Swedish singer Teresia “QueenTress” Jannson is vibrantly bursting onto the reggae scene with a newly released track “Turn Back Time”, featuring Jah Vinci. The song is one of six off her debut EP, On My Mind, due for full release early 2019. Zojak World Wide dropped the track last week and the artist is sweeping up some sweet buzz across London and Sweden, as well as on Irie FM, reggae’s hometurf radio station out of Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
The song strikes a unique blend of modern dancehall coordinated with a synth poppy quality…
The song strikes a unique blend of modern dancehall coordinated with a synth poppy quality that make it catchy and intrinsically bopable. The artist has managed to blend her personal experiences in relationships and hardships to showcase her growth as a person and highlight a more nuanced outlook of tolerance and the acceptance for the blending of cultures. “Turn Back Time” isn’t typical reggae or dancehall in that Tress doesn’t focus on putting an end to violence, rastafarian culture or a love for cannabis; it instead makes a stylish crossover into the pop realm with stories of love, loss and self reflection, while still relying on a “dubbed-backtrack” and drumbeats that are traditional of Jamaican music.
“My wish from the start with this EP was to do some collaborations with Jamaican reggae and dancehall artists, so for me, it has been great to work with a producer who is Jamaican but lives in Sweden,” says QueenTress. The first single from the project was a collaboration with reggae artist Turbulence titled “Underneath It All”. Released in July, the track brings together two people from two different worlds: “This song is about falling in love with the 'wrong' person… this case, I let it be about a white, Christian, Swedish girl and a black, Jamaican Rasta guy.”
Like most European countries, Sweden's society is largely tolerant of diversity and interracial relationships. In recent years, however, mass migration to Sweden and other Scandinavian nations has ignited far right groups which oppose changing demographics. Something American audiences should be able to relate to and reflect on. “I live in Stockholm and we have lots of interracial relationships in Sweden,” relates QueenTress. “Most people think that there's nothing strange about that.”
An amazing thing about this EP is the normalization and integration of people, culture and classes that should be celebrated. The more music that is produced which highlights and accepts integration, the more hope we can have for a world that doesn’t see skin color and embraces cultural differences. Jamaican culture is prominent in Stockholm and QueenTress has always felt an inherent connection to the rhythmic aspects of dancehall and the relaxed vibes of reggae. Her passion for music and creative writing skills that she has honed as a poet made the development of the EP a springboard into the music industry.
The more music that is produced which highlights and accepts integration, the more hope we can have for a world that doesn’t see skin color…
Tress has frequently visited popular club nights to enjoy the culture and music. Sharing her stories with the world as music rather than poetry has been a huge growing expierence for the artist. “I was actually writing a lot of poems in Swedish and, 'cause I used a modern language and rhymes, I got the idea to make them into hip hop lyrics. But, I was listening more and more to reggae and dancehall and got very interested in Jamaica, so a year ago, I started to write in English,” she said.
It was on a trip to Gambia that she sparked her to try recording herself. “I met some reggae artists and I just fell in love with the music. I went home and immediately started doing some more research on the genre since it was already very popular in my country. I then made the decision to do my lyrics in English to make a bigger impact,” she explained. The connection with other artists on the EP – Jah Vinci, Turbulance and G.Whizz – was made by a producer friend of hers and she is happy with the work they have all created. “The making of all five songs was a great journey for me. I had to learn a lot of things; I wrote my own lyrics, but it definitely worked.” QueenTress' “Turn Back Time” single is now available on all major digital outlets.