Rhyme Report

Published on April 12th, 2016 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


KOLAJ release their new single “The Touch”


L.A.-based indie-pop/dance band KOLAJ release their new single “The Touch” today on Darkroom/Interscope Records.

The tropical house-influenced track has already earned KOLAJ — which is singer-songwriter Teesa Houston and producer “Mighty” Mike McGarity — early support from Zane Lowe, who spun it on his Beats 1 Radio show. Co-produced by Houston and McGarity, “The Touch” has racked up nearly 1 million plays on Spotify. It also went to No. 1 on HypeMachine and Spotify’s Viral chart. KOLAJ has released several tracks on Spotify, including “100 Degrees,” featuring Quinn XCII), a cover of Adele’s “Hello,” and Kaskade’s “Whatever” (which they are featured on), racking up 3.5 million plays. Their SoundCloud, which also includes their cover of The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” has attracted nearly two million collective streams.

Watch Teesa Houston discuss the making of “The Touch” HERE.

Houston’s euphoric rock sensibility is influenced by her rare perspective of the world. Born in Nagoya, Japan, she was adopted as an infant from Okinawa, Japan to an American military family and shipped from state-to-state during her childhood. She received her green card in Guam, settled in Hawaii, was moved to Maryland, then Ohio, and eventually landed in South Dakota when she was 14. Obsessed with classic rock, Houston first taught herself to play guitar by listening to Jimi Hendrix. Several years ago, she moved to Los Angeles and began working with some of the industry’s top songwriters and producers, including McGarity, who has worked with artists as varied as Birdy, Nico & Vinz, and FKA Twigs. The two have collaborated on music for the past six years and formed KOLAJ in 2015.

“KOLAJ is a fusion of sound and culture,” Houston says. “Mike and I are like yin and yang musically. I felt the name had to do with the collage of my life because my background is really, really mixed up and complicated. It turned out to make a pretty unique picture.”

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