Tessa Violet

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Tessa Violet
Tessa Violet by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Violet in 2014
Background information
Birth name Tessa Violet Williams
Born (1990-03-20) March 20, 1990 (age 28)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Indie pop
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar
Years active 2007 - present
Labels
Associated acts
Home town Ashland, Oregon, United States
YouTube information
Also known as Meekakitty
Channel
Genre
Subscribers 1,370,065
Total views 46,565,222
Catchphrase(s) Mind geek (retired)
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers
Subscriber and view counts updated as of September 22, 2018.

Tessa Violet Williams (born March 20, 1990), better known as Tessa Violet previously known as Meekakitty, is a singer-songwriter and video blogger from the United States best known for her YouTube channel.

Early career[edit]

Growing up in Oregon, she performed in theater while in high school. Tessa graduated as a member of the National Honor Society from Ashland High School on June 6, 2008.[1] She started vlogging in 2007 at the age of 17 for a school project[2] and began to do so daily when she traveled to Hong Kong and Thailand as a fashion model.[3] 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.

For years she used the catchphrase "Mind Geek" as reference to her stereotypically "geeky" interests such as Digimon, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and The Legend of Zelda.[3][4]

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 began to create YouTube videos. Her videos were produced by Maker Studios. In 2010 and 2012 she also gained significant popularity with her lip-syncing videos[5] and high production value music videos.[6]

In 2009 Violet won $100,000 in a YouTube competition in which the most commented video would win.[2][7] 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.[8]

Besides 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[9] and appeared in three episodes of The Professionals.[10]

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.[11] Violet had previously used the FF5 song "Zombie" in one of her videos.[11] She also directed the music video for the song "Chainsaw", featuring Tedashii.

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.[12] 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] More recently, she has talked about being influenced by "people who put a lot of themselves into their writing," artists such as Lorde, Bleachers, Lily Allen, Taylor Swift, Cavetown, and Julia Michaels.[13]

Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled was produced by Seth Earnest at Maker Studios, with John Zappin 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.

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]

In 2016, she had a tour called "The TransAtlantic Tour" with Dodie Clark, Jon Cozart, and Rusty Clanton.[16] [17][18][19] In early 2017, Violet opened for and toured with singer and fellow YouTuber Bry.[20] in the United Kingdom.[20]

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.[21] Violet toured with "Halloway" on her set list for most of 2016,[22][23] often appearing with Dodie Clark in the aforementioned TransAtlantic Tour,[24] on her set list opening for Bry in 2017, and her tour with Secret Midnight Press and Give Me Motion in 2018.

Violet toured with Secret Midnight Press and Give Me Motion in early 2018, from January 18 through February 11.[25][26] Violet has revealed she has been working on new material in an interview with Dodie Clark in December 2017,[27] playing at least four of her new songs on her tour with Secret Midnight Press and Give Me Motion.

During her aforementioned tour, Violet debuted some of the songs from her record she was working on in 2017, which she revealed to be called "Bad Ideas".[28] In February 2018, Violet tweeted about four song titles to be included on the record, "Crush", "Interlude III", "Bad Ideas", and "I Like The Idea (Of You)".[29] Her first single, "Crush" from her record "Bad Ideas" was released June 15, 2018.[30] Violet's inspiration for "Crush" was described as a "real honest reflection of where [Violet] was at the time earning for the excitement of being pursued and desired while desperately wanting to play it cool.".[31] An accompanying music video directed by BigForestLLC was also published to YouTube on the same day.[32] The music video has reached eleven million views, and Violet has been featured on YouTube's Artist On The Rise.[33] Her entire album was set to release on August 3, 2018.[31] However, following some complications, Violet's record is now currently without a release date. She plans to release another single after "Crush", but there is no confirmed plan regarding whether or not there will be a traditional album release.[34]

In June 2018, Violet signed with Paradigm Talent Agency for booking in order to bolster her touring and appearance opportunities.[31] Since then she has done multiple interviews and article pieces regarding her work since the release of Crush. Violet is touring with Dodie Clark in the US, in September 2018.[35][36][37]

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), Hazel Hayes (A Friend, housemate of Dodie's), Emma Blackery (future collaborator, covered Haze), Nanalew (Videos), 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'.[38]

Film[edit]

In 2016, Violet appeared in an independent film titled The Matchbreaker, for which she wrote a song, "Cash Cash Money," and played the role of "Tricia."

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"
  • Bad Ideas (2018)
  1. "Crush"
  2. "Words Ain't Enough"
  3. "Candy"
  4. "I Like the Idea (Of You)"
  5. "Bad Ideas"
  6. "Interlude III"

EPs[edit]

  • Days Of (2012; with Shawna Howson as "The Week")
  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; with Rusty Clanton as "People You Know")
  1. "White Christmas"
  2. "You and Christmas"
  3. "What Are You Doing New Year's 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 Say I 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)
  • "Bird Song"(2016)
  • "Runaway" (2016)
  • "Brushing Teeth & Tangerines" (2016)
  • "My Love, I Love You So" (2016)
  • "I Wan'na Be Like You(The Monkey Song)" (2017)
  • "Interlude III" (2018)
  • "Crush" (2018)

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)
  • "Where Did U Go" (Pop Culture Ft. Tessa Violet) (2017)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2008 One-Hundred Sixteenth Annual Commencement" (PDF). Ashland High School.
  2. ^ a b Cohen, Stefanie (July 25, 2010). "Cashin' in on video". New York Post. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Meet Meekakitty's Tessa Violet". Attack of the Show. G4. September 16, 2010. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  4. ^ Harrison, Josh (January 27, 2011). "Meekakitty Will Be Your 'Star Trek Girl'". ology.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  5. ^ Tessa Violet (June 1, 2012), Watch Me Walk, retrieved September 27, 2016
  6. ^ Tessa Violet (October 31, 2011), Love You Like a Love Song - Selena Gomez & The Scene, retrieved September 27, 2016
  7. ^ "19-Year-Old YouTube Vlogger Receives Over One Million Views and Wins $100,000 in Lashes to Riches Giveaway". PR Newswire / Beauty Biosciences. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  8. ^ Ray William Johnson (December 9, 2009). Bambi hit by a car!. Ray William Johnson / YouTube. Event occurs at 2:47. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  9. ^ Ray William Johnson (May 27, 2011). QUEER PANTS!. Ray William Johnson / YouTube. Event occurs at 2:07 (appearance) and 10:56 (credits). Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  10. ^ "Tessa Violet". IMDb. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Merge PR (September 25, 2012). "Family Force 5 Hits the "Cray Button" with new Video Premiere Featuring Lecrae". Breathecast. The Christian Post Company. Archived from the original (Web) on January 19, 2013.
  12. ^ "Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled". All Music. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  13. ^ https://thefullest.com/2018/08/07/why-were-infatuated-with-tessa-violet/
  14. ^ "Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled". All Music. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  15. ^ Tessa Violet [@meekakitty] (27 March 2014). "My album is #10 on @billboard 's Heatseekers chart!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ "Excited about Transatlantic Tour featuring Dodie Clark, Tessa Violet, Rusty Clanton, Jon Cozart". Live Nation.
  17. ^ "The TransAtlantic Tour feat. Tessa Violet, Dodie Clark & Rusty Clanton - SOLD OUT! - Tickets - The Evening Muse - Charlotte, NC - October 25th, 2016". Ticketfly.
  18. ^ "Dodie Clark". www.bandsintown.com.
  19. ^ "Transatlantic Tour Featuring Dodie Clark, Tessa Violet, And Rusty Clanton".
  20. ^ a b "Tessa Violet". Songkick.
  21. ^ Tessa Violet (September 16, 2016), Tessa Violet - Dream (official music video), retrieved September 27, 2016
  22. ^ Riley, Conor (October 22, 2016). "Tessa Violet To Join Bry On Irish Tour". TenEighty. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  23. ^ Akanni, Hafzat (October 26, 2016). "INTERVIEW: Singer-songwriter Tessa Violet moves from YouTube vlogs to the big stage". The Daily Free Press. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  24. ^ Cutruzzola, Annemarie (October 26, 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: Tessa Violet Talks 'Halloway' EP, Transatlantic Tour, and YouTube". CelebMix. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  25. ^ http://do512.com/events/2018/1/30/tessa-violet-secret-midnight-press-w-give-me-motion
  26. ^ https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1600364-tessa-violet-secret-midnight-orlando/
  27. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bju5Enu--80
  28. ^ Violet, Tessa (February 21, 2018). "anyway, those of you who saw me on tour already know but here it is for the internet: the new record is called Bad Ideas. As that had been the theme of my life lately. i'll announce dates soon thanks for sticking with me". @meekakitty. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  29. ^ https://twitter.com/meekakitty/status/962418959659257856
  30. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aje3LK9reQU
  31. ^ a b c https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/8461054/tessa-violet-crush-video
  32. ^ https://twitter.com/TessaViolet/status/1007720726525140992
  33. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiAuAJBZuGs
  34. ^ https://www.patreon.com/posts/young-free-20567613
  35. ^ https://twitter.com/TessaViolet/status/1011297322704105472
  36. ^ https://www.bandsintown.com/en/a/7359977-tessa-violet
  37. ^ https://www.songkick.com/artists/7416159-tessa-violet
  38. ^ Tessa Violet (May 3, 2015), How To: getting over your ex, retrieved September 27, 2016