Image by Bibian Bingen

BN1 Chats with singer, songwriter, producer and visual artist, SOMEONE

Written by Rosie Paldi-Edwards

Someone is the stage name for Tessa Rose Jackson, a Dutch/British Singer, songwriter, producer and visual artist. Her most recent album, Owls, came out in February 2023 and evokes a dreamy surreal sound with silky vocals and hypnotic synthesisers. The album inspired by an amalgamation of genres mixing on the radio as they travelled through the states creates a pop filled fever dream of american suburbia.

How did you get started?

I started out as a singer when I went to Brit School which was a great experience. I was lucky to have a teacher who was really strict but a good strict. There was a really expensive studio that was designed by George Martin and my teacher said to me, “you are going to learn how to use it. I don’t care if you are freaked out by the technical side of things, you’re gonna do it.” When someone puts that pressure on you, it made me really self sufficient really quickly and that’s where my love for production started.

Image by Bibian Bingen

The visual side of things was therapy for me. I got writer’s block, and then I just kind of found that I could express myself in a different way that had no expectations. No one knew I did [visual art] and I just started to mess around. Now, luckily, I am in a place where it all fits together. 

How were your travels in America and how did that experience shape your new album Owls?

It was magical. It was before lockdown when we went on that road trip. Me and my partner (my partner is in the band) went from New Orleans to Memphis to Nashville.  

Each city has such musical heritage, but it’s all quite different. One of the coolest things we discovered was to simply leave the radio on and to just drive. Something really cool happened because when you’re around New Orleans it’s all Dixieland Jazz and very Jazz focused. Then we go to Memphis and you realise there are some blues sounds creeping in and some Rockabilly stuff too. And when you get closer to Nashville, there is some more country music and a bit more pop. It’s really interesting to let the music morph by itself on the radio. We passed Atlanta too and heard some hip-hop on the radio. It was so inspiring in a very wholesome way, taking inspiration from so many different sounds.

At the same time we were watching the latest David Lynch series called Twin Peaks and we just got into this really weird sort of headspace. We were driving through suburban America, which is already a totally different world compared to the UK or Holland. Anyway, we focused on the music in the series and we got into this trippy space that just inspired a lot of the atmosphere for the album. 

Favourite song on the album at the moment?

You go through different periods of liking certain songs. Right now I’m really really into Audrey because that is the song that is most fun to play live. One of my bandmates, Kevin, has a mad textural guitar solo that is always a climatic moment in the set that is so fun and unexpected.

How do you plan your sets for touring?

My band mates hate me in that sense. The setlist is planned but usually I start moving them around while we are on stage depending on the room. For example, this week we just played a big outdoor gig – the first proper day of the festival – so we are going to play some louder songs.

On Saturday we are playing in a little theatre and it will be a lot more intimate set. That is the nice thing that happens when you have a few albums out as well because you have much more to choose from. Like maybe this set will be a bit more shapeshiftery (that was the sound of my last album which was a bit more acoustic). Then, this gig could be more Owls focused depending on the vibe of the city or the venue. It’s a big thing that I like to do because I do solo shows as well. 

Any visual effects planned for the UK Tour?

We have these eyes and they are huge. We can only use them at very select locations but to be a bit more tourable, we have three smaller eyes as well to use. I’ve hooked them up to control them through Ableton which is a type of music software. I’m still trying to figure out how to use them for the UK Tour and if I can’t get them to work I can still just put them on stage. 

Mutations Festival in November are you excited to come back?

I love Mutations Festival. The last time we went, we met one of our bandmates that we are touring with now. He was based in Brighton and it’s a really good place to connect with other people. Brighton is always always fun; it’s such a wonderful city. I think we are playing the same day as The Staves. I’m excited to see them.

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