Perfect R&B, the type to turn a bedroom into a dancefloor and a lengthy car ride into a sold-out stadium show, is more about the style of expression, than the specifics of it.
That's why Trey Songz got away with writing a song about 'Love Faces' and Cassie sailed by with studio constructed vocals. And it's precisely why German newcomer Ace Tee first fell in love with the music, without fully understanding lyrics to the English songs she grew up listening to. It's always been about the vibe for her. And now she's turned the table on it.
The Hamburg-based singer was shared around the world last week once the internet got ahold of her recent video for single 'Bist du down', a hybrid of silk-smooth vocals, danceable production and a personal style served straight from the 90's vault. Ace and her girl gang were immediately referred to as "the new TLC," and hailed as a living embodiment of the 90s R&B revival. And she delivered it all in German.
It's time to get to know Ace Tee, the year's first viral star. Bist du down? (Are you down?)
Your song and video for 'Bist du down' went absolutely viral last week. Describe what that feeling has been like to see that kind of response.
I can't describe it. It's wonderful and also kind of scary. So much going on right now. Just yesterday I had a phoner with the Vogue. I mean, the Vogue. And not the German Vogue. They called me from New York. That's just crazy for a girl like me. But yes, I love it. What I like most about it is that people seem to have waited for music like mine. That makes me proud.
What was the creative process like of putting together that song and choosing to work with Kwam.e and Plusma? How did the collaboration come together and what was the vibe surrounding making the track?
Kwam.e is like a big brother and has a big input on everything I do. We are at a point where we can finish each other sentences. And Plusma.. well, just listen to his stuff. This dude is slick. We are all vibing together and we knew we had a nice song, but never imagined what is going on right now.
How about the video? It's being praised for being so authentically 90s R&B and dripping with streetwear culture and a gorgeous girl gang. How close of a depiction are the visuals to your everyday life in Hamburg?
Well, it's not like I'm walking around like in the video all the time. But the video is all me. I love the style. I did all the hair work in the video. I did the styling with my girls. So yeah, it's not so far away from our lifestyle. I work and I have a normal routine. Like everybody else. But Hamburg has its own style and it's an inspiration in itself. so I guess the city made me what I am and my people made me.
What is your fondest memory from the video shoot?
Looking back, I'm just happy my friends are with me and we got it done the way we wanted it.
When did you start making music and what drew you to it creatively?
Music was all the time in my family. It just came naturally. It's a part of my life since the early days. Singing and dancing, I grew up like that.
What's your definition of "perfect R&B?"
I think it's the vibe. I did not understand all the lyrics to my favourite songs but I understood the feeling. I guess that's what people love about 'bist du down'. They don't understand the lyrics but they can feel it.
What else do you have in store for your growing fan-base this year, now that you’ve kicked 2017 off on a high note?
I'm working on my album and I hope people will like it. Music comes first right now, but of course, we are looking at a lot of opportunities like streetwear and style right now. If it feels right I will go for it. We will see. But first of all I'm working on my album.
What do you see your career blossoming into in the future? What are your goals right now?
I would like to build something that stands for us and if I can make a living out of it even better. But it's not a must. I was happy before the video blew and I'm happy now. So it's all good, baby baby. But I will work hard, that's for sure.
What do you want new fans of your music to know about you?
Lets spread love. Don't let colour, religion or sex divide us. In the end, we all need each other. Sounds corny but it is what it is.
You can visit Ace Tee by heading here.