Tessa Torrence: Singing Through the Pain

Published On December 16, 2013 | November/December 2013

I released my debut album “Feel No Evil” August, 20, [2013] through Megaforce/RED distribution. It was a collaboration with my dad, Kurt Neumann of the BoDeans. Multi Grammy Award-winning Chris Lord-Alge even mixed some songs on the record. I’ve been super blessed to play live with a lot of great musicians, including Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty, Melissa Etheridge, Aerosmith), Ethan Phillips (Fitz and the Tantrums, Brett Dennen), Paul Bushnell (Tim McGraw, Elton John) and many other awesome and incredibly talented guys. I’ve also sung backing vocals on some songs like BoDeans 2012 single “All The World” as well as a song for Brad Rice, who’s a great guitarist and best known for his work with Ryan Adams and Keith Urban, which was real cool.

How do you keep your throat healthy, both temporarily and long term?
Temporarily, tea is useful for me. Vocal exercises and relaxation are long term tools I use to stay healthy.

What makes it difficult to stay healthy as a musician?
First of all, late nights. I was playing midnight slots at clubs when I was 16 yrs old; it was really tough. Long days, all the stress and craziness, dirty clubs, eating unhealthy stuff because it’s at your fingertips, all play a role. Everyone is smoking and drinking around you. Just bad influences in general, like anything.

How often would you say you have to visit an ENT?
Multiple times a year.

What illness/health complications do you struggle with the most?
I have asthma and terrible allergies as well as recurring sinus infections (4-7 a year) due to my deviated septum. This can make it really hard to breathe and cause me to struggle with pneumonia from time to time, which is an absolute pain to sing with. I’ve had to play gigs with pneumonia quite a few times.

Besides throat issues, what other health related bodily ailments do you suffer from as a result of your profession?
Do psychological issues count? Kidding! Kinda…

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