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“Teresa turned into trying to listen to those parts of myself that were quietly emerging” – an Interview with Teddy<3

Teddy Geiger is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and has just released her new album Teresa via STEM under the alias teddy<3 (pronounced “teddy”). Five years have passed since her last album Lilyanna and the new record has a more intimate feel than its predecessor with distorted vocals and electronic instrumentation. Songs such as “I’ve Made Mistakes” and “Never Enough” epitomize the reflective and reconnective nature of the record, which was mainly written during a visit to Spain in 2019 as she was going through the process of transitioning.

We were lucky enough to chat with Teddy about the new record and how protective she is of the songs that she writes for others.

Hi Teddy! How’s everything going right now?
Wonderfully, just making some tea and listening to Anything in Return on vinyl lol

What classic album cover art is your current mood?
Hmmm??? I’m kind of craving a banana so maybe The Velvet Underground and Nico

Your wonderful new album Teresa is out now. When and where did you write and record it?
Thank yewwww! Most of the album was written in Spain back in 2019. I recorded a lot of the tracks there as well and then brought all of that material to a studio in NYC to overdub some stuff and finish up. And then the very final touches I did at my home studio in Los Angeles 🙂

It’s very different sonically from your last album Lilyanna. Was that a conscious decision or just the way the songs developed?
It was just the way they developed. I did try to give myself lots of open space and abandoned a lot of the ways I had been working for this one. I feel like making Teresa turned into trying to listen to those parts of myself that were quietly emerging.

If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Oh boy, scary haha. Maybe this lil playlist of Hanuman Bhajans. As long as I could still make music, everything would be great haha. Ooo maybe Henry Mancini As Time Goes By; i could listen to that on loop forever…so chill

You’ve written and produced songs for many other artists and had huge success – are there any that you wish you’d kept for yourself?
No, I’m so grateful to have been a part of those records just the way they happened. I find so much joy in the creation of the music, and then dont mind so much whatever happens to it after.

You announced that you were transgender in 2017 – being in the public eye, how difficult was that and what do you think the reaction would have been in 2023 given the dangerous political rhetoric that is regularly being aired?
It was a big relief to come out. I did find it was difficult to make the transition while continuing to work and being active in the music industry etc., part of why I took this trip to Spain. I don’t know what it would be like now. It was so important for me to see other trans women living their lives and being authentic. I always felt my trans-ness but when I was growing up I never really saw what I felt reflected in my world. When I finally became aware of girls I could relate to (Laura Jane Grace, Hari Nef, Andrej Pejic), it all started to click for me.

You first achieved fame as a teen idol back in 2006 – what was the biggest lesson you learnt from that time?
This is true lol. I felt like I had MADE it and then shortly found out these things can be fleeting. And thank goodness. I’ve always enjoyed the act of creation so much it was hard for me to perform the same thing every night. I am my happiest when I have the energy and freedom to be creative.

You haven’t performed live for a long time. Do you have any plans to play the new record in concert?
I don’t have plans but I’ve been playing with learning how to play some of the songs just incase and definitely open to trying to put a band together at some point would be fun maybe even just for a few shows

What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
I’m a very simple girl; I really just want a nice piece of cheese pizza. But l could make sure the ingredients all hit and just get it real nice. Maybe some fresh basilll on that bitch. We can call it “ trad wife” or something.

What do you have planned for 2024?
Holding the space for myself to be creative and taking it a day at a time. My friend said on his birthday last year that his goal for this round was something about taking their personal will out of the equation…that hit me. Kind of seeing what grows out of that creativity naturally.

Teddy Geiger’s songwriting and production credits are wide-ranging and have garnered billions of streams and multiple #1 hits. Her collaborations include P!nk, Leon Bridges, Empire of the Sun, Sylvan Esso, Sir Chloe, and Caroline Polachek. She played an integral role producing and co-writing 12 tracks on Shawn Mendes’ Billboard #1 self-titled album, including the single “In My Blood,” which earned her first GRAMMY nomination for Song of the Year.

Teresa is out now and you can buy the vinyl with a limited edition lyric book at Teddy’s website. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter for all the latest news.

Feature Image Credit – Lauren Kallen

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