A self-described "fetish rapper" whose lyrics confront traditional notions of sex and sexuality, Tommy Genesis is a multi-disciplinary artist who has embraced music, fashion, and visual art as means of creative expression.
Hailing from Vancouver, Genesis is of Swedish and Tamil heritage. She took piano lessons as a child, and wrote her first song at the age of ten. She also showed a keen interest in art, and claims she was creating BDSM-themed paintings while she was still in kindergarten. While attending art school, she studied filmmaking, but began to chafe under the restrictions of the medium and was eager to try other things. Part of the film program included a course in audio recording and production, and her new skills encouraged her to renew her interest in music. She played with some local punk rock bands before taking a stab at hip-hop with a duo called Moan. Genesis started recording raps accompanied by minimalist but atmospheric production, initially recording in 2013 as part of a project called G3NESIS. In time, some of her work made its way to Father, the founder of the Atlanta-based indie rap label Awful Records
. Father invited Genesis to record for Awful
, and in July 2015, her debut album, World Vision, was released. Between her provocative lyrics (openly sexual while flirting with dark themes) and bold fashion sense (she favors short plaid skirts, cropped heavy metal T-shirts, and heavy boots), Genesis became one of the most talked-about new artists on the hip-hop underground, and earned mainstream exposure when Calvin Klein used her as a model in their 2016 advertising campaign. After releasing a pair of indie singles in 2016 ("Art" and "They Cum, They Go"), Genesis struck a deal with Downtown/Interscope Records
; her first single for the label, "Empty," appeared in March 2017, and her second, "Tommy," dropped the following September. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi