In Spanish, the word "tecla" means "musical instrument key" and "dar en la tecla" translates as "to hit the nail on the head." And, after coming across the New York-based singer-songwriter of the same name, the idiom seems to befit her music. TECLA deftly blends electro-pop with tropicalia, hip-hop, funk and R&B;, creating an awesome stew of dance music fresher and more original than much of what we've heard lately. The daughter of Italian and Haitian immigrants who grew up in Hell's Kitchen, TECLA (who also happens to be the sister of actor Giancarlo Esposito) got her start collaborating and playing shows with Chairlift, Gordon Voidwell and her fellow Wesleyan alums, Das Racist. And, on March 19th, she's breaking out on her own with her debut album, We Are the Lucky Ones.
Ahead of the record release, we're excited to premiere the video for her single, "Fake Tears," co-directed by TECLA and photographer Bek Andersen (and featuring a split-second cameo by former Das Racist member Kool A.D.). "The concept is 'Alice in African Wonderland,'" TECLA tells us. "The styling represents the Afro-Caribbean style of the 1950s with a modern-day flair. We wanted to represent myself visually the way I represent my music -- something reminiscent of the past, whether it be doo-wop, Haitian voodoo chant or Cuban percussion, and modernize it electronically and visually." To that end, look out for shots of cool chicks in high-waisted shorts and pin-up 'dos dancing in an alley and the singer falling down a wishing well where she's transported to the surreal "African wonderland" previously described. And, fun fact, the "oracle character" you see throughout the video (and riding in a boat with TECLA) is the artist's mom!
Celebrate the video's release with TECLA at a party tonight at NYC's Blind Barber from 7-10 and catch her live at BAMcafe on March 23 and at her album release party at Joe's Pub on March 26.
We Are The Lucky Ones is out March 19th via Mayimba Music
GIF by Isabel Alcantara