Theadora is effortlessly cool. She is a wonderful musician and human being with some crazy awesome hair. She just released a song on Spotify called “Paper Shores”. Her sound is fantastic, and her musical journey has been full of challenge, victory, and beauty.

Thea grew up in a musical family. With her dad having a past with the trumpet, and her sister picking up the guitar, Thea was quickly inspired. Ever since she was three she dreamed of being a musician. “I would run around when I was little and lie to people, saying that I played instruments,” she laughed. “Because that was the desire of my heart. It was something I always wanted to do.”

Her artistic journey started with dance. She danced for many years. However, instead of finding a way to express herself, she found criticism. Dance was an art form to be perfected, to be taken extremely seriously. Playing music, on the other hand, was freedom. “… I‘ve always seen music as a pure unadulterated way to express yourself and the things that God has put in you,” Thea said. “Whether that be for worship or to tell a story.”

In dance, Thea was constantly under the fear that her art would be judged. That same judgmental fear bled through the dance world into her guitar playing. As she began to learn, she would hide in her room to play music. Her mom didn’t even hear her sing until she played at the Daily Grind Coffee Shop when she was 14-years-old.

This fearful mindset is something that she has recently been released from.

This year, Thea graduated cosmetology school, got married, and then got a job like she felt she was expected to do. She hated it and realized she was putting 55 hours a week into something she hated instead of putting all her energy into something that she loved.

“One day I was praying, and God told me that he would let me know when it was time to quit,” Thea said. “So I was at work one day, thinking about my music. And I heard God say in a clear voice, ‘Ok, you’re free.’ So I walked into the manager’s office and said, ‘This isn’t where I‘m supposed to be,’ so I quit.”

That was one of her last steps of being released from her fear. She explained to me that the only way she was able to do this was because she both fully relied on God and intently listened to Him. “That night when I got home, I told my husband we needed to finish Paper Shores… And within a few weeks we had finished Paper Shores. It was released this February.”

Thea still finds obstacles in her way, and there is still the temptation to fall back into fear. As a woman in music, it can be exceptionally hard not to worry or care about what others think.

“Any time I‘ve talked to a male musician, as soon as I tell them I’m a musician, you see in their head that they already have an idea of who you are and what your music sounds like,” Thea said. “That’s forced me to think outside of the box.”

She aims to express her true self through her music, rather than let the judgements of those around her to deter her. Throughout her musical journey, she has felt looked down upon and judged by both men and women in the music industry.

But the most empowered Thea felt was when she put herself out there with “Paper Shores”. This EP is her full heart and soul. And it has been received wonderfully.

“I never understood why anyone called success humbling, but I understand now,” Thea explained. “It was a weird juxtaposition. And it can only happen when something really close to your heart is being shown to people you don’t know… Seeing that other people don’t think of it as this thing you have to be perfect at, and they just want to see you create and want to absorb what you create is really inspiring.”

Thea is currently in the process of putting together a few shows. And her goal is to contrast the music industry she came from with a welcoming culture, involving multiple artists, and an environment of acceptance. It is a refreshing alternative to the cliquey atmosphere that most artists face.

“I want to do several. I don’t want my music to just help me. I want it to help everyone who is involved in that industry in any way that I can help them.”

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Theadora & feminism

Another huge part of Thea’s identity is that she is a feminist. She was happily married, quite recently, to Atlanta based Audio-Visual Technician, Seth Johnson.

“Without him I wouldn’t be where I am, and I wouldn’t be the same person. I’m a huge feminist, and I don’t hate men. Obviously, because I’m married to one. Being married young is a huge blessing. I don’t think it’s essential to life, but it’s a huge blessing if you choose to have it.”

They’ve shaped each others identities equally, says Thea. “I’ve helped him understand the feminine side of the world more…I’ve helped him take down some of those societal blocks that are built into boys as they grow up without realizing it… And he has helped keep me who I really am and remind me of my identity whenever I feel like I’m slipping away.”

 

As a young teen Thea would often preface statements with ‘I’m not a feminist, but…‘

After a few years of saying this phrase, she realized that she was cheapening her beliefs by saying that. “I realized at 18, that all these things I said were clearly God’s heart.” They were her core beliefs. So she began to proudly call herself a feminist.

“A lot of people haven’t met the right feminists. Almost every guy that I know right now is a feminist. But they don’t know it or say it. Maybe it’s because the word has a bad context. But I say get over it, and create a new context.”

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For more of Theadora:

Theadora has some amazing new shows and dreams that will be coming to reality soon. I am so thankful for her bravery and trust in God to be who she truly is. Thank you Thea for blessing the artistic community with your fresh outlook!

Check out http://www.theadoramusic.com to learn more about her awesome music, and the cool new shows that are coming up!

To book Theadora, email theadoramusicbooking@gmail.com

Footnotes: Co-written by Crystal and Victoria Ward, photos taken by Crystal Ward
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