I wanted to be as brave and angry and awesome as her, six questions to Teka Almeida from Giant Jellyfish

Early 2022 saw the release of Dark Dharma, the second full-length from Brazil based Giant Jellyfish, who are fronted by the charismatic Teka Almeida. She is also playing synths and their music can best be described as Fuzzy Psych Stoner Doom with Teka being on one end the ethereal element and on the other end the harsh element with her singing.

6 questions to… is a series of questions to artists about themselves, answers can be short or long and each artist gets the same questions.

Photo: Giant Jellyfish by @biano

When did you start with singing, and why did you want to sing? 

I guess I never did. When I was 11, 12 years old all I knew was that I wanted to be in a band, I enjoyed trying to sing very different things like Madonna and Sepultura, but only for fun, at home and always make sure that no one would listen. I tried to learn to play guitar, but it didn’t work out, so, years later, when I was around 17, I was always at my friend’s gigs or rehearsals and every now and then, I picked up the mic and did something and eventually, a band wanted me to stay. Since then (I’m 40 now), I’ve been in many other bands, but the first one I can really call mine is Giant Jellyfish, so, it feels like I’ve just started very recently… 

 Who influenced you the most at the beginning of your musical journey, and who are your current favorites?

My first huge musical crush was Nirvana. I already enjoyed music, but when I first heard them (I was 10, 11 years old), I fell in love almost immediately. And then I became to enjoy many other things, the obvious ones from those days (Hole, Alice In Chains, Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins, L7, Screaming Trees, etc.), to more heavy stuff like Sepultura and the good old ones like Black Sabbath, Mutantes and The Beatles. Over the last years, I’ve been listening to a lot of The Black Angels, Mark Lanegan, PJ Harvey, Ty Segall, Firefriend, L.A. Witch, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, and I’m always trying to find and listen to new stuff. But, for the first part of your question, if I had to choose only one figure that I wanted to BE like, was Courtney Love. I wanted to be as brave and angry and awesome as her.

What other types of music would you like to sing?

Sometimes I think that I’d like to try more “quiet” stuff, more shoegaze, psychedelic maybe… but then I start writing, and I’m already screaming so… whatever comes.

What is the highlight of your musical journey?

This is the best moment I’ve ever had so far. Since we released DARK DHARMA we’ve been having a great response from all over the world, and, even though we’re still a very small band, it’s really, really great, because it was very spontaneous (we didn’t get to sign to any label, and don’t have enough money or someone to do the press, distribution and marketing stuff needed). I also don’t like nostalgic feelings, so I’d probably always answer “now”.

What was the funniest moment in your musical journey?

I can’t remember a special one… There are small things that happen quite often, like when after headbanging too hard, I get dizzy and can’t find the direction of the microphone or when I try to dance and fall…

Tips for people who want to start singing as you do?

Between many sexist things that bother me in this world, there’s one about singing that annoys me in a special way. You have tons of men who are great vocalists but terrible singers. And that’s sooooooooooooo cooool. But then, when a girl wants to sing, she has to be absolutely perfect! She has to be good enough for an opera, with a perfect tone and posture (and I’m not even talking about the way she has to look like). So, my tip? Just fucking do it. Anyone can do it in a way or another. If you want to, if you feel like doing it, find your place, your partners, your own voice and if you are perfect, amazing, lucky you! If you’re not, so what? Just do it and have fun (and listen to Giant Jellyfish as well, haha)!

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