‘Both genders have to fight for change together.’ – Girl talk with Hoodlem at SXSW 2018

Tessa Pavilach, better known as Hoodlem, is widely recognised as Australia’s front runner of experimental soul and future R&B. The Aussie beat maker first caught our attention with her glitchy synth pop, dreamy vocals, and brutally honest lyrics.

We are outside The Sidewinder on Austin’s famous Sixth Street. Its 9PM and SXSW 2018 is in full swing. The Australian-born left-field singer songwriter is moments away from stepping on stage. As we compliment each other’s outfits, Hoodlem recalls how she recently re-located from Australia to Toronto.


“Toronto has a great music scene for my style of music. Also, it’s closer to the States where I spend a lot of my time.” Hoodlem describes her style of music as “electronic R & B, a little bit glitched out – I listen to heaps of techno and house to keep things interesting.” It’s this experimental attitude to music that has everyone talking.

Hoodlem’s latest single, Teenager, the title track from her upcoming EP dropping late Spring, is a fun and relatable song about seeing someone at a party and developing a crush on them. Tessa talks about how she mostly recorded her EP in Melbourne, and finished it in Toronto. “It’s a really hopeful set of songs. I was in a really positive place artistically and personally, and I think that reflects in my music. I’m looking forward to people hearing it.”

Our conversation moves on to the lack of female producers and the gender gap in music. “Even just walking into a music store and buying equipment. I can walk into a store with a male friend who’s not even a musician, and they will walk up to him and ask how they can help him.

But I think it’s becoming a more prominent dialogue in the industry and women are really fighting for their spot. I think things are changing for sure, but both genders have to fight for change together.”