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The expanded version of Genesis: Tessa Dixson gives it a second life

«I am starting fresh and this time I would like to start from zero». Singer and model Tessa Dixon on her new single and her approach to music during the pandemic

Lampoon introduces Tessa Dixson

A few months ago the extended version of Genesis, last album from Tessa Dixson, was released with remixes from DJs and producers. A sort of restart for the artist, who is ready to take the stage again after these long months of self-isolation and working alone. Born in Belgium from Belgian mother and British father, the twenty-two years old singer-songwriter Tessa Dixson has only lived in Belgium and music has been a big part of her life. «I began dancing when I was two years old and I realized that I liked being onstage. I remember a strong feeling when I started having dance recitals and shows: at the end of the show I was full of energy and ready to start over. I loved that feeling of being on stage right away». Less fun was studying music: «Growing up, I started having some piano lessons every week. I hated it because I was young and all I wanted to do was playing or doing my own stuff. Having to be in front of the piano and to rehearse was frustrating, but I was committed anyway because I didn’t want to fail the performance in front of my parents or other people. It was a challenge of not being able to mess up or anything, but having to rehearse and exercise the piano every time was tiring. That’s why I stopped, but music was in the house and inside me, so I decided to learn to play guitar». As she acknowledges, her musical education depended a lot from her parents. «There was a sort of musical thing in the house, it was invaded by sounds from all around the world and we listened to many different artists». Since she was a budding dancer to today, Tessa Dixson has confirmed herself as a natural born performer. She likes being on stage in front of people listening to her music and watching her, while she occupies the space with her presence, moving around, singing and dancing. «I come to life on stage, I feel at home and at ease. I love performing, so this long period has been tough on me: I missed that emotion, those feelings from the audience in front of me during a concert». A similar feeling is the one she feels from her other job as a model, which started few years ago. «It happened naturally. I knew in Belgium, there were talented people, like young designers, photographers and artists who needed models for their projects and I found myself doing this job by chance. Just two years ago I signed with an agency, here in Belgium. I like being in front of the camera and I know how my body works in the spotlight. For me it is easy to pose and it is a performance as well».

Tessa Dixson on writing music

Dixson started writing songs when she was around twelve years old. «I was frustrated all the time because I needed to express myself. Those songs were an outlet to exteriorize emotions and feelings, they came naturally and I was grateful to have this possibility». Like in a personal diary of an ordinary twelve years old girl, she wrote sad and nostalgic songs, «but you can’t write good songs at twelve». Looking at her music career, her approach to writing music changed a few years ago, «I was more attracted to dark and deep and it is easier to put words on those feelings than in happiness. When you are happy, you don’t really ask yourself why, it doesn’t seem interesting».

Genesis: the album and its second life

The expanded version of Genesis, her debut album, was released with remixes from different producers and DJs, as she felt the need to give a new face to these songs. «The album came out on March 13th, 2020, when everything started to close here in Belgium. It was my debut album but it was impossible to promote it as it should be, because I couldn’t play it live and also because people were not interested in music at that time: there was only the Coronavirus on everyone’s mind and the media were talking only about it. My collaborators and I felt that we had lost our window there with the album coming out at that time, so we decided to give it a second life with the remixes». It has been a message to the Belgian music scene, too: «With the exception of one, all the artists are from Belgium: it has been like creating a story, because nobody was able to play live and there were few opportunities for all. Our idea was to have a story to tell, but it was also a solidarity movement as well as a way to just keep things rolling». At the same time, for Dixson it has been interesting finding out what would happen to her songs remixed by someone else: «My songs evolved into something different. I got to see how other artists approach my music with their own style. I gave them no indications as to how they should work».

Tessa Dixon in ‘Genesis’, photography Daniil Zozulya, Hair and makeup Anais Baivier, Styling Damese Savidan, Nails Chloe Momi

Musical industry during Coronavirus pandemic

Genesis is a religious concept, but Dixson explained that the title has nothing to do with religion as it deals with her process of music creation, because an album is like a restart. «I am not at all religious, I am an atheist, but I know that it could be seen as inappropriate to play with religious words, even if it is something very easy to play with. There is a fine line that you don’t want to step over» . The topic of the album is connection, relationships among people: family, friends, lovers, collaborators. «All relationships play a big role for me, I mean that they are all like a part of me. It is like they are all parts of my body and if one left, the body wouldn’t function». Inspiration comes from everything and in every moment of Dixson’s daily life. However, her songs usually stem from some chords found on the guitar, then she writes melody and lyrics. Production is the last step, but sometimes she tries to start from production, from the sound, «because you can feel a vibe for a song and so it is easier to write lyrics». Connection, again, is at the center of her creative dimension, too: «It is interesting to try different things, especially when I have the chance to work with producers who can help me to challenge myself and to understand what works better for me and my music. I love to collaborate with other people in the studio, but for my upcoming album we have had to work through Zoom sessions, because many producers I am working with are based in London. We can make it work but we end up missing the energy that rises in the studio with other people. It has been a lonely job so far: the producers sent me their stuff but I was alone just pretending to know anything about this. I can understand if something sounds good, but I have no notion of what I am doing» .

Music as an emotional outlet

It is clear that for Dixson music is something emotional, not only when she writes songs or makes music, but also when she listens to it. «I grew up with a big sister. I used to do what she liked to do, so I listened to pop music because she listened to pop music. Now I listen to everything that makes me have an emotion or a feeling; that is what music should do. I listen to an artist because they make me feel something and they are a drive for my music, pushing me to try different things and letting my music become something else». With this attitude in mind, both as a musician and as a young woman, Dixson is willing to get involved and take on new challenges every time she enters the studio to begin a new project. For example, her new single will be released on 10th September, representing a new step for her artistic career. This time she is working by herself, trying to plan and follow all the different aspects, from the studio sessions to the making of the video. «I am starting fresh and this time I would like to start from zero. I am excited about this project, because I wrote the music and words some years ago and even then I came up with the idea for the video as well. It was a great feeling seeing the video come to life».

Climate change is the issue

Talking with Dixson is easy; she is honest, showing maturity and awareness of the world around her, not only as an artist but above all as a person. In fact, she is involved also in some political and social issues, first of all climate change. «I have a connection to that topic and I just don’t understand how people don’t see it. It is frustrating as well to know that we, as the young generation, have to deal with this whole issue. We grew up with lies about the beauty of having children, but the truth is that I need to question myself if I want to have kids or not, because the planet is dying and bringing someone else on Earth wouldn’t be fair. How can I bring a child into the world if I know he or she will suffer?». We can’t afford to forget that there is a broken world around us.

Tessa Dixson

Twenty-two years old singer-songwriter from Belgium. Her debut album, called Genesis, was out in March 2020 just at the beginning of Coronavirus pandemic, so she decided to release a remix version of the project, out in June 2021. She works in fashion as a model, too.

Claudia Galal

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

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check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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