About Tessa

Tessa Lena


“My music is about being that “Eastern European girl” who is born into a big city where nobody knows where we come from and where we go; about being tormented by the norm and seduced by the glitter of the world across the pond; about crying, bleeding, asking questions and finding love.”

And now to the story.

Born and raised in Moscow, the traditionally trained classical pianist’s story reads like a twisted soap opera of self-discovery and narrowly escaped disasters. After being attacked by a sex trafficker in China during her travels and enthomusicology research, Tessa left China and began a fresh start in the US by starting a band dubbed Schizowave in Chicago, working with Ian McDonald of King Crimson and Foreigner and drummer Alan Lake, who has played and recorded with Madonna, Brian Ferry, Julian Lennon, Ministry, Brian Wilson and Sam Moore from Sam And Dave.

Accused of espionage in Chicago during the Bush administration, Tessa spent a month behind bars in Wisconsin, and fought the charges with eventual success. Following her stint in jail, Tessa moved to New York in 2008 and met an operatic teacher with whom she trained over the course of 3 years. Experiencing little progress over the first 2 ½ years, she became frustrated until achieving a breakthrough that continues to produce increasing vocal advancements.

In 2012 Tessa started a new band, Tessa Makes Love, along with regular collaborations by Ian McDonald. In 2013, her music video “Spente Le Stelle” received over a million views on YouTube although the jury is still out on how many people realized that the video was a satire.

The most recent lineup (as of June of 2014) includes Mark Greenberg on drums, Jonathan Levy on bass and Kane Mathis on oud.

Tessa is actively involved with  Content Creators Coalition, an artists advocacy group that supports creators’ rights in the digital domain.