel like that upbringing impacted your songwriting?
Tessa Kaye: For a while, it definitely did! I was incredibly hesitant when it came to really say what I wanted to say in my lyrics. I didn’t think I could swear or anything like that out of fear of being judged. I’ve worked hard to get past that for the last few years and am happy to say it doesn’t impact my writing so much now!
Tell me about your song “Girl, I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend,” what’s the story behind it?
Tessa Kaye: The chorus of “girl, I wanna be your girlfriend” popped into my head during springtime last year while I was washing dishes. I remember thinking, “omg, that’s a cute idea,” and loving the melody I had come up with, etc. I hadn’t actually dated a girl before then, so I kinda forgot about it after that! one of my best friends was also in the same boat as me. We’d both recently come out to some family and wanted to date girls. We laugh about it now, but we were absolutely terrified. We decided it was gonna be a “hot girl summer,”… and then I ended up meeting my new girlfriend about a month later. Imagine that! During the first couple weeks of her and I talking/dating, the song basically wrote itself. I always say the universe was waiting for me to be authentic and then went, “here she is!” this song is so special to me, and I’m so happy I documented my “gaybie chapter.” I haven’t even been out for very long yet, but it’s already a time that’s so sweet and definitely funny to look back on. All of the nerves, questioning, unmatched amounts of butterflies… the sheer excitement that comes with feeling free, open, being true to myself, and falling in love. I’m grateful I finally gave myself permission to be even more “me.” I know for sure there are so many other queer people in the same position I was in, so this is for all of us!
What has been one of the biggest challenges for you in your career?
Tessa Kaye: Some days it’s a challenge to choose to keep believing in myself and in my magic. Self-doubt is so real and hard to beat sometimes, but that’s life. Speaking kindly to myself and choosing to believe in myself is continued work, and that’s okay.
What has been inspiring you lately?
Tessa Kaye: My girlfriend for sure. I just want to keep writing queer love songs!
What’s your best piece of advice for young women?
Tessa Kaye: Be shameless and unapologetic in who you are and how you choose to live your life. The more I lean into my authenticity, the happier I become, and I wish I would’ve started that practice sooner.