Tessa Violet

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Tessa Violet Williams
Tessa Violet by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Tessa Violet in 2014.
Born (1990-03-20) March 20, 1990 (age 27)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality American
Years active 2007 - present
Known for Comedy, Video blogging, music, music videos
Home town Ashland, Oregon, U.S.
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Website youtube.com/meekakitty
Internet information
Web alias(es) meekakitty
Web hosting service(s) YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter
Signature phrase Mind Geek

Tessa Violet Williams (born 20 March 1990), better known as Tessa Violet and Meekakitty, is an American video blogger and singer-songwriter best known for her YouTube channel. Growing up in Oregon, she performed in theater while in high school. Williams graduated as a member of the National Honor Society from Ashland High School on June 6, 2008.[2]

She started vlogging in 2007 at the age of 17 for a school project[3] and began to do so daily when she traveled to Hong Kong and Thailand as a fashion model.[4] Though her channel began as a video blog, she has since shifted her content to include fan-made music videos for well-known bands including: Relient K, Family Force 5, and Mika, as well as original songs. By 2009 Violet quit modeling completely, dropping the topic from her channel.

Her catchphrase "Mind Geek" is a reference to her stereotypically "geeky" interests such as Digimon, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and The Legend of Zelda.[4][5]

Early career[edit]

In the Fall of 2008, while living in Seoul, Korea, Violet settled into a more traditional, less travel based format of vlogging. Focusing on stories, music videos, and skits, one of her most popular at the time were two successive videos, in which she played herself and a crazy alter-ego. The two talked back and forth about being obsessed with friend, and fellow YouTube Vloggers, WhatAboutAdam and Frezned.

In 2009, Tessa moved to New York City and her YouTube success began to snowball. In 2010, two of Tessa's videos gained impressive popularity and went viral: "Wizard Love" - feat. Heyhihello, and "Star Trek Girl", both original comedy songs released under her name Meekakitty. The videos were produced by Maker Studios. In 2010 and 2012 she also gained significant popularity with her lip-syncing videos[6] and high production value music videos.[7]

Violet's YouTube channel is one of the 500 most-subscribed and in 2009 she won $100,000 in a YouTube competition in which the most commented video would win.[3][8] Her cousin's roommate at that time, Ray William Johnson, with the then most-subscribed YouTube channel, appealed to his viewers to vote for Violet on the competition.[9]

Beside her own vlogs, Violet also appeared in Ray William Johnson's side project Breaking Los Angeles (and its predecessor BreakingNYC), is the Post Supervisor of Breaking Los Angeles[10] and appeared in three episodes of The Professionals.[11]

In 2011 Tessa Violet was director of Photography and featured in Shawna Howson’s (username: Nanalew) viral video "Sail" which has amassed over 260 million views. On September 24, 2012, Violet appeared in a music video by Family Force 5. The song was a remixed version of "Cray Button", and featured Christian rapper Lecrae.[12] Violet had previously used the FF5 song "Zombie" in one of her videos.[12] She also directed the music video for the song "Chainsaw", featuring Tedashii.

She now splits her content between anecdotal stories, life-advice vlogs, and musical content.

Solo music[edit]

In 2014, Violet released her album Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled and for the first time broke away from the username: meekakitty, releasing it under the name Tessa Violet. Unlike the comedy songs of the past, Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled was written entirely by Tessa Violet.[13] The album explores love, love lost, and themes of anxiety, self-worth, and co-dependency. While the fourth track “Make Me a Robot” boasts EDM influences and autotuned vocals, the final track "Now That We’re Done” is a single mic, one take folk song with simple guitar, vocals, and body drums. Despite the variety in production, the songs are tied together through melody and guitar. Violet cites her influences as HelloGoodbye's second album Would It Kill You, Miniature Tigers' first album Tell It to the Volcano, and Rusty Clanton.[citation needed]

Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled was produced by Seth Earnest at Maker Studios, with John Reuben as A&R.[14]

In Spring of 2013, while Violet was staying in Canada, she began sending demos of her songs to Reuben to get his opinion on the album’s potential. Originally going into the LA studio for a weekend to try production on a track "Rose Tyler’s Song", another fandom-based song (this time Doctor Who), the trio explored production on one of Violet’s non-comedy songs "Sorry I’m Not Sorry", which later became track 7 on the record.

When Monday came for Violet to fly back to Canada, she was denied entry at the border and sent back to LA. Violet has later said that “it was the perfect cocktail of John Reuben’s and Seth Earnest’s encouragement and talent and the ‘having no where else to go’-ness that turned the project from a single into writing 30 songs in a summer and coming out with an album”.[citation needed]

Despite the lack of attention from traditional media sources, the record went on to sell 5,000 copies in the first 3 months, and debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, remaining in iTunes pop charts for several weeks after release. It was well received by fans.[15]

Violet released a follow-up EP entitled Halloway on October 14, 2016. The EP contains five songs, including the single, Dream, which had a music video released for it on September 16, 2016.[16]

People You Know[edit]

In December 2014, Violet teamed up with fellow YouTube musician Rusty Clanton to form the band 'People You Know'. The two released a Christmas album named You, Me and Christmas, featuring four cover songs and one original song entitled "You and Christmas". She has frequently collaborated with Dodie Clark (duets), Nanalew (Videos), Emma Blackery, Hazel Hayes, Lucy Moon (Pillow talk), Hannah Witton (Drunk Advice), and Bry (Tour)

Following their album release, Violet and Clanton toured the eastern half of the United States in what was dubbed The Living Room Tour where they visited 9 locations (along with several 'secret shows') to perform in people's living rooms. The shows consisted of a half-hour of Rusty Clanton’s original music, followed by a half-hour of Tessa Violet’s original music, and ending with 20 minutes of 'People You Know’s' music. The two returned to tour the western half of the United States in July 2015, in the 'Return of the Living Room Tour'.[17] In 2016, she had a tour name The TransAtlantic with Dodie Clark, Jon Cozart, and Rusty Clanton.[18] [19][20][21] In early 2017, Violet toured with singer and fellow YouTuber Bry.[22]

Nanakitty[edit]

Violet went on a 17-city U.S. and Canada tour from January 11 to February 10, 2012, with fellow YouTubers Nanalew (Shawna Howson), LiveLavaLive (Mitchell Davis and Kyle Sibert), Olan Rogers, Jason Munday and Alex Carpenter.[citation needed] Violet also released an album called 'Days of' with Howson, calling their band 'The Week'. Collectively, Howson and Violet are known as 'Nanakitty' and have released many videos together on both channels such as a trailer for a non-existent film called 'Ben'.[23]

Film[edit]

In 2016, Violet appeared in an independent film titled The Matchbreaker.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled (2014)
  1. "Just Right"
  2. "Broken Record"
  3. "Small"
  4. "Make Me A Robot"
  5. "Like You Used To"
  6. "Tennessee"
  7. "Sorry I'm Not Sorry"
  8. "Spend Some Time"
  9. "This I Pray for You"
  10. "The Things I Do"
  11. "Now That We're Done"

EPs[edit]

  • Days Of (2012)
  1. "Dirty Hipster No-Nose"
  2. "The lizards are scratching at the car;they want to get in."
  3. "My Eggs Aren't Done (Please Cook Them Again)"
  4. "Crickets in the Night"
  5. "Space Crustaceans! (CRUSTACEANS FROM SPACE!)"
  • You, Me and Christmas (2014)
  1. "White Christmas"
  2. "You and Christmas"
  3. "What Are You Doing New Years Eve?"
  4. "The Christmas Blues"
  5. "Holly Jolly Christmas"
  • Halloway (2016)
  1. "Dream"
  2. "Not Over You"
  3. "Haze"
  4. "On My Own"
  5. "I Don't Get to Love You Anymore"

Singles[edit]

  • "Navi's Song (Hey, Listen!)" (2011)
  • "The Bacon Song" feat. Jason Munday & Alex Carpenter (2011)
  • "Wizard Love" feat. Heyhihello (2011)
  • "Dream (2016)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • "Beat the Heat" (Rhett and Link featuring Meekakitty) (2013)
  • "It's Chill" (Lancifer featuring Meekakitty) (2012)
  • "The Break Up Song" (Rhett and Link featuring Meekakitty) (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ vlogbrothers (8 December 2016). "Project for Awesome 2016 Livestream - Part 3" – via YouTube. 
  2. ^ "2008 One Hundred Sixteenth Annual Commencement" (PDF). 
  3. ^ a b Cohen, Stefanie (25 July 2010). "Cashin' in on video". New York Post. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Meet Meekakitty's Tessa Violet". Attack of the Show. G4. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Harrison, Josh. "Meekakitty Will Be Your 'Star Trek Girl'". geekology. ology.com. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Tessa Violet (2012-06-01), Watch Me Walk, retrieved 2016-09-27 
  7. ^ Tessa Violet (2011-10-31), Love You Like a Love Song - Selena Gomez & The Scene, retrieved 2016-09-27 
  8. ^ "19-Year-Old YouTube Vlogger Receives Over One Million Views and Wins $100,000 in Lashes to Riches Giveaway". PR Newswire / Beauty Biosciences. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Ray William Johnson (9 December 2009). Bambi hit by a car!. Ray William Johnson / YouTube. Event occurs at 2:47. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Ray William Johnson (27 May 2011). QUEER PANTS!. Ray William Johnson / YouTube. Event occurs at 2:07 (appearance) and 10:56 (credits). Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Tessa Violet". IMDb. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Merge PR (September 25, 2012). "Family Force 5 Hits the "Cray Button" with new Video Premiere Featuring Lecrae" (Web). Breathecast. The Christian Post Company. 
  13. ^ "Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled". All Music. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled". All Music. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Violet, Tessa (27 March 2014). "tweet". Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  16. ^ Tessa Violet (2016-09-16), Tessa Violet - Dream (official music video), retrieved 2016-09-27 
  17. ^ Tessa Violet (2015-05-03), How To: getting over your ex, retrieved 2016-09-27 
  18. ^ "Excited about Transatlantic Tour featuring Dodie Clark , Tessa Violet, Rusty Clanton, Jon Cozart". Live Nation. 
  19. ^ "The TransAtlantic Tour feat. Tessa Violet, Dodie Clark & Rusty Clanton - SOLD OUT! - Tickets - The Evening Muse - Charlotte, NC - October 25th, 2016". Ticketfly. 
  20. ^ "Dodie Clark". www.bandsintown.com. 
  21. ^ "Transatlantic Tour Featuring Dodie Clark, Tessa Violet, And Rusty Clanton". 
  22. ^ "Tessa Violet". Songkick. 
  23. ^ Nanalew (2012-08-09), "BEN" (Official Trailer), retrieved 2016-09-27