Art and Performance Spring 2024

What the Hell Is Make Believe Seattle?

Finally, a Film Festival for Fellow Weirdos

The Power of Making People of Color Invisible

Stephanie Syjuco Empowers the Oppressed with Just a Finger

Better, Stronger, Faster

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra Pays Tribute to the Legendary Oliver Nelson

Where to Pickup a Copy of The Stranger's Spring A+P 2024

Find it at Hundreds of Locations Around Seattle!

Queen of Our World

When Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe Writes, the Revolution’s Coming

Blowing Minds and Melting Faces

Thunderpussy Celebrate Their Survival with a Surprising Benaroya Hall Takeover

Person of Interest: Arson Nicki

Finally, a Fashion Expert for the People

Six Films You Need to See at Make Believe Seattle

Starring Ethical Vampires, Ridiculous Puppets, and a Dude Who Pretends to Be George Lucas for Funsies

Art, Illness, and Auto Repair

Cherdonna Makes a Compassionate Comeback

Person of Interest: TeZATalks

Harbinger of Horror-Filled Hardcore Pop

It’s Important That the Bug Undulates

How Anida Yoeu Ali Uses Wiggling Worms and Glitter as Forms of Protest

Sincerely Joking

Chastity Belt Live, Laugh, and Love 10 Years On

Your Spring Arts Itinerary

24 of This Season’s Very Best Art, Books, Music, Film, Theater, and Food Events

Tessa Hulls’s Feeding Ghosts Is Instant Canon Fodder

Too Bad She’ll Never Write Another Graphic Novel

Isabel Hagen’s Comedy Strings You Along

How a Juilliard-Trained Violist Found Harmony as a Stand-Up Comedian

Person of Interest: Taha Ebrahimi

Seattle’s Coolest Street Tree Expert

There is no doubt in my mind that TeZATalks is destined for greatness. Decked out in ripped-up fishnets and The Crow-like face paint, she certainly stands out onstage, but underneath the goth makeup and spikes is a fierce performer who was raised in a church choir. She has a powerhouse singing voice but isn’t afraid to get raw with it and belt out an ear-ringing scream. Did I mention she can rap her ass off, too?

TeZA won’t go into too many details on the precise launch date of her upcoming release Black Girl American Horror Story, but here’s what we do know: It’s recorded and ready to go, and during our interview, she mentioned that you’ll be able to play it both backward and forward.

“It’s to be horror, it’s to experience horror, and to know horror, and I find peace in that,” she said. “It’s not what you think it’s about; it’s about what you feel. And I hope that’s what makes you think.”

Regardless of the details, if the rollout of her stellar first single “SILYMI” is any indication, TeZA has a big year ahead of her.

You were recently awarded a grant from Sonic Guild. Congratulations! Do you have any plans for the money awarded to you? 

I think that’s always the big question, right? I have plans to definitely work more with the people who have been pouring into me. I have friends who have selflessly given themselves to me artistically and I just want to make sure that with the ideas we have for the album... they are made whole. That I’ll be able to properly, for the first time in my career as an independent artist, have a rollout with my debut album, Black Girl American Horror Story.

I plan on showcasing some other mediums of art that I touched a little bit on during the pandemic with the Not Your Body campaign. Then the rest I’ve kind of left up to how the year goes. I definitely am not spending it quickly. I’m trying to just be intentional with everything. It’s not a million dollars, but for me, it’s life-changing. 

When did you first fall in love with music? 

The sound of my mother playing piano and the sound of my father singing to me as a kid. I grew up in a Baptist church on the island [Oahu]. I loved how the congregation was moved by this unseen energy. It was like magic to me. And I watched people change and become different. I was like “I want to do that.” That’s always been my happy place. That’s why the stage is my second home. It’s where I feel like I come the most alive because I feel like I am truly in my full purpose. 

I could say your music is part industrial, part punk, part hip-hop, part pop. But how do you describe your sound? 

I’m coining it as hardcore pop. You are not wrong, in all the things that you just described.

Hardcore pop? That’s awesome. I’ve never heard that before. 

It’s because it’s not a thing. I mean, it is now. But it felt the most true to all my favorite things and even speaking to the explanations or the genres that pick up in other people’s minds when they hear the music. I think it kind of blankets it in a way where I’m like “Yeah, this is… this is the sandwich.”

What do you love about the Seattle music scene? And how would you like to see it change or improve? 

What I love about the scene is people are unapologetically themselves. I love that there’s still this energy of... we really just enjoy music. It’s not a popularity contest, at least not to the people and the kids that are in the scene. There are pockets of the music scene that break off into these other realms, that if you are in the right place at the right time on a weekend, you can run into some really fucking great bands. It’s all over the state, but Seattle... because it has this magnetizing energy of bringing some of those bands together, you get a chance to see that.

What I think should change is we got to find a way to get kids to the shows. I mean, I love the fact that venues are coming back and they’re surviving. But it’s the kids, man. These all-ages shows... They’re next and they know what’s going on. There’s nothing that’s being hidden from them. They have the internet. So keeping them from the thing that I know healed me from every trial and tribulation I had in my fucking life is vitally important to the generations behind me. And as we do that, we need to make sure that the representation, inclusivity, and diversity match that. Like I said, kids are being exposed to a lot, which means they see exactly what’s going on.

You covered Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff.” What made you want to cover that song? 

That song is timeless. It was one of those perfect storm moments where I think we all got sucked into the Woodstock '99 documentary. We were all inside for crying out loud. So I’m sitting here watching this documentary and I’m already upset because I’m inside. And that moment that they got on stage, I could taste it. It was so potent. I was like “Where is that happening? Where is this?” There are so many fucking rules at venues before there’s a chance to perform. I’m really trying to bypass that in the most respectful way. I love my friends who are talent buyers and friends who own venues. Thank you so much for having me. Love it, love it, love it. But like...

Let’s mosh. 

Let’s fucking mosh! You know, I understand the controversy that comes with that documentary. I understand that there were some atrocities that took place. However, nobody forgot about that set. And I feel like whatever energy was intended, I wanted to take that, and as a Black woman, as a Black queer artist, as an anomaly in this whole situation, I wanted to transform it into now. I feel like it has. It’s doing the thing. 

I highly respect Daddy Limp Bizkit. I wanted to continue the legacy and I wanted it to look different. Representation is so important. I’m a woman. I’m Black. Let’s fucking rage. What does that look like? Let me show you.