OSO releases debut EP Art Projects at Fine Line Saturday

Tearra Rosario is a slender thing, with long dark hair and a bright smile she wears easily. She looks maybe a decade younger than her 27 years, and as she sits down to discuss her debut EP under her band project OSO, she lights up with eager energy.

Before any questions are asked, Tearra is off and running, her quietly emphatic voice talking about the experiences that have inspired OSO.

"I grew up doing traditional Puerto Rican music, from when I was seven, and that got me into performing. I was super shy," admitted Tearra. "It was improv, hand drums, vocals, and dance. I grew up doing that, and we traveled the U.S., going to New York and Chicago and Puerto Rico. I just had a great group growing up."

OSO's EP, called Art Projects, on record sounds like smooth, sexy, fusion R&B. As more and more vocalists in the indie scene of late seem to be heading in the direction of voice manipulation and distortion, OSO has a refreshingly old school take--nothing is over-produced, nothing is mixed to a point beyond recognition. With the intelligent beats of Katrah Quey fitting warmly around Tearra's melodies, Art Projects is a sultry, sharp introduction of talent--but OSO doesn't end with Tearra, and she is the first to make that known.

"OSO is my nickname, OSO is me, but it's also about connecting people," said Tearra, her hands illustrating her point. "On the stage, it's not gonna just ever be me. It's going to be about all these things that have inspired me, and these people that I think are amazing too. I've been talking to a bunch of different artists who can do different things. Like, you're a great guitar player, okay, but I want you to play guitar and sing. You're a painter, but I want you to paint and sing.... OSO just became this thing that's not about Tearra, it's about showcasing all these different artists and what really showcasing what they can do."

This means that, while the Art Projects EP is Tearra singing solo, an OSO show is something entirely different. For her last show at the Dakota Jazz Club in April, Tearra invited artists such as Mayda as well as painters, designers, and stylists on stage to take part in a highly collaborative, interactive show. The same can be expected for the Art Projects EP release show tomorrow night at the Fine Line Music Café, where OSO will be bringing "all things local," including music sets from DeVon Gray (Heiruspecs), Mayda, emcee Longshot, and electronic band Wiping Out Thousands. Minneapolis fashion designers Danielle Everine (Project Runway) and Rachel Roff (Delange Fashions) will be creating a collaborative piece on stage set to live music, and there will be fashion elements, Latin-inspired Bomba music, and more. Tearra is determined that OSO has a much larger helping of creative hands than the usual music project.

"If you look at OSO, it's like two separate, infinite things connected by something in the middle," explained Tearra, gathering her wide spread palms to clasp in front of her. "This is all came this one night... I had to go by OSO, because I wanted to be reminded--it's not about being this thing or that thing, it's not about what people want you to be, it's about making yourself feel good, and making other people feel good, and I want that to be out there for other people."

18+, $7, 8 p.m., Saturday May 12, Fine Line Music Cafe. 

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