Tei Shi’s smooth electro-pop, influenced by 90s R&B, conjures the thrill you’d get as a kid from riding in the backseat of your older sister’s car. She’s effortlessly cool and seductive, and her Spanish and English vocals and bass-heavy beats invite giddy listeners to come along for the journey. Last month, the Los Angeles-based Colombian Canadian singer-songwriter and producer (born Valerie Teicher Barbosa) released Bad Premonition, a six-song EP about losing and regaining control over her personal life and career after a tumultuous split from her record label three years ago.
“For once can I be in the right place at the right time,” she sings on the EP’s title track, her crystal-clear vocals gliding over a sparse backdrop of rippling, reverb-drenched bass and beats. Her wish appears to be coming true in 2023, as she finds success in several elements of her multidisciplinary career—she’s also active in the fashion world, and has been featured in campaigns by the likes of Helmut Lang, Glossier, and Acne.
After a string of high-profile collaborations and tours with fellow genre-bending artists, including R&B-electronica producer Blood Orange and art-pop icon Kimbra, Tei Shi has stepped into the headlining role for a ten-date tour across the U.S. and Canada—and Chicago is her only stop in the midwest. Tei Shi performs with the self-assured swagger of an artist already selling out stadiums, working the mike with the energy of a Y2K pop idol as she dances and crawls across the stage in elaborate ensembles topped by waist-length wigs. After her previous local appearances at the Vic and Thalia Hall, it’ll be a treat to see her in the relative intimacy of Sleeping Village; fans should think twice before passing it up.
Tei Shi Sweet93 opens. Sun 4/16, 8 PM, Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont, $20, $18 in advance, 21+