First published 8 October 2021

Study music at QUT and your chances to break into the industry will be boosted by world-class recording facilities, mentoring from the best in the business and a rich pool of creative collaborators. Just ask rising star and pop-folk artist Tessa Fleur who released her second single today.

The Hell of it All, and the accompanying, ethereal music video, shot on location at Jacobs Well, has gone live on streaming platforms including YouTube and Spotify before a live launch at Brisbane venue The Bearded Lady on Thursday, November 11.

The second-year student is also on the books with QUT’s record label, the not-for-profit, student-run Vermilion Records.

Tessa and other music students at QUT gain valuable experience through the university’s connections with industry and Brisbane’s live music venues such as The Zoo, The Brightside, Brisbane Powerhouse, QPAC and Brisbane Festival. They can also be inspired by the careers of stellar alumni like Kate Miller-Heidke and the members of Ball Park Music or Cub Sport.

Described as ‘fantastical folk’, Tessa’s unique sound has already taken the 23-year-old far. Her debut single, Sunset Melancholy, made it to number three on the triple j Unearthed chart for 2020.

In the same year, she was announced as the first recipient of The Tara Simmons Scholarship which aims to enrich the education and aspirations of a talented and committed female student in QUT’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music) course.


QUT music student Tessa Fleur. Photo: Allisa Tsukimori


The scholarship honours the life of QUT graduate, Tara Simmons who passed away from cancer in January 2019.

“I have been very fortunate to have collaborated with QUT’s Vermilion-linked students on my upcoming show, including Jon Marsden, who is the guitarist in my band, Sarah Logie, who has assisted me with my digital artwork and Fraser Bell, who has helped with publicity,” said Tessa.

“Another QUT music student and Vermilion talent is Ryan Smart who fronts Big Blue Eyes, one of my support acts for the show at The Bearded Lady along with Serena Stanger.

“I have also been incredibly lucky to receive professional mentorship guidance from QUT’s Dr John Willsteed – former member of The Go-Betweens and currently playing with Halfway, along with Brisbane sync agent Tyler McLoughlan, who are both on the committee of the Tara Simmons Scholarship.

“They are wonderful role models who have given me valuable pathway guidance towards music career, study options and ways of using my scholarship to benefit my growth as a learning musician.”

Music has been part of Tessa’s life since she was born into a multi-generational musical family with creativity shaping their world. Her mother was a musician and at the age of three the family moved to the south of France when her former Wallaby father began playing for a French rugby team.

Tessa’s earliest memories include watching her mother’s band play at local French festivals. It was an experience that sealed her own destiny, and she still plays a guitar her father bought in the 90s.

Sunset Melancholy was inspired by the depression she feels at sunset and how it has helped fuel her creative outpour. The Hell of it All was produced at a studio on the Scenic Rim and highlights her journey overcoming oppressive preconceived ideas and finding beauty within the creative impulse.

View The Hell of It: Tessa Fleur - The Hell of it All (Offical Video) - YouTube and other streaming services. Tickets to the live launch at the Bearded Lady are available through Eventbrite.

Find out more about studying music at QUT via the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice.

Main image: Tessa Fleur, in the video still from her new single The Hell of It. Photo: Allisa Tsukimori.

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 3151,

After hours: Rod Chester, 0407 585 901,

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