Teddi Gold was six years old when her biological father came out. Little changed within the very modern family dynamic, but folks in the community began to see him differently.
“All of a sudden, some parents would not let their kids come to my dad’s house,” Gold tells Audiofemme. Throughout her childhood, she observed blatant disrespect and discrimination. “My whole life, I have been aware of how they were treated differently. I’ve felt protective of their identity, and it scares me that this administration is actively trying to dismantle the progress we have made – progress that has taken lifetimes,” she says. “I fight for the underdog and for equality. It’s been a cornerstone of my life, family and identity.”
When it comes to her brand new single “Boom Boom,” premiering today, she celebrates the queer love of her two fathers, whose story taught her the meaning of true love, empathy, compassion, and family. “[The song] is an anthem for equality, an anthem for unity, a celebration of diversity.” All of the proceeds made from streaming will be donated to the ACLU in support of the LGTBQ+ community and #BlackLivesMatter.
Gold originally hails from Seattle, but when her parents divorced, they all moved to Saint John, the smallest of the three Virgin Islands, situated due East of Puerto Rico. “Me, my brothers, my mom, and my dad and his ex-boyfriend all moved into the same house,” she says. “It was a real ‘modern family.’ We were surrounded by a more accepting community, and there was this sense of freedom. Our community was made up of people from many walks of life.”
Life took a turn, and for the better. “Days were slower. I went to school with fifteen other kids, and on Wednesdays, we had science class in the ocean and learned about coral reefs. It was idyllic. I remember being outside constantly, connected to nature,” she remembers. “Creativity was encouraged and television wasn’t. I think I was able to develop my sense of self without the constant noise.”
Gold later returned to the states, settling down with her two fathers in West Hollywood, but it took some time to acclimate again. “I felt disconnected from mainstream culture because I didn’t grow up with it. There were things I missed out on completely or didn’t even know about. I felt out of place. I think that has definitely had an effect on the way I make music.”
In writing “Boom Boom,” a deliciously rhythmic slice of pop, she was instantly swept back into an ocean of memories. Carnival and Pride were the most potent images flooding her mind, allowing herself to really ground her headspace and honor her fathers. “When we were living on the island, I would dance in the Carnival every year. The festival was huge ─ a celebration of life with music, dancing, and steel drums. I also thought about the previous Prides I attended.”
The song’s tropical base sprouted quite naturally, as it often does in her music. “My dad’s first boyfriend, who I was close to, was a piano player on a cruise ship. Sometimes, we traveled on the ship with him to watch him play, so I got to visit many different islands and countries. I was lucky to be introduced to a variety of musical instruments and styles at a young age,” she remembers. “I love percussive instruments, and this song in particular has a variety of them. I never thought I would end up making music. In my head, I am still a kid climbing trees on St. John pretending to be a secret agent. I’ve discovered through music that my upbringing has had a huge impact on my creativity. So, I guess you can say that I am learning about myself, too.”
“Boom Boom” explodes from the inside out, a joyous and infectious soundtrack for a time in history when rights are being threatened, if not taken away completely. For now, Gold considers the lessons her fathers have taught her most about life: “Respect others. Treat others with love. Be kind. Be accepting of others. Have room in your heart for others,” she offers. “Speak up for people who can’t speak up. Be yourself, even if you are afraid of judgement.”
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