Local Artist Spotlight: Tess Posner

in Q&As/SF Local Bands by

How would you describe your sound?

Cinematic, alt-pop that weaves together piano, ethereal synths, and dynamic orchestral elements together with lush vocal harmonies that lay over a bed of deep-sounding drums and bass.

When did you first become interested in playing music?

As a child, 11 or 12 years old!

What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?

My cat jumping on my lap and starting to play the piano at a Livestream show!

What are you listening to these days?

Florence and the Machine, Aurora.

What does music mean to you?

Everything 🙂 Music can change the world, change our hearts and minds, and reach into places where words don’t go.

How’d you guys first get together to play music?

I will be playing with my brother on the guitar, who has been playing the guitar since he was a child and who is also an artist in San Francisco, and a good friend of mine who is a super talented engineer, musician, and artist in San Francisco.

San Francisco is full of music history. Who are some San Francisco musicians who inspired you?

I’ve listened to a lot of Santana and the Grateful Dead! Definitely, the period of music in the 1960s in San Francisco is part of my music inspiration and influences.

What’s the biggest challenge in becoming a musician today?

Being an independent musician in today’s world means a lot more opportunities, but also challenges. With the introduction of streaming, it’s harder to monetize your music since people can get it for free. On the other hand, the internet and new technology tools make it possible to connect with people directly in ways you could never do in the past. So it’s an exciting time despite the challenges!

What are some of your favorite Bay Area music venues?

The Knockout, The Lost Church, the Chapel, The Independent, the Fillmore, SF Jazz

Where do you like to get creative in San Francisco?

Dolores Park always brings some creative ideas and great people-watching, and the views bring new perspectives. But my favorite place is Lands End- it’s so beautiful and always clears my mind and makes space for new ideas.

What’s one thing that people would be surprised to find out about you?

I used to work in nonprofits before music, and am really passionate about racial and gender equity. Most recently, I ran an organization called AI4ALL which was aiming to bring diversity and inclusion into artificial intelligence that was based in Oakland. We ran programs in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Berkeley as well as around the country.

Is there anything you’d like to plug?

My upcoming EP Release Party, is September 14 at the Knockout!

Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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