The current conversation in Australian music is completely soaked by just how incredible the cohort of women in our industry are. While it was looking pretty grim there for a while, it seems that the tides are finally turning and the voices which were once silenced are coming out in full force. Amongst this pack is Teischa, the soulful and mysterious Perth local has hit the ground running and delivered a wondrous self-titled EP which has everyone on the edge of their chairs for the next chapter. LunchBox got in contact to chat about Teischa Jones’ take on pop music, joining Inertia’s Collective Artists and why Perth is the best place to be for young talent.
In a recent conversation with a friend, the topic of genre came up, and as someone who spends all day trying to pinpoint an artist’s sound, it became apparent that the labelling of contemporary music is becoming more blurred than ever before. How would one describe an artist like Teischa? With soulful vocals, a poetic lyrical theme and electronic production (see track Move) it seems that her music is something of an abstract artwork. In posing this question to the artist herself it, would appear I am not alone. “I wanted to mix this new electronic music with this fun junction of pop songs that have a real meaning behind it, and have inspiration from a lot of different styles of music. That’s what I really strive for with my music now, and I think people are catching on to that,” she explains.
It is this unique quality that seems to be making Jones the sort of artist that you can’t help but be completely intrigued by; she’s young and fiercely passionate about her craft, something she insists took time to get a grip on. “Being quite young, and obviously being a woman in the industry… sometimes, unfortunately, you are looked at in a different way. At one stage I did have an all-girl band and we had a number of situations where we were looked down upon because we all we quite young compared to the others. I definitely think that I’ve learnt a lot about the industry in that sense, I think it’s made me bigger and bolder and more confident I don’t think it’s a negative thing at all, I’ve learnt from it.”
And people are taking notice, having recently been inducted into the fold of Inertia’s imprint label Collective Artists alongside the likes of Ali Barter, City Calm Down, Body Type and Sarah Blasko. Excited about the development, Jones has big plans for the coming year and new music is just the tip of the iceberg. “I’m so stoked to be with Collective Artists, I’m such a fan of what they do and of the rest of their roster, I’m so thrilled to be a part of that. My goals for the rest of the year are to get out there and keep playing live shows, that’s my favourite part of this, playing live I feel like I get to express myself so much [in ways that are] so much easier when I’m playing straight to an audience… I’m taking my band over East for the first time in July and we’re playing Melbourne and Sydney show which I’m so stoked about. The band and I are working on creating a really engaging and amazing live show so we can get that record across and then hopefully I’m aiming to release a few more songs towards the end of the year.”
Born in Freemantle, a hub for some of Australia’s most promising and exceptional talents, Jones has seen plenty of the world for someone so young. Interestingly, her upbringing wasn’t musical, and to add to her already impressive list of achievements she is completely self-taught. A raw talent to say the least, bringing music to the forefront of her mind took time and perseverance. “It was definitely a slow process, nothing was ever forced musically for me. My whole family is very sporty, my mum’s a swim coach and my brother’s a swimmer, and when I was a teenager I was very much just sports, just do sports, so music was never forced upon me.
“I supposed I discovered this love for music and storytelling, and initially I started writing before I knew that I wanted to sing the songs and play the songs, and to play in front of an audience was definitely not the intention. I had a lot to say and so I would write it down and it progressed from that and I think it wasn’t ’til years after that that I figured out that I had a voice and that I should learn how to use it. I taught myself how to play guitar and taught myself to play piano and then it was a slow development from there. The more confidence I got when I stood on a stage and also being part of the
“The more confidence I got when I stood on a stage and also being part of the Perth local scene has been a huge support as a person and as a musician. There’s such an amazing community of artists and musicians here who really have your back. All they want to do is support you and watch you grow and do amazing things together. That was a massive step for me. There were a few artists here who took me under their wing when I was still really young and wasn’t even allowed to play in venues. [They] took me on tour and showed me the way before I really started my own project, and for that I’m really grateful.” Throughout our
Throughout our conversation, Jones speaks a number of times about how being young has impacted her career, and that while it definitely doesn’t distract from the ability of an artist, there needs to be more conversation about the next generation of musicians and how we can better support them through live music. “I was 16 or 17 when I started playing gigs and it’s really hard when you’re that age because you can’t necessarily play in a lot of venues because you can’t get in, so it is hard to find those artists who are really killing it. And that’s the great thing about triple j Unearthed, who have been really supporting my music lately which is amazing, but also supporting artists like Mosquito Coast who are such a great band. It’s so cool to see underage kids who are just as talented as everyone else but don’t get the chance to show it off.”
For anyone who has heard Teischa’s music, you’ll quickly realised that for all her upbeat and peppy personality, her music reflects that which she holds close to her chest. Melancholy and moody, her soulfully trembling vocals eclipse even the most invigorating pop anthem. “I write music for myself and it’s therapeutic,” she explains. “I feel something and I write about it, it’s how I get through a feeling. If I’m mad about something or happy about something I just have this urge where the first thing I have to do is write about it.
“Whether it’s a great line that came to my head in a conversation, it’s just this instinct thing that I feel something I write it, and a lot of my songs are quite moody and super-personal and I think they’re not crazy happy. Because it’s normally when I’m feeling really down about something, or upset about something or feeling really strongly about something that I have that real powerful urge to write it down straight away. I never sit down with a specific topic in mind, it’s more of a feeling. I love a good heartbreak, break-up, I love a good one of those. I’ve always steered towards this topic of feeling out of place, I supposed I’ve done a lot of moving around. I lived in Thailand for ten years and I’ve come back to Perth and moving between schools my whole life. I’ve had a lot of that out of place feeling, feeling like you don’t really belong in a space. And then friendships and connections with people.”
She’s coming to Sydney and Melbourne for the first time for solo shows just around the corner. Jones is a star on the rise and her quiet confidence is making sure her voice is not lost in the crowd; a glorious addition to Australian music.
13 July, The Workers Club, Melbourne
15 July, Oxford Circus, Sydney