Tessa Kaye's gorgeous voice and self-aware lyrics made her a beacon for me in a month that seemed to never end. Her song "You Know Who You Are and I Hate You" is about having those harder mental health days and recognizing them. We talked to her about new music and how she's been taking care of herself in such a difficult year.
How did you get started in music?
Tessa Kaye: I honestly cannot remember a time in my life where I wasn't obsessed with music, so I know the passion has always been a part of me. I'm sure my family wouldn't even be able to count the number of performances I did for them as a little girl haha. I've been singing since I started talking, and then started lessons around 11 years old, I want to say… and the passion just grew even more from that point on.
Tell me about "You Know Who You Are and I Hate You," what's the backstory?
Tessa Kaye: So the backstory of this song is the dialogue I'm having with my anxiety. The title "You Know Who You Are and I Hate You" is speaking to or calling out in a sense, my anxiety as if it were a separate person outside of myself. Sometimes I'll have those harder anxious days that do get the best of me and just leave me feeling so angry at my anxiety for derailing that day, plan, interaction,etc. So this song's me keeping it real about all aspects of that.
You're such an advocate for mental health, how have you been taking care of yourself this year?
Tessa Kaye: There are countless things I do to manage my anxiety. Energy Healing, meditation, and daily affirmations are a few of the things that help me the most. I also talk to my mom a whole lot haha, I facetime her at least once each day, but usually more than that. She can get me through anything. I work really hard to keep my mind as healthy as possible! However, with that being said, I do find it key for me to honor the difficult days as well. When I have a really awful day mentally, I tell myself I simply get to be grateful that a brand new day is coming soon. There isn't anything wrong with you if your mental struggle wins sometimes.
How have you been staying motivated to create this year?
Tessa Kaye: I think we can all agree that this year has been the weirdest for all of us. I'm quite the introvert and homebody already, but this year I have spent more time all alone than ever in my life, and it's been a trip. I've gotten to learn a lot more about myself which is cool, and has helped me evolve as an artist cause I know that it'll all show up in my writing/my music. My mind has expanded in ways it never has and although uncomfortable at times I'm grateful for the opportunities it's provided for me to grow. I've been able to stay motivated by taking everything as a big lesson and looked for ways it can be used in my art.
What has been the biggest challenge for you in the music industry?
Tessa Kaye: The biggest challenge I face in this industry is just feeling overwhelmed by it being such a big world. It's a huge, intense, crazy industry! There are also so many incredible artists, and it can be tricky to not compare. I think it's really important to believe in yourself and remember your own magic while simultaneously recognizing someone else's.
What's your best piece of advice for young women?
Tessa Kaye: Someone else asked me if I could go back and tell my younger self something what would it be, and this would be my advice to young women as well, which is: You can please some people some of the time, but you can please everyone none of the time, so stoppp caring so much about what everybody thinks!!! It's exhausting, and unnecessary. This goes for anyone, but especially as women we have so much societal pressure placed on us to be or not be countless things, and there really isn't any winning inside of that haha. So you win when you just do you, for you. At the end of the day you're the one who has to be happy with yourself, proud of yourself, and love yourself. Live life for yourself and let go of the expectations others have placed on you.
Music aficionado and editor-in-chief at The New Nine. I'm most at home at festivals and concerts. I would love to start a band of all Kanye covers all on keys. I'm a dedicated Jack White fan and when I saw him in concert it changed my life. I'd never seen someone so passionate about music and preserving its history. Every project he does I just worship. Follow me on Twitter and Insta: @etreadgold