Destiny depends on hustle.
Shaking up pop, R&B, and hip-hop with a sharp sense of humor (and sharper mic
skills), flaunting an otherworldly outsized fashion sense (like Grace Jones gone
Candyland), and blessing each phase of her art with a teacup (of origins she will not
disclose), TeaMarrr imagined a world of her own—and actually went one step further to
bring it into existence. Since emerging in 2017,the Boston-born and Los Angeles-based
Haitian-American songstress backed up every word through consistent independent output, leaping
from an underground phenomenon to the flagship artist on Issa Rae’s Raedio in partnership with
Atlantic Records. Acclaimed by everyone from Flaunt and NPR to Ones To
Watch and Consequence of Sound and streamed upwards of 4 million times as of
2019, she turned personal promises into a wild, weird, and wonderful trip...
“I say the weirdest things, and they just happen—like I spoke them into existence,” she
grins. “I keep sayings things until an opportunity comes. Then, I jump on it. I found tweets
and old diary entries where I wrote ‘I’m going to be a star one day.’ Now, I think,
‘Girl, what were you trying to do? You weren’t writing songs yet! You weren’t
singing!’,” she laughs. “Once I said those things, I found a way to do them. I
believed in the words I said, but I put the work in, evolved, and kept growing.”
She planted the seeds for this growth as a kid in Boston. Mom enforced a strict edict
around the house: no television Monday through Friday. Instead, she encouraged TeaMarrr to
“read a book or write a book.” This fostered the development of an expansive
imagination and a magnetic attraction to music as she admits, “The Notorious B.I.G. and
Amy Winehouse were my two biggest influences. If they had a baby, it would’ve been
She took the first step on her journey during a visit to Toronto. After freestyling to
“Shook Ones, Pt. 2,” friends implored her to go further. This set off an explosive chain of
events. In 2017, the independent Thanks for the Chapstick EP fueled early buzz with
cuts like “In My Mind.” However, everything changed with her 2018 single “One Job.” Not only
did it put up 1.2 million Spotify streams and land her an opening spot for H.E.R.
(handpickedby the star), but it also caught the attention of Emmy®Award-nominated
director, writer, actress, and producer Issa Rae.
“I feel like that was manifested, because I was obsessed with Awkward Black Girl
since high school,” she goes on. “I always thought I would be independent. I take a lot of
pride in it too. When Issa told me she liked the music and she wanted me to be her first
artist, I was said, ‘Fuck it, I’m going to do this, because it’s you!’ We have a
similar sense of humor. The vibe was genuine and natural. It’s almost like one of my friends
from high school just ended up becoming famous and I’m having dinner with her. I saw myself
in Awkward Black Girl. I see myself in Insecure. I think God set it up like
this. It’s black girl magic throughout the whole team.”
The 2019 single “Kind Of Love” pops off with its own kind of magic.Over a nineties-style
throwback echoand horn samples, she bobs and weaves between sexy soul swagger, island
mystique, and subversive appeal. Everything drips into an irresistible chant.
“I was in a really free space,” she admits. “I didn’t have a crush on anybody. I was just
wanting to crush on someone though, so I went through everything I wanted him to be like.
I’m really expressing what I look for in a lover. Speaking of manifestation again, after we
made the song, I got a boyfriend!”
In the end, TeaMarrr built all of this with a bigger purpose in mind, which becomes clear
on her forthcoming full-length debut and so much more...
“I want people to heal themselves with my sound,” she leaves off. “I hope they walk away
thinking, ‘TeaMarrr is my new musical pharmacist.’ My catalog will heal whatever mood
you’re in. If you’re in a lovey-dovey vibe, put on ‘Kinda Love’. If you’re feeling
nostalgic, I’ve got something for that. If you’re angry at your ex and don’t understand why
he couldn’t have done the one thing you asked him to, I definitely have a song. Share the
medicine. I want to be a sonic doctor and make you smile.”