Tessa Violet – Wishful Drinking – Video Premiere
After coming up with her very own TikTok trend, one of Tessa Violet’s songs caught fire and went viral. The song—’Wishful Drinking’—explores the singer’s experience with substance abuse & 1883 is premiering an early viewing of the brand new music video now.
After independently releasing her debut album ‘Bad Ideas’ last year, Tessa Violet wasn’t thinking about making ‘Wishful Drinking’ a focus track. Nine months later it’s a completely different story after Violet was cooped up due to the pandemic and had some ideas while scrolling on TikTok. She created a trend using ‘Wishful Drinking’ and not only has it brought people together, but it’s helped shine a light on substance abuse. Known for her vulnerability, forward-thinking, and colourful aesthetics, the singer is a true force of nature; known for creating innovative ways to connect with her fans and build a community around her music.
We caught up with Tessa to talk about all things ‘Bad Ideas’, her new music video and releasing music as an independent artist.
It’s been a year since Bad Ideas came out. How have you changed as an artist in the year that’s followed?
I’ve become more confident! I think I was wrapped up in trying to control what people thought of me. People are going to think what they think, ultimately that’s outside of your control. Now I just focus on being myself and sharing my stories.
What did that debut project in particular teach you about yourself?
[Laughs] Besides that I’m an addict?
As a songwriter, you work quite independently — you were the sole songwriter on all but one of your tracks for Bad Ideas, which means a lot of the tracks are quite personal to you. Why did you choose to write these songs alone? Since they are so personal, are you ever hesitant or nervous to release them for people to hear?
I just never knew another way! I guess I just find it easiest to dive into my feelings when I’m alone, I’m not worried about my ideas being bad (no pun intended), because I’m the only one there to witness them. Something I’m learning now is that you can have bad ideas with other people too because it doesn’t matter! everyone does! Any collection of art is the best of many. To your second point no I never worry about how my songs will be received. This may sound contradictory as we’re three questions in and I’ve already talked twice about worrying about what people think but when it comes to art it’s just different. I think there’s healing that comes from sharing our stories and our truth. It gives power to people to have words (or songs) to understand themselves. I also just don’t see a point in it if it’s not going to be real.
You’re an independent artist and release music through TAG Music. How has it been navigating the music industry as an independent artist?
Well, I can say confidently I would not be where I am without my TAG team. I LOVE being independent. I still get to be the captain of the ship and decide where to steer, but a ship doesn’t get very far without a crew. Three years ago I was playing house shows with an acoustic guitar in living rooms. Last year I got to open for AJR to thousands of people every night. it’s been a ride and it wouldn’t be possible without TAG.
Under TAG, you work closely with its creators — one of whom is Gabe Saporta, someone who champions rising artists. What have you learned while working with him?
Oh my gosh, so much! Truly he’s become a mentor even beyond the world of music, I go to him with personal dilemmas too. What’s so great about Gabe is he’s lived the artist’s life so he has a unique perspective on what it feels like to be on a pedestal and the pressure of the industry. He also has a really strong sense of spirituality which has been paradigm-shifting for me in how I operate in this role. One of the biggest gabe-isms is that sometimes you feel like you “can’t” do something, but you just have this self-limiting belief so you’re stopping out of fear. Shake it up, don’t get down on yourself. keep going. Also, he recommended I read The Power Of Now which I now recommend to everyone!
You’re quite open online — the tweet that read ‘release yourself from the expectation that you need to handle every situation flawlessly’ really touched me! Why is it important to you to post uplifting messages like those on your social media?
Wow, that’s great! Because it’s true, right? This makes me think of another Gabe-ism that is probably my biggest go-to. “does it serve you?” I think people who are inclined to be hard on themselves think that they need to do that or it’s right for them to judge so hard, but instead of being so focused on that I’d just ask, does it serve you? does it serve you to expect you’ll handle everything perfectly? Does it serve you to beat yourself up when you “fail”? No, of course not! Leave it behind. I mean, if you’ve done something you need to apologize for, you should do that. But I think many of us are hard on ourselves about literally nothing. Let it go! Forgive yourself! Anyway, that’s a tangent. Why do I post things like that? I just feel like if it’s hitting me right in a moment, it’s gonna hit someone else right too. Why not share a little light?
Can you tell us a bit about the backstory of the song Wishful Drinking and the inspiration behind the music video?
Yes! At the time I was googling things like “Do I have a drinking problem” and “Am I an alcoholic test”. It’s not my first bout with substance abuse. One day I was like, I’m going to write a song as if I had a drinking problem even though I do not. Surprise: I did [Laughs]. Permitting myself to explore was eye-opening about the reality of my situation. Sometimes it is like that.
TikTok has helped grow the song exponentially — what was your reaction like to its growth?
You love to see it. It’s one of my favourite songs on the record, and honestly, I was sort of surprised when, on release, it wasn’t a fan favourite—there’s so much truth in it and it resonated so much with me. But later it occurred to me that many of my fans are younger, and most people don’t face addiction problems that young. I love to see it thrive. I hope it will be meaningful to people.
How did you come up with the challenge?
I just thought the song sounded like something that could have legs on TikTok. I’m pretty handy with video editing and I love fashion so it made sense!
What is something you want people to know about Tessa Violet — the singer and the human?
I’m a good time!
Check out the video premiere for Tessa Violet’s song ‘Wishful Drinking’ below!
Photography by CJ Sweet
Words by Kelsey Barnes