This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on January 14, 2020

TezzaIn the words of Barbara Mandrell, Tezza Victoria “was country, when country wasn’t cool.” That’s according to the pop/country artist, born and raised in Upstate New York and now breaking in to the Nashville music scene with a bang. Her soulful songs take listeners on a story telling journey, and her soothing voice makes the audience smile inside. She started her first band during her high school days, at a time when country music wasn’t cool yet. They were one of the few bands of that genre in her area.

After high school, the songstress attended Berklee College of Music, then made her way to New York City to work in the music department on Saturday Night Live. According to Victoria, this opportunity had a major impact on her life and career. “I had the honor of meeting and working with so many amazing artists, their teams and the SNL staff and house band. It was absolutely awe inspiring to watch an entire television show come to life, everything from scripts to musical performances, in a matter of just a few days. It was an absolutely incredible experience and I am so honored to have been a part of it.”

Tezza continued to pursue her dream of being a successful country artist, and since then has performed her own material at countless bars, festivals, charity events and competitions. She’s played world renowned venues such as The Bluebird, The Bitter End and the 2018 & 2019 CMA Fests. She’s also opened up on the road for an impressive list of artists like Hunter Hayes, Granger Smith, Charles Estan and Chris Young.

Her best duet partner over the years so far? “A goat!” says Victoria. “I was in Upstate New York playing a show with my band, and in the front row of the crowd was a man holding a goat. Long story short, that goat ended up on stage with us and as it turns out, he’s one of the best duet partners I’ve ever had.”

It all started for Tezza when she was about five-years-old. “I can remember twisting and twirling, singing along to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ with my grandma in the living room. I just knew what I wanted to do,” says Victoria. “I began taking piano lessons and eventually voice lessons as well. In high school, I put together my first band.” Another big influence in her life was her mother. “She has always been my number one supporter and encouraged me to follow my dreams.”

The first time I met Tezza was at a “Change The Conversation” event in Nashville hosted by Leslie Fram, Senior VP of Music and Talent for CMT. The two of us (Tezza and I) had both just moved to Nashville. This could have been a very intimidating event for anyone attending alone, but her open personality and amazing energy impressed me right away. She had no idea who I was, but had no problem introducing herself and finding out. Before you knew it we were having coffee at the Frothy Monkey and picking each other’s brains about both sides of the business. Not only is she a brilliant song writer and talent, but she is also a student of the industry and a pro when it comes to networking and marketing her genuine brand. It’s very refreshing to see someone with that much talent be willing to put in the work and patience needed to succeed.

That work is definitely starting to pay off as Tezza is now playing to sold out crowds and has a new single dropping on January 31st called “Around the Truth,” available on all streaming platforms. It’s part of a new full length EP completed at Nashville’s Sound Emporium. “I always say do the absolute best you can,” says Victoria. “Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to others. Hard work, confidence and persistence always pay off.” And so it does!

For upcoming show updates and exciting announcements, follow Tezza on Facebook & Instagram @the.tezza and on Spotify: Tezza