#TBT Mixtape: Tei Shi's Exclusive Playlist

Tei Shi
JJ Medina

Tei Shi

"When you're a kid, what your parents listen to gets heavily tied into your most vivid memories," says the singer-songwriter.

Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard's new series that showcases artists' very own throwback-themed playlists exclusive to Billboard's Spotify account. The curated set features the artists' favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.

Argentina-via-Brooklyn singer-songwriter Tei Shi (née Valerie Teicher) has seen her debut LP Crawl Space (out March 31 via Downtown/Interscope Records) receive widespread critical acclaim, including from The New York Times, who named her in their "30 Under 30" feature, as well as The New Yorker and Billboard, who named the R&B-tinged pop set one of the Top 50 Albums of 2017 So Far.

Written and recorded over a year-and-half-long period, the singer-songwriter's first full length is drenched in nostalgia. She recalls composing songs as early as when she was eight years old, sometimes in a diary, and other times recording on tapes -- some which are featured on the album.

Born in Buenos Aires and raised between Bogota, Colombia and Vancouver, Canada, she remembers developing an extreme fear of the dark, often forcing herself to hide inside her family's crawl space for a minute each night, to confront her fear. Crawl Space is a symbol of the singer's powerful vulnerability and self-assuredness, as she counts artists like Fiona Apple, Debbie Harry and PJ Harvey among her inspirations. "I wanted something more raw, feminine and sexy but still real," Tei Shi tells Billboard. "For this record, I definitely realized I want to be identifiable as me, my personality and my music."

This week, the fast rising star announced a sweeping North American Fall Tour in support of the new record, with dates beginning Sept. 8 at U Street Music Hall in Washington D.C. To celebrate the upcoming tour, Tei Shi took a much needed victory lap with this week's #TBT Mixtape, available below, exclusively via Billboard. "When you're a kid what your parents and siblings listen to pretty much informs your entire musical introduction and gets heavily tied into your most vivid memories," she explains. "That was definitely the case for me."

Give the retro set -- which features The Beatles, Nirvana, Sheryl Crow, Brandy and more -- a spin below, and also scroll through some throwback snaps of the star. 

"The first two songs on this playlist were ones my dad introduced me to," Tei Shi adds. "When my mom used to travel back to Colombia for long stretches, my sister and I would take our mattresses and move into my parents' room to sleep with our dad... He would wake us up for school every morning by putting on a new song. One morning he put on 'Till There Was You,' and I remember waking up and thinking it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard...I was like what IS this?! And from there began my own personal love affair with The Beatles, at a really young I'm thankful for that."

Give "Crawl Space" a spin here and catch Tei Shi on tour through the fall.


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