Sunday, July 29, 2012
Bantering with Australian Rapper and Singer Tessa Cattanach
I recently had the opportunity to chat with up and coming Australian artist, Tessa Cattanach about her latest music endeavors and what she has in stores for her doting fans. Tessa Cattanach, aka Beatrix Kiddo, is a Hip Hop recording and performing artist, and a big fan of Hip Hop music and culture. The rapper/singer was born & bred in Melbourne, Australia. Her close affiliation with her American & Australian music friends, have helped craft her into a credible and formidable lyricist, rapper, live performer and all round Hip Hop artist. Australia is her home and developmental hub, however, her music is for the world, with America and Europe as her desired markets. Hey, Tessa. How is life treating you, dear? :-) Tessa: I'm great! Everything is really good...working really hard and making great progress. I feel blessed! Since the last time we spoke, you had a lot in the works. Tell us what you've been up to since then. Tessa: Well since then, I put out my first mixtape "Regardless" hosted by NY's DJ Envy around June last year (2011). I recorded majority of the mixtape in Australia, and brought it back with me to promote and distribute in America for the Summer. It was great, I did a variety of interviews, pushed the mixtape to a few artists and production people, attended a few events like Ace Hoods album listening and various showcases. When I came back to Australia I started performing a lot more, all material from the mixtape. In Feb this year I performed alongside Lloyd for his second Australian Tour, and shortly after I supported the Game in my city, Melbourne. Between then and now I've put out various clips on YouTube including my video for "Eff the BS" off the mixtape. Women of Hip Hops website put the video up and got me over 6000 views in 3 days! I returned to Atlanta in June this year and just recently came home, I plan to be back in the US within the next few months. Will you be signing to a major label anytime soon or do you plan to remain independent? Tessa: Appears to be major but all of that's still up in the air right now. My father, who is my Business Manager, is currently negotiating contracts alongside my music attorney. I can't publicly announce anything at this point. You recently starred in the video "Turn on the Lights" featuring Lloyd. Congrats again. I must say the still photos look very steamy and sexy. I know you're besides yourself, considering that is it something big for you. What was the experience like? Can we expect the unexpected? :-) Tessa: Well the video is actually Lloyd's remix to Future's song "Turn on the Lights". We shot it in Atlanta not long ago. It is pretty big for me as I've been a close working friend of Lloyds for almost 3 years now, and after touring with him I was really looking into collaborating on a song and video. The experience was great, he's so easy to work with, and Kennedy Rothchild (the videos director) made everything really comfortable and also really fun. The video is creatively very different, and I think it will turn a few heads ;). Can we expect to see you in anymore music videos? Tessa: Aside from videos of my own, I have no plans at this point to feature in any other artists videos, but I'd be happy to do it again. I see you like to rap. Do you sing, too? Tessa: I do like to sing, I actually started singing when I was 12yrs old and started rapping professionally when I turned 20. How long have you been in the music business? Tessa: Well I started performing from around 14 yrs old, recording from about 18yrs old, and getting involved in the business side of music for about 2-3 years now. I see you're very curvy and fit. What do you do to maintain your curvaceous figure. Any routines? Tessa: Not really, I thank my mum! Good genes! Is there another femee who inspires you? If so, who would that be? Tessa: listen to a lot of female rappers, I like to hear different creative styles and I like to research the rise and fall of different female artist careers. I mean I don't find myself using a lot of them as inspiration, but I definitely learn a lot from their experiences. Nicki Minaj would have to be the one I follow closely at present due to her complete take over of the female rap genre, nobody can touch her right now. With the handful of femees that are in a male dominated arena, do you feel pressured to anything other than yourself, such as sexifying your image? Tessa: I mean, I try to be as sexy as possible without trying too hard if that makes sense. I like to be versatile with my look, I can wear jeans and sneakers and be sexy, but I can also rock stilettos and some tight leggings. Its all about feeling comfortable but making an impression using elements that are natural (my hair, body, eyes) along with material things like clothes, shoes and accessories. I don't feel pressured to go too far with the "sex sells" theory and I'm quite happy with my image as it is. If someone picks up your ipod, which list of artist will they find (other than Lloyd)? Tessa: At the moment I'm really on Maybach Music. Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill... I like Fabolous, Jeezy and Andre 3000. Obviously the legends, JayZ, Biggie and Pac. For rnb type artists, besides Lloyd lol, I like Trey, Beyonce and Chris Brown. Do you write all of your lyrics as well? Who or what inspires your music? Tessa: I do write all of my lyrics, its very important to me that my music comes from my own thoughts and experiences. Different situations and people inspire me. For example my remix to "All I Want Is U" is word for word about a relationship I wrote about over a 3 month timeframe, and "Bussin Out My Jeans" came from me ripping a hole in my jeans! Is there a recorded song out there you wish you could have composed, wrote, and rapped/sang? :-) Tessa: There are plenty! I like a lot of Wales concepts that came from "Lotus Flower", and "Sabotage". I also liked Nicki's "Fly" with Rhianna. But really there are a lot of songs that I felt that way about. What do many people do not know about you? Tessa: Well I wasn't the young child that had dreams of being a successful rap artist or famous singer. I actually wanted to be a Veterinarian and look after animals. Then everything changed after a friend of mine in highschool said I had a really good voice and I started taking vocal lessons. And I secretly like Justin Bieber... Do you plan to move to the states or remain in Australia? Tessa: Ideally I want to own a house in the States and a house in Australia, but most of my time will be in America. What else can your fans, friends, and family members expect from you? Tessa: Other than creating great music, I definitely want to get involved in movies and television a little later in my career. For now I just want to solidify my spot in the industry as an artist and as a lyricist. What is the toughest thing about being in the music business? What have you learned while being the business? Tessa: You learn very quickly that not many people genuinely want to help others in this industry. Everyone is trying to eat, and no one is really open to any new ideas as there's too much risk involved financially. You have to be very clear in understanding a persons expectations and making sure you don't agree or sign to do anything you don't fully understand. Where do you see yourself five years from now? Do you plan to venture out? Tessa: 5 years from now I would like to have had major international exposure, touring and having songs all over the radio. A few albums, mixtapes, collaborations and of course number 1 hits. Then, as I mentioned, maybe some movie or television work. What is your advice to other up and coming female artists? Tessa: A lot of people will say this, but it is true. If you have a passion, you need to own it and push everyway you can to build it and perfect it. Take every opportunity to get your music heard, and to gain experience. You have to be able to take the bad feedback along with the good, and understand not everyone is going to be a fan. Is there anyone you'd like to give a shout to? Tessa: Always so many people to shout out, my music fam KidMac, Chase Baker, Lloyd and the YG crew, Michelle Grace Hunder and Quby my photographers, Rawberry Entertainment for all my latest videos... Jamaka and the Stream AV crew for my mixtape... All the US and Australian artists who have supported my music and collaborated with me, and most importantly my close friends and family.