Hell hath no fury like a doll scorned—that’s the plot of the deliciously innovative video for Haitian-American singer-songwriter TeaMarrr’s debut single “One Job,” which The Glow Up is delighted to exclusively premiere a day ahead of its Friday release.
Using black Barbie-like figures—one of which is modeled after TeaMarrr (TEE-mar) herself—“One Job” illustrates an all-too familiar narrative in a wholly unexpected way. The visuals, directed by Tyren Redd, treat us to a peek inside a dysfunctional dollhouse in which disappointment runs rampant and a fuckboy finally gets his comeuppance. But while the images are incredibly clever, the lyrics are raucously raw:
“Dry your eyes, the fuck you cryin’ for? Where’s your spine? You ain’t got that no more? The dick is fire. That’s what I signed up for, but after all this time you’re so damn insecure.”
But while the song has serious scorned woman-anthem potential, as TeaMarrr explains in her bio, the inspiration was grounded in far more serious issues.
There’s an element of female empowerment to my music, and “One Job” kick starts everything. When I was writing it, my friend was going through some mental domestic abuse with her man at the time. He was so trash. I transferred that energy. At the same time, my one job is to prove myself as a songwriter and a singer, which I did here.
The infectious single is the first off of Tea Turns to Wine, the Los Angeles-based artist’s upcoming full-length debut with Position Music and followup to her 2017 self-released EP, Thanks for the Chapstick.
And aside from being part of her name—which is an an acronym for Totally Enthused About Making Really Really Raw “music, art, fashion, or anything,” as her bio states—tea is a signature motif in TeaMarr’s music and visuals, as well.
I’m a Haitian girl in a crazy world. I’m trying to cry less and sing more, because music makes me feel good. My art does just what a cup of tea can do for you. Whether it’s hot or cold, I want people to feel good. .... Whatever it is, it has to be raw. That’s my Tea!
And hot tea, it is. “Raw” definitely describes TeaMarrr’s lyrics; her unfiltered flow belies a strict religious upbringing in her native Boston, but clearly evokes the confessional style and emotion of her influences—which include Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, and early R&B singer Big Maybelle. And as she explains the meaning of the title of Tea Turns to Wine, almost any woman who’s ever loved can understand:
Wine is a giant revolution to me. I’m owning my pain, recognizing everything, and growing out of what hurt me. I don’t want to be a crybaby over boys anymore. My stuff became so much more magical in the sense that I finally know who I am. You could say I’ve matured from tea to wine. ... My music can be like actual medicine. That’s the ultimate goal: to help musically medicate lost souls.