Treesha ADD

Treesha - The Love, Scars N' Attitude Interview

03/01/2024 by Munchy

Treesha - The Love, Scars N' Attitude Interview

Treesha embodies versatility in every sense! Both musically and personally, she reveals a myriad of facets, showcasing them for the second time through the release of her latest album Love, Scars N' Attitude. Her new work serves as a musical mirror to her journey, bearing witness to her experiences, emotions, and profound friendships. It's a testament to the collaborative effort of a globally connected team, who have united to craft this musical gem. In a candid conversation with Munchy, Treesha unveils the individuals behind the scene, what makes her laugh, and moments of vulnerability she experienced. So, dive in and explore her story - Twende!

Your second album is ready for release on March 1. Love, Scars N‘ Attitude is the title and that sounds very, very personal. Tell me why you chose these words, this title for this project in particular?

I’m glad that you noticed and that you feel that it’s that personal. Because it is personal, but not only for me, also because of my experiences of the people that I have had around me. But mostly was for me. So, there’s a love chapter and then there’s the scars chapter, and then there’s the attitude chapter. And the love is basically just love of yourself, you know, accepting yourself and also knowing yourself. Because I feel like if you love yourself and the more you know yourself, the easier it is also for people to get to know you and even for you to show them, this is how I want to be treated, you know. Because most of the times I feel like because we’re ever changing. If you think you know yourself, let’s say two months ago, now in this position, this time right now, you’re someone totally different. And in order for that, you need to always constantly keep on showing people, but at the same time loving yourself enough to understand and just to accept the fact that we are always changing, you know?

Then there’s the scars, which is obviously from the word itself. Scars is the trials, the tribulations, the hurt, that I have basically either experienced or seen other people experience on my journey in life but mostly I’d say musically. Because this has happened in the span of I’d say three years, because that's when we started. Three or four years we started recording some of the songs for the album, or rather all of the songs for the album, but in different time zones or different years. And that scars do not define who you are in a negative way, you know. That we always come out as victors or victorians, if people want to put it that way. Even if it’s a scar, it leaves something good behind. At least that’s how I want to see it. People may take it as a negative thing, but I take it as a positive thing because only that way can I grow also.

And then the attitude is just basically as the word itself attitude, like, yes, I’m here and I’m doing it and f… what you say. (laughs) Yeah, I am doing it. And this, this is me. Take it or leave it.

And with attitude you start right away in Tornado. In the song you sing that you “spin like tornado”, a “force of nature”, “divine and favored”. You sound well self-confident and also a little tough or let’s say with a wink when you deejay “we just wave a middle finger”. Is that your character, brave, confident, bold? Or is that song, and others like Notorious, Got Da Juice or Dunkin’ In High Heels that represent a similar spirit, also assurance, affirmation for yourself?

Exactly. You put it beautifully. Exactly. Just to us as a self-reminder. I feel like the more positive words you put out there or whatever you want for yourself when you speak it, you know, word, sound, power and you put it out there and you live it like “this is what I am”, this is what you will become. And people will see it and they’ll have to treat you that way. She’s a force of nature. She’s moving mountains, you know. And trust me, you will move those mountains. Because the fact that you give out that energy, you get it back and then you have to give it back again. So, it’s just like a energy and a positive change of energy but for yourself, because you have to put yourself in that position.

That's a great spirit. I think a lot of people can relate or they will find motivation in that for themselves. I think this is a great subject to have on an album.

Me too and you know, we don't have to make it so serious. We can put it in a way that it’s a serious message, but we can still have fun with it.

Definitely! Musically, Tornado reflects your African roots. Was it important to you to enter the album with this vibration, both sonically and also by the way you chat or toast the lyrics?

Yes, yes, definitely, exactly. That is showing my identity just for everyone to remember. This is me. I am African, this is where I come from. This is where I started and I’m starting off like this. And if you notice also ending off like that because the last song is also my African roots as well. If you note in the last song Forbidden Fruit, there’s the element of where I say “kata kata usiogope, sasa twende”. That was a rhythm, a childhood song that we always used to sing. And you’re always there, you know, wining your waist, but not in a sexual way. It was just kids doing it, and it’s just a dancey, happy thing... And it took me to that place, that memory. And that’s exactly what I'm trying to transmit to people. And funny enough, the people that have listened to always think about the “kata kata” part and I'm like, that’s exactly what I was trying to evoke, that emotion. This is me, this is where I come from. And when people ask when they hear that, they're like, so what language is that, where are you from? Then I can tell them that, just my identity basically.

That’s beautiful! Those insights are wonderful. Those who didn’t find the courage, the positivity within themselves as yet will receive good advice in the following track Positive Thoughts, a collaboration with Gentleman you previously released with a beautiful black and white video. Since you have worked with Gentleman for years and years as his background singer the collab is not surprising, but I would still love to know how this entire song came about because not only Gentleman worked on it, but also Protoje’s drummer Kongz. How did this combination of the three of you came about?

So, I’d say the middle person or “middle man”, was me. The connection to Gentleman is obvious, so, I will not dig too much into that. But with Kongz, we started working on a project which we actually have finished already. It is seven songs we have on it already, so it’s now ready to, you know, hit the road, as soon as, of course, we're done with this.

And this was the time, actually, when I took a break from Gentleman. That was last, last year. And I was thinking “Okay, so what can I do?” Because I knew I definitely wanted to do a song with Gentleman. I talked to him when I went to his show in December of 2022. And I talked to him about it, reminded him about the song, we wanted to work on together. And he’s like “Yes Treesha, let's do it. You send me a beat!” I talked to Kongz about it and he did it in like, I don't know, 20 minutes or less. He sent two instrumentals, and I sent them to Tilman. And Tilman was like “Okay, choose this one!”. And then he already started writing on it. I have to big both sides up, Gentleman and Kongz, because the whole process was just really flawless. It was just super smooth, super quick. And Gentleman is the one who decided to go on that route of the topic of positive thoughts, and also our journey basically. So, it's like a mix of our journey and, even through the good, bad times, we always need to remember at the end of the day, what lingers and what should linger in us is just the positive, the positivity, the positive vibes, the laughs. Even if we cried here and there or we argued here and there, it's just about the positivity. Because you never, ever know when someone will go. And if we keep on keeping that weight of feeling negative, it doesn't help. So that is what's behind it. And basically, like I said telling our story, but in a way that of course it can give inspiration to other people. Fortunately, a lot of people could resonate with it at that time because there was also this situation of Ukraine and a lot of things going on in the world that you just needed some positive thoughts, tired of all that negativity and war and fights and quarrel.

It is definitely an inspiring song. At the end of the music video for Positive Thoughts we can see you and Gentleman briefly in an “off record” moment. You laugh, you strike. It’s a natural moment of joy. Tell me a bit about the relationship you have with Gentleman? When you are on tour, you sleep in the same bus, you meet before you have brushed your teeth or see each other when the hair is not ready yet, on good days and bad days. I’m sure that does something to people…

Exactly! It shows people that we are actually so much more than our mistakes, so much more than our flaws. There is so much in us that can bring us together than what can put as apart. Like you said, these small things, you wake up, you have seen each other on your good days, on your worst days, on your okay-ish days. All of that. You mentioned that part of the video. Tilman and I, we can crack jokes from here to Timbuktu. We laugh at the stupidest stuff, me, him and Johanna, the saxophone player. We can laugh at anything. As you said, it was just a natural moment of us laughing because we know immediately what we’re thinking. And then we put a joke on top of it, and another one… by the time, you’d be like “These two, these three are just clowns…”. Hence the part “ups and downs, smiles and frowns, very next day we’re laughing like clowns”. That’s why I came up with that as well.

Sweet!  More people on this bus contain members of the Evolution band. Keysie Pollensi, guitarist Stahl and the team of Buff Baff Records that include more people like Bigfinga and Odi also contributed to your second album again. Is that a special joy and kind of a must to co-operate with your fellow musicians from Gentleman?

It’s a special joy, it’s a blessing and I must say again: Big up everytime to all of them. I don’t want to start naming people and then leave someone out. But the whole band, from day one, they have seen me grow. The respect is there for each other. And I really respect those guys because I know if I asked them “can you guys fill in for this?”, they will just always be there. Productionwise, they’re always there. Big, big, big respect to them. And yes, it is mandatory that I have to have a Buff Baff production on my album. That is a must!

They contributed to the reggae aspect of the record but musically you fuse a variety of styles on this album. It further includes amapiano and afrobeats, a little dancehall, acoustic soul vibes, hip hop and trap. I think you sound awesome when you rap on Falling Sky that Stahl built the beat for. Are these all styles you enjoy and listen yourself? And how would you like to be perceived by the audience? What music does the brand “Treesha” stand for?

I have to big up Stahl because that, Falling Sky, was actually I think his first production. I remember when he sent me the beat because they always send me riddims and like my input on it because they know I will take my time and properly listen to it. So, he sent it to me and I was like “This is sick!” So, I sent it to a friend of mine who I also have to big up, who is one of the executive producers. His name is Kage Sparks, he is based in London. I sent it to him and we wrote lyrics back and forth. He is the one actually who mostly penned everything on it. And Denham Smith then came in with some vibes and I brought in some vibes here and there… And by the way I recorded it all myself…


(Laughs) I am explaining all this, because I want people to also know about Stahl. He also produced another track which will come out after. But thank you for the feedback about the song because I got a lot of good feedback about that one and I am very sure, he is happy about that.

Now, on the topic… this is something I have been explaining: growing up I listened to a lot of Hip Hop, R’n’B, Reggae music, Electro… you name it. Even earlier in my career, I didn’t start out doing Reggae music. I have to big up my siblings because I grew up listening to a lot of what they would listen to. We would have our turns listening to music. So, my sister, the first born, would listen to a Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston. Then my brother listened to a lot of Reggae music, a lot of Bob and by the way also Morgan Heritage. Rest in peace to Peetah Morgan because that was also an inspiration through my brother. And then my sister would listen to a lot of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Destiny’s Child, Rap music… so by the time it was my turn it was already 9 o’clock. I didn’t even have my time to listen to something, but it’s ok, because I have taken in eeeeverything. I noticed that this later on influenced me because if you notice how I do my music it’s a lot of versatility. The same way I listened everything, I am balancing it out for everyone. I can give you a little piece of R’n’B, can give you a little piece of Afrobeat, can give you a little piece of Reggae, Dancehall. I can give you a little piece of everything because that is what I am and this is what I’m trying to show people. I will mix up, if I feel like mixing up, if I feel like twisting my tongue a bit, if I feel like Jazz street singing, if I feel like rapping, if I feel like mumbling, that’s what you will get from me because this is how I grew up and this is my message. I like to see people happy, I want everyone to have a piece of something in everything.

We’re gonna take all the Treesha we can get and we gonna love it!

I know at times, this can be a bit I wouldn’t say negative but enough-ish because then people cannot really place you. Are you a this singer? Are you a that singer? Are you a rapper? What is it? But I can’t stray from what I am. I have to give you who I am. Otherwise it’s not authentic.

I was just about to say the same thing: Authenticity! If that is who you are, then that is who you are. And you don’t have to put yourself in a box just for marketing strategy reasons…


We mentioned Stahl, and I want to mention Pollensi as well, as he created the music for Living This Way, a collaboration with Turbulence. The song is social commentary: “While we fly to the moon, people on earth can’t find food to eat, no water, no shelter.” Turbulence adds impressive lyrics to it: “Dem spend billions fi war, while di youths dem desperate”. You both really hit the nerve there, I was absolutely feeling this song and at the same time also feeling helpless because sometimes all you can say is “I can’t believe that were living this way”. How do you feel about the current social, political, global situation? Helpless or motivated for the change?

If I’m being honest, I am not so much into politics. I am very honest about that. But in the same way you have said it, we are still kind of into politics, we feel and we see what’s happening around us, even without outside influences from TV, media or newspaper. I would say I’m more, as you said, the type who’s worried. I’m more like helpless, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how I can help. I wish I could, but I don’t know. It’s just sad that it is like this and who can help? What can we do now? There are people without clothes, without food, and some spend money on things that are so irrelevant. The system at times just don’t make sense. And I feel helpless because I don’t understand it. It starts there…

But I think it’s great that you can admit that because I think a lot of people feel like they’re in the spotlight, so they have to come up with a solution. I am feeling you. And I think sometimes we just have to admit “sometimes I’m just helpless”.

I rather admit that I am helpless. I rather sing about it and hopefully by me singing about it someone will hear it and can do something about it. To be the motivation, to use my voice for someone to be able to change things than at least I can say, I did my part. Then maybe I was not that helpless.

Pretty helpful! (Laughter) I mentioned Turbulence who is your collab partner here. I know you have been to Jamaica in spring 2023 and you also did some work there. Is that when you also created this song together? And how was the time in Kingston like?

Actually, that song was not recorded then. I met Turbulence when I went for the Rebel Salute show in 2020. I really wanted to work with him, and I think he had heard about me from somewhere, somehow. We exchanged contacts and I sent him the song and same thing, which I am super grateful about. All these collaborations and also the producers, everything was just so nice and easy. So, big up everyone!

To answer the question, it was recorded in 2020. There is actually a part in it where we had to take out the 2020 because it was not 2020 anymore. But the thing about it is, the topic is still relevant even today. You can still talk about it even today.

But the time in Kingston is also part of when I recorded a lot of stuff with Kongz for the project that we have together. I also worked with Riva Nile Production, who I got to meet through Jah Lil. I know Jah Lil through our combination Can’t Deny and he introduced me to Riva Nile. We recorded a song in his studio on the same instrumental that Jah Lil has Granny Hands on. That was also something that I worked on in Kingston last year.

That’s a great teaser. So, we know that after the album, if we want more, there is gonna be more Treesha.

Exactly! Trust me, there is enough Treesha. There is like bags of Treesha. Enough music!

Bugle is also on board of your project. He to me is rather known for his spiritual, conscious, motivational lyrics. How did you end up creating the beautiful and pretty intimate love song Wonders together?

I heard this Bugle song Compliments when I was working out one day. I was like “this sounds like Bugle” but it’s exactly how you said, I see him more as the artist with the spiritual lyrics. So, I had to stop my work and I checked and I was like “Bugle?! I have to get a song with him!”. Actually, two days before was when I recorded the song and I guess after that – because a week after that is when I got the feature with him – I kind of put it out there in the universe that I’m going to get this feature with him and it happened. Because when I heard how he flowed on that song I had to get a contact, I called, I wrote Instagram. But yes, I got a contact, I linked him, he jumped on it, same thing, super fast, sent it and we were done with it. And I have to big up by the way the producer, J-Nyce from Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Yes, how did you get to link with him?

(Laughs) You know my stories are always like “I was looking for”… I was on a platform where you can buy beats and I was looking for beats. I needed a nice Afrobeats riddim, I looked, I looked, I looked and then I found him. I bought a beat from him, and this song is also going to come out soon on a different project. He is also the one who produced Tornado, too. So, he was like “yo, I love your vocals, let’s work together”. So, it was not even a basis of “buy this beat” but more like “I love what you’re doing, let’s support each other!”. That’s how we met, that’s how the link up happened.

The next collab is with a person I am a huge, huge fan of: Tanya Stephens adds a little smile to the album with your hilarious combination Chat Box in which you sing about a man who has apparently some really strong fingers he uses to spam your inbox. How many unanswered messages are in your inbox right now as we speak?

Girl, I can’t even count. I don’t even look anymore (laughs)… and I’m sure she doesn’t look anymore either…

All jokes aside, how was working and surely also reasoning with Tanya Stephens, who is such a powerful, inspiring, and wonderful fellow female artist?

True, very true. She is super powerful. She is a strong black woman. She is a queen. She’s so supportive, she is so nurturing and what is super inspirational, admirational: she is so intelligent. It’s incredible! She’s super, super intelligent. Working with her was just a joy. Apart from the reasoning just working with her was a joy. Same thing, sent it to her, it was quick, flawless. She, like they say, understood the assignment, she heard it and was like “yes Treesha, this is it, I know exactly what people you’re talking about”. Besides that, before this – because believe it or not, but this song was recorded in 2018/2019 - I had talked to King Mas, that was his name then, now MediSun. We’re doing a lot of music together or if it’s me helping with backings and stuff like that. I was telling him about the topic, about these situations, I was like “Ndugu” which is brother in Swahili, “Ndugu, why do men these kinds of things?” He laughed “sometimes they just feel like confiscating”. We both laughed and said, yes, let’s write a song about it. That’s how the topic started. And then I felt like the person who would fit best on the song was Tanya. Because I knew she would have the words, the metaphors, that she would twist those words that man would be like “Yo, let me get out your inbox!” That’s how it came up.

Yes, she perfectly fits the topic! Turbulence, Tanya Stephens, Bugle. These are all not newcomers. Did you also unite some heroes of your own musical upbringing here?

Tanya, yes, I am a fan of her, really a fan. I look up to her, I think she’s a legend. And I am super honored and grateful to work with all of these artists: Gentleman, Bugle, Turbulence. But Tanya is something special for me because I listened to her music for the longest time, and I met her on the Gentleman Unplugged tour. I was there shy, “oh, should I talk to her”, that star-struck kind of situation and she’s just so easy going. She is definitely one that I can say “from my childhood”, that I wanted to work with. Turbulence as well, definitely. Bugle as I said came now with time but that doesn’t mean any less respect. That was just a different dynamic.

You also mentioned MediSun. How did he join the production team of the album?

We met because he wrote me, I think in 2016, the time of Soundcloud. He said he listened to my album. He got it from a Kenyan DJ, who had put him onto my album. He was like “I really love your sound, I really love what you’re doing. I have this song I would like to work with together. It’s called More Than Friends.” which we eventually did. From there til today we’re just super great friends. It’s special because as you might know he’s a Grammy award winning songwriter. We have a mutual respect for each other. I just look up to him as an artist, as a person. He’s been such a great friend, such a great support system. He always encourages me to go and be better. “Treesha, you’re great! Treesha, do it!” I am super grateful for that. Same thing with Denham Smith. It’s the same situation. He really encouraged me. And it’s so funny because it’s mostly men who are encouraging me to be better, to get things. They see this thing that needs to be out there, that the world needs to see. Just always want to give everyone their flowers before I forget to do that.  

Denham Smith, MediSun, also Kage Sparks that you mentioned previously, and you yourself are part of the production team. Tell me a bit about the spirit and the energy of this team of yours, how you work together, how the vibes flow?

In this one was a lot of Kage, myself and Denham. Mostly Kage and I, and Denham would refine things. We send it to him, he would listen to it, refine things here and there especially when it comes to patois, pronunciation. Denham, you know him already, he’s a great artist, great vocalist as well and producer. Kage, especially also because he’s in the UK, he’s very into lyrics. He reads a lot and he always has a bunch of lyrics. He would send them and then it’s time for me to pick out what I want. Or I would send him half a song, at times even just some mumblings and a melody, and he would arrange things and send lyrics. I then sing the lyrics, put the melody on, because he is a rapper, he doesn’t know how to sing it out. Then I sit down here, right here in my studio, record myself, send it to him. Of course, Denham listens to it as well, MediSun as well. Then we change things, check what’s cool, like “ok, here we need more harmonies” etc. That’s basically how we work together. And even if we’re so far apart from each other, it’s amazing how it all works out together. But I would like to mention another writer because the project was actually super big. We had like 20 something songs before we narrowed it down and he was involved in a lot of writing. What’s Your Problem is the song he is now on the album with, which is one of my favorites. Of course, I love all of the songs, but this is one of my favorites, where he put words where I couldn’t find words. I had the whole melody and he came up with especially the bridge, a lot of making sense of the words, making them sound better, rhyming better. Scribe is his name, he’s a singer/songwriter from the UK.

It's just great to have this team around me, who understand me and are able to get the best out of me. We are far apart from each other, so it would be a file sending thing but it actually worked well because the feedback was always in a very short time span. It never past a day or even half a day. It was really quick so that the momentum could stay, the vibe could stay alive, so that we can make sure we’re finished and done with the song as opposed to waiting and having the vibes disappear. Better catch it while it still hot!

The label is Twende Records, your own label that you founded. “Twende!” is Swahili for “Let’s go!” Is that your spirit now?

Let’s go, yeah exactly! Let’s go, let’s work! Twende Kazi! I founded it because earlier in my career, especially when I was releasing my album, I got a lot of “no”. I wish that I had a platform to be able to release it myself. Also, when it came to bookings, there was a lot of rejection – and that’s also were the “scars” come from - and I decided instead of feeling let down or feeling like I can’t move, I said: No, I can move mountains! I can move things! And I can do it myself. This is why I created Twende Records. Also, as an inspiration for people just to know that you can do it yourself as well and not to wait on anyone. No matter what you reach, you’ll be reaching something and somewhere. You’ll not be stagnant, you’ll be moving. Again: Twende! Let’s go, let’s move!

Great! Twende! Is there anything you want to add to our conversation, Treesha?

I want to say also thank you, of course, to you and Reggaeville for supporting my music, for blasting it out there, for sharing. I really appreciate all the support. As an independent artist, I feel, we need to support independent artists more and give chances to those who are not getting the chances because there’s a lot of talent out there and we want to make sure that they do also get seen and heard.