BILLINGS – Most people have at least one thing they’re passionate about, but a Billings woman has many talents and an interesting story for everyone.
“My grandfather really loves music, and he was the one who originally introduced me to it,” Mary Kate Teske said on Tuesday. She remembers them driving a combine on the farm where she grew up in eastern Montana and listening to music.
First came the interest in music, then playing an instrument. Her uncle played guitar, so she wanted to learn too.
“I’ve been self-taught since I was around 16,” the 28-year-old said.
Teske moved to Billings when she was 12, but she still spent summers on the farm as a girl and feels a deep connection to those roots.
“First and foremost, farming is my passion and my connection to the land,” she said.
And she has a handful of other passions that fall just below farming.
“My photos influence my writing, and my writing influences my music and you know it’s just a circle,” Teske said.
She is an illustrator, writer, musician and photographer.
With her 35mm cameras and her 1960s Dodge Lancer, she traveled around Montana to take pictures. “I have over 100 cities that I’ve documented,” she says.
And every song she wrote has a story. His song, “June Rise”, comes from the floods this summer. She explained that a rise in June is what they call when the snow melts off the mountains and the water level rises. She was joking with her grandmother that she wanted to go swimming and her grandmother said she couldn’t because it was sunrise in June.
She has almost finished her nine-song album and has just finished the last song, the story of her grandparents’ gas station they owned in Seattle, Washington, where her parents, aunts and uncles all fell in love. .
Band member Robin Martinez feels inspired when performing with Teske.
“I feel really lucky because she’s very talented and writing about Montana, about her experience in Montana,” Martinez said.
Teske’s music is quickly becoming popular on social media and after 10 years since she performed one show, she now has two to come. One is in Billings at Kirks Grocery on November 12 and the other is in Missoula at the Zootown Arts Community Center on November 18.
“Music really opened the door to so many things that have been locked in my mind for so long,” Teske said.
With many talents and passions, she intends to share her creativity with the world for as long as she can.
“I will continue to do this until the day I die because I strongly believe that everyone needs art, everyone needs passion and music and all the things that I want to invest my life in , so it just gives me hope,” she said.