Got a Girl Crush On: Tea Leigh
We’ve gushed about Tea before here on ye olde blog, but we wanted to take her out in the woods and pick her brain as well as record one of her haunting songs ourselves (video at end of the post!).
“Tori Amos will always be a music crush of mine, until the day I die. We have similar histories with religion and the second I heard her music she made me feel like it was okay to be queer, weird, and girly.”
Hey Tea! Can you introduce yourself? Where are you coming from/where are you going to?
I’m Tea Leigh, I am a Texas native but live in Brooklyn, New York and I’m trying to get to the desert!
What’s a typical day for you? What gets your motor going?
A typical day for me is usually pretty chill. I wake up, put on the new Father John Misty album (I’ve been obsessed for way too long–it’s time to let go), and make breakfast. Then I spend the rest of my day drawing, tattooing and cleaning all while music is playing in the background. It’s crazy when I think about how much of my life revolves around listening and singing along to music.
You mentioned that you picked up your dad’s guitar when you were 6 or 7 and plucked out “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”–what encouraged you to continue playing and ultimately start composing music?
I didn’t pick the guitar back up after that until I was in Middle School. My clarinet teacher encouraged me to learn when she found out I was interested. My dad is an opera singer of sorts & my whole family is very musical so I just jumped in. I started writing songs around my Freshman year of High School and would play at little coffee shops in my town. I think what always has encouraged me to write is my family & the events that have taken place in my life.
A lot of your music references religion and sex–what else inspires the music you write? Do you have a typical process?
My process is usually just grabbing the guitar and pressing record and just improving until I find something I like and then i just build from there. I grew up with an extremely religious family, so that part of my life has always stuck with me even though now I am not religious. I enjoy the taboo of sex in religion and try to play on that every now and then. For the most part what inspires my music is the relationships around me. Not just the romantic ones, but anyone who influences me in a positive or negative manner. I try to represent all of that in my sound.
You’re working on recording your first album in five years, why the hiatus and what can we expect with your new work?
The album i’m working on now is not related to my folk music. It’s more of a dream pop sounding album with my musical counterpart Luke Reed (who resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts). I am also actually about to release a folk album which I recorded a few years back but couldn’t release due to some legal issues–but we are back on track! I have no date for that just yet but in the mean time there is my old bandcamp!
What women are you currently crushing on in music or otherwise?
CATE LE BON !!! 100% my number one crush right now. Please listen to her music. So french and jumpy and relaxing and sexy.
Tori Amos will always be a music crush of mine, until the day I die. We have similar histories with religion and the second I heard her music she made me feel like it was okay to be queer, weird, and girly.
Out side of music I am really a fan of Samantha Ushiro on Instagram. We’ve been following each other on social media for over 2 years now and I have watched her grow as a designer from 800 followers to 53k. She’s a designer that makes donuts and is super good at it!