New Face, Fresh Style: Argentina-Born Tei Shi On Her 'Feminine, Cool and Comfortable Style'

JJ Medina
Tei Shi

Valerie Teicher, also known on-stage as Tei Shi, stands out in the sea of pop and R&B artists for both her sultry and smooth voice and unique style. 

The 26-year-old Argentina-born singer, who has been singing and writing music since the early age of eight years old, got her start in the music industry after the release of her early EP’s Saudade and Verde back in 2013 -- and is now storming onto the scene once again, with the release of her full-length album, Crawl Space. 

"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." 

The album, which was included in Billboard's Critic's Picks for "Best Albums of 2017 So Far", highlights Tei Shi's consistent battle for unapologetically becoming the artist she wants to be while focusing on her innovative strengths, particularly in the literary sense. (The name Crawl Space, for example, comes from a childhood experience of enduring time spent in a small crawl space in her home, in order to conquer her fear of the dark). 

Along with the title, her LP illustrates childhood memories throughout the entirety of the album, incorporating cassette recordings made by her 10-year-old self and designing album art to depict another childhood fear she had: spiders. Here, she's pictured with a tarantula crawling all over her, emblematic of overcoming her roadblocks to reach a sense of empowerment.

In her recent music video for “How Far,” the singer embraces her natural beauty and rocks a messy head of natural curls and a fresh face, a look quite different from that of her 2015 "Bassically" music video, where she sports a platinum blonde bob and dramatic red lip.

Tei Shi's look isn't the only thing that has changed about her over the past few years, as her style has evolved from a dark-hued wardrobe to one that is filled with colorful standout pieces. “I don't tie myself to one certain brand or look -- I like to be adventurous and mix colors and different textiles," she notes. 

While on tour, she has stepped out in a few one-of-a-kind pieces made specifically for her performances by New York designer Kindall Almond. With some help from stylist Kathryn Typaldos, Teicher has perfected her “feminine, casual and comfortable” style, and by throwing on a few staple pieces from her own closet paired with her favorite structural denim from Y/Project, the singer is able to “mix it up for every show.”