Brooklyn-based, Buenos Aires-born musician and producer Valerie Teicher (aka Tei Shi) says she struggled at first with her decision to move beyond songwriting into singing and performance. “People have this idea that you can only check some of the proverbial boxes as a creative woman,” she says in her official bio. “That you can’t be attractive and sexual and a great singer and a solid performer and a great writer and be in control of your creative space, as if some of those are mutually exclusive for a human woman.”
It’s a gift that she decided to take a chance and step into her own spotlight. Tei Shi has proven herself capable of multi-dimensional artistry. Her music has a soft strength that you’re going to click with if you’ve ever found power in embracing your own vulnerability. And the visuals own: 2015’s “See Me” was a dreamy portrait of her childhood home of Bogotá, and in “Bassically,” she plays a saber-wielding action hero leading her girls in battle against mysterious, earth-shaking forces.
In the clip for “Keep Running,” director Agostina Gálvez complicates our era’s beloved jewel-tone music video palette by putting Tei Shi in a wandering karaoke moment. Viewers are invited to join the microphone-wielding artist’s request for more emotional labor from a lover, which Tei Shi delivers as she vamps between knots of beautiful friends at a house party.
After the siren calls of 2013’s Saudade and 2015’s Verde EPs, fans will be rewarded to learn that her first full-length effort Crawl Space drops in March. The album is named for a rather dramatic self-empowerment exercise Tei Shi had when she was eight, around the same time that she first started writing songs. Battling a gnarly ongoing case of insomnia, she would squeeze into a crawl space in her family’s home for short periods of time, daring herself to grow up. We’re glad she opted to share the results of the rigorous process with her fans.