Like A Puzzle: An Interview with Tilsen

For Tilsen, her love and appreciation for music really steams from her mother. Her father introduced her to his classic rock collection but it was her mother, the professional opera singer, who not only played variations of classical music but really taught her what her voice could accomplish.

“…My mum always told me to take care of my voice,” she said. “She always told me that my body is my instrument and I have to take care of it. That stuck with me.”

Her mother’s voice was a constant staple of her childhood. Whether it was hearing her sing or learning to sing in choir, the professional  coaching she received really taught her about what her voice could do.

As far as her own music, her lyrics come from personal experiences and feelings while her sound comes from everything she grew up listening to.

“I think because I was exposed to a wide variety of music, I felt more inclined to explore many genres with my own music, and I think that’s why it is still hard for me to pinpoint my influences,” she said. “I don’t have one hero that I aspire to be like; I take bits and pieces from everything that I like.”

Songwriting is her way to work through the thoughts in her head and get a better grasp on what she’s going through at that moment. She wants to make her songs relatable while allowing the imagery of the song to be on a much more magnificent level.

“I see each song like a puzzle and as I’m trying to find the right words sometimes I discover truths,” she said. “That’s when it feels like magic to me. I hope that my songs send out a signal to the people listening who have felt the same things as me, that I understand and we’re together in that.”

Her latest single, “Hurts”, comes from a thought she’s been mulling over for a couple years. As she was processing it out loud, she knew she had to tell it because it was applicable to relationships both healthy and unhealthy.  

“I’ve noticed that the more you care about someone, the more power they have over your emotions,” she said. “I’ve had the thought during fights with people I loved, that ironically, I must really love this person if they can make me feel this bad. And the same with the good stuff, when they do something nice, it feels that much more amazing.”

“Hurts” is just the beginning for Tilsen, who has already proven the power of her voice and the lyrics behind it. Each song is like a puzzle for her, and watching her put the pieces together will be as satisfying to her fans as it is to her.