Oakland-born, LA-raised R&B pop artist Tessa Rae shares her newest music video for single, “Awesome.” A feisty track with a minimalist beat, “Awesome” features brazen, cheeky lyrics sung captivatingly over an R&B and trap-inspired landscape, with a stunning video to match. The song is the first listen from Rae since the release of “Footsteps (feat. Brando),” and is a taste of what’s to come with her new EP, set to drop later this year.
I finished “Awesome” in one night with a friend and always felt like there needed to be a visual for it, so we reached out to the amazingly talented director Dana Trippe,” says Tessa Rae. “I’ve been a huge fan of her photography for a while and was so happy when I learned she was down to collaborate.
“I was lucky enough to have so many amazing women on set with me. The all-female energy was really integral in creating the feeling for this video. The song was always meant to be fun. The video is a little unexpected and quirky and it felt pretty empowering for me as we were filming. As females I think we gotta remind ourselves and each other how awesome we are more often!”
Pop is more sonically porous than ever, and Tessa Rae is its latest, greatest genre-blending alchemist. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter has struck aural gold with her uncanny merging of the dark, shadowy pop favored by Lana Del Rey and Mazzy Star with the elastic and moody sounds of modern-day hip-hop.
She grew up in Oakland and moved to L.A. when she was 13, a transitional period that introduced her to all that music had to offer. Rae grew up at the intersection of fashion and music, thanks to her upbringing as her parents founded the Wasteland clothing stores in Los Angeles; her father had what Tessa terms a “crazy record collection” and turned her on to artists like Joy Division and Sonic Youth. “I got into music through his taste”.
In college Rae was introduced to a few producers before clicking with songwriter and producer, Justin Warfield of She Wants Revenge fame. After her first taste of a real studio atmosphere, Rae dropped out of college and moved back to L.A.
What’s next? Charting new sonic paths as she continues to write and record, moving through her hip-hop-indebted sound and towards exciting new musical territory. “I wanna make music that sounds timeless, which I’m realizing more as I get older,” Rae exclaims. As she evolves, the music does too, shaping into something bright and powerful like Tessa herself.