We had the good fortune of connecting with Tesz Millan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tesz, why did you pursue a creative career?
In many ways, I feel like I didn’t choose my creative career – being an artist chose me. My mother is ultra creative and was very keen on me becoming a singer and performer when I was a little girl. I started taking lessons at the age of 8, and because of her belief in me, earned the opportunity to perform for some important events. As I became older, I used a lot of lessons I learned with her to continue forging a successful singing career in both Los Angeles and Germany, eventually singing around the world. When I decided to take a break from music about 10 years ago, I knew I wanted to pursue a creative profession. That’s when my marketing company, Tesz Millan * Creative, was born. I tell people I get to be creative for businesses so they can best express their brand and the value they bring to their clients. Music has now come back into my life, and now I get to use my marketing skills to help promote and share the new music I am creating for the world to enjoy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey with music began in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 12, when I performed a rendition of the U.S. National Anthem during the first official Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration hosted in the state. Among the 18,000 people who heard me that day was Stevie Wonder, who I later got to sing with on stage. Following invitations to sing throughout the country, I moved to Singapore where I sang and recorded international commercials for Levi’s Jeans, L’Oreal and Sprite. I then moved to Los Angeles to study Communication Studies at UCLA. Within my first year of college, I won the lead role of Kim in the Stuttgart, Germany production of “Miss Saigon.” After being the youngest cast member at the time to perform the lead role at the age of 18, I returned to Los Angeles to finish my degree and sing with some incredible producers and musicians. After graduating from UCLA, I decided to return to Germany and soon earned the roles of Ali and Lisa in the German production of the musical “Mamma Mia!” Later, I was featured as the lead singer of the all-girl TV band on a late night talk show on Germany national TV Sat.1. During the first season, I performed with international pop stars Shakira and Norah Jones. I was also invited to tour my family’s native country of the Philippines and perform for the former first lady, Imelda Marcos. My move back to the United States in 2010 was a turning point as I stopped singing music professionally to pursue my other love – writing. Through my company, Tesz Millan * Creative, I transformed this passion into a successful career in creative marketing for multi-billion dollar corporations. During my break from music, I still continued writing and recording chart-topping dance singles for producers and DJs in France, Italy, Russia and Australia. When I finally joined forces with producer Quantum Dream at Invincible Recording in 2018, I once again discovered it was possible to return to music in a big way. Today, with the release of the singles “Longtime Sunshine Journey” and “Imagine Yes,” I am actively paving the way to help the world realize a greater sense of purpose, peace and inspiration. I wouldn’t necessarily say this path has been easy, but I also wouldn’t say it’s been difficult. There have been challenges along the way, but I always felt that if I trusted my intuition and my sense of doing good for the world, I would always find the right path.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First and foremost, I would want to showcase our local businesses because I believe they are the heart and soul of our community. I would start with a coffee at La Grande Orange (affectionately known as LGO) where we could do a little window shopping for knick knacks while sipping on delicious specialty coffee. Next I would take us on a hike to scale Camelback Mountain on the Echo Canyon side. I love how challenging this hike feels, climbing over boulders and working up a sweat as you descend high over the Valley. The 360-degree views at the top are simply the best! Afterward, I would indulge in an afternoon massage and light lunch at the Omni Montelucia Resort & Spa, sitting on the private deck overlooking the camel’s silhouette of the mountain we just conquered. Next I would drive us downtown to explore the antique shops and boutique stores, like Frances and Local Nomad. Finally, I’d treat us to Restaurant Progress for their eclectic dishes and fantastic wine list. But if we were celebrating something TRULY special and wanted to celebrate and really indulge, I would take us to Binkleys Restaurant. Hands down, this is one of the most exceptional dining experiences I’ve ever had, where the dishes and cocktails are crafted to the highest standard of quality and creativity.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate this Shoutout to every creative inspiration in my life – from my mother who insisted I learn to sing and showed me how to make every moment truly extraordinary, to my choir director who cast me as the lead in our school musical even though I was convinced I wasn’t good enough, to my friend at UCLA who stayed long after she had been cut from an audition to give me the chance to sing for the directors and drive me home, to the author that showed me writing for businesses was a real thing, to the producer who connected my deeper sense of purpose to the music I am singing today. This barely scratches the surface of all the people who have changed my life for the better. I am so grateful to each and every one of them.
Website: www.TeszMusic.com (Music) & www.TeszMillan.com (Marketing)
Jonathan Puente, Quantum Dream, W.P. Steinheisser, Moritz Metzger, Arnie Steinheisser, Celia D. Luna, Reg Madison, Tige Hofer