American rapper Tea Sea creates emotional, melodic trap music that oozes with personality. Based in Norfolk, Virginia, he has garnered critical acclaim for his dexterous melodies and witty lyrics. As an artist, he likes to establish psychedelic moods through playful wordplay, bubbling cadences and heartfelt passion. He is also a published poet.
To anyone new to your music, name 3 words that best describe your sound.
Enigmatic, melancholic, introspective.
What made you decide that music is the right path for you?
As a teenager, I looked in the mirror and realized there were things about me physically and mentally that made me anxious and self-conscious about my worth as an individual. This spurred a relentless desire to improve myself that continues now into adulthood. I’ve always hated the feelings of helplessness and having no control over the direction of my life: hip hop provided me with a multitude of sonic avenues to unshackle my creativity. I found beauty in the raw, explicitness of the lyrics and drum patterns that sounded like familiar, community conversations.
Do you prefer performing live or recording, and why?
Nothing matches the electricity of performing in front of a live audience who can feel the energy you output in the core of their bodies. If I’m speaking truthfully, however, I’ve predisposed to prefer studio recording sessions due to my introversion. I absolutely adore the feeling of walking into the booth with a chip on my shoulder and leaving it utterly demolished after the fact. I’m not trying to weaponize shyness and anxiety, but they provide great ammunition for a therapeutic recording session. I think it’s important for an artist to sit with their music in an echo chamber before presenting it to the masses: you have to get it right the first time.
Tell MoggBlog viewers about your latest release! What’s the inspiration behind that?
‘Vanish’ is a song that results from accepting the fact that nothing is truly timeless in this physical, material world of ours. The people who love you today may not feel the same way tomorrow and you can’t only stay in one place and/or situation forever, lest you stagnate and waste away to irrelevancy. It takes critical levels of grit and ingenuity to overcome a sense of innate worthlessness. Ultimately, it’s a track about taking comfort in the shallow pockets of
shining hope in the midst of seemingly suffocating despair, without being totally removed from the darkness of it all.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Social media, as toxic as it can be, is an invaluable promotional tool for spreading the word about what makes your brand unique. Media-sharing apps like TikTok and Instagram have opened up substantial opportunities for legions of independent artists to finally be heard and rise through the ranks into the mainstream (even if they have to start out as a funny meme at first). The digitization of the industry has substantially slashed the costs of getting your music into the hands of a distributor without printing-and-pressing multiple copies of physical artwork and CDs. The barriers—visible and invisible—separating the artists from their fan bases have considerably shrank as a result.