Exclusive: Tessa Violet Describes The Real-Life Crush That Inspired Her ‘Bold, Confident’ New Song
“It is a very me™️ thing to want everybody to think I’m funny,” Tessa Violet writes, trademark symbol included. She’s referring to one of the many witty, relatable, and, well, funny lines in her latest single, “I Like (the idea of) You,” premiering exclusively on MTV News on Thursday (May 2).
“There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to hear you call me funny … I keep repeating, repeating the way you say my name,” she cooly sings over a driving bass line. Having a crush is fodder for some of the best pop songs in history, and it’s a feeling that Violet is all-too-familiar with. Her pair of 2018 singles, “Crush” and “Bad Ideas,” showcased her wry sense of humor and penchant for honest, detailed songwriting that’s borne entirely out of personal experience.
“I was seeing this guy at the time who I knew wasn’t that into me. And even though I could see that, it was still so much fun to think and obsess about him,” she told MTV News via email about the genesis of “I Like (the idea of) You.”
She continued, “Replaying the way he said my name on the phone, imagining what I would wear or say the next time I saw him, thinking of things I could write about him. I remember that I could logically see it wasn’t going anywhere, so I thought maybe I should feel embarrassed about how much time I was spending on him. But it didn’t make me feel embarrassed, it made me feel sexy and powerful. So what if they’re not that into me? I like the idea of it and I’m going to enjoy that.”
That confidence and suggestiveness shines on the former vlogger and model’s breezy new bop, which she describes as the flip side of the lovestruck “Bad Ideas.” She explained, “It’s the same story but just felt through different lens. When I was writing ‘Bad Ideas’ I felt very self-defeated, [and] in ‘I Like (the idea of) You’ I felt like I had this naughty secret. Both [are] bold and confident.”
The original demo of “I Like (the idea of) You” was just Violet and her piano, but together with producer Seth Earnest, she dressed it up into a guitar-driven, retro-tinged jam that she describes as “timeless.” She’s been playing the song live for the better part of a year, and she’s “so excited” to finally release the studio version and to keep playing it at upcoming shows, including Lollapalooza in August.
“I hope this is a song that people want to put on repeat and dance around the house to,” she said. “I’m ready for the world to have it!”