Indie electronic project Tei Shi is the creation of musician Valerie Teicher, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She grew up across North and South America, though, spending several years in Bogotá, Colombia; Vancouver, Canada; and Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended the Berklee College of Music. After school, she settled in New York City to pursue music professionally. Teicher uploaded her first Tei Shi single, "M&Ms," to music-sharing sites in mid-2013. An R&B-inflected indie pop tune with layered vocal loops, it made waves in the blogosphere and earned an attentive fan base. The song was one of six on the self-released Saudade EP later that year. In the meantime, she was a featured vocalist on tracks by artists including Glass Animals and Shy Girls (Dan Vidmar). She followed up her debut in the spring of 2015 with another EP, Verde, issued by Mom + Pop imprint Mermaid Avenue. Its lead single, the atmospheric dance track "Bassically," accumulated seven-figure streams within weeks and appeared on social networking charts. Tei Shi then signed with Downtown Records, which released her full-length debut, Crawl Space, in March 2017.