Teff On New Album: “Expect Nothing”
Early last month Teff broke his musical silence with the release of the thumping Royalty – the lead single from his upcoming album, Departure Lounge.
Hard at work on putting on the finishing touches to the project, he took a break of sorts to promote the upcoming Ace Hood show where he is set to perform.
I caught up with him at the press conference to discuss his performance for the night, the concept behind Royalty, and what we should expect from the new album.
Interview by Carlos Brathwaite | Image via Instagram
Carlos Brathwaite: What are you looking to get out of the show?
Teff: I’m just trying to bring some energy for the Barbados fans and public. I don’t really do that much performing in Barbados because it’s small. People could get pretty tired of that, so I usually choose these more special occasions. Ace Hood is a pretty big artist. I just think it’s a great thing to keep bringing these international acts, bringing exposure to Barbados; and then also putting the local acts right up there with them so that people could kind of realize where the culture is.
You say you don’t want the people to get tired, but you’re one that is usually picked [for these rap shows] So is it a sense now to perform newer material or performing songs from the past that they would be familiar with?
Well I guess since the last time since I performed, other than my actual event Urban Spring Break, I would have had a couple new tracks that I could do. You know I got my single, Royalty, which I released not to long ago, so that would be performed for the first time. And then I got [eXOtic] which was doing pretty well. I actually only performed that once and it was a pretty small crowd. So, I think they would be looking forward to what I have to bring. And plus [I’m] stepping up the performance game, so it should be exciting.
Why do you think you are always the go-to guy for these kind of shows?
There are a couple rappers in Barbados; there is a culture behind it. But, I think… maybe I’m more… media present? I guess people tend to see me and hear me a bit more than the average [rapper]. So I guess I would be the go-to guy per se for a situation like that.
But, I’m very thankful that fans in Barbados continue to support me and that my songs continue to get radio play. And that people always keep me in the conversation.
That’s something that you always want. I’m grateful for that. That is something I work towards and it seems to work for me.
New single Royalty is doing well. Tell us how the song came about?
Well, I was working on my project before that was supposed to be called BGI to JFK – You would be familiar with that because you interviewed me on it. When I was working on that I had done a batch of music with one of my producers Akah Revere. And the sound that we were going for back then was heavily Reggae influenced.
Throughout the process I continued to grow, so this sound kind of developed even more and I started to use my other producer Mohamed [Haniff] even more.
Then, The Architect Group – which is Eliseus Joseph and Jonathan McCollin – they came on and they actually added another level to my music; with some co-production and the arrangement and treatment of how my stuff sounds.
So, saying all of that, the song Royalty is one that was at the end of the batch that I did with Revere – in terms of influence. It’s not produced by Revere, but because I was doing that stuff I had challenged Mohamed – who is usually a little more soulful, a little more jazzy, a jazzy a little more ambient driven – to flip a reggae sample [Mount Zion – Fred Lox] and he did an excellent job with it. That is actually the first record that I have co-production rights on too.
Mohammed is the one that brought the essence and then The Architect Group they came on and did the chords and the arrangement – well, we did it all together. I wrote the hook for Komi. And that’s one of the songs from that batch that ended up on the new batch that I’m going to be releasing to you guys soon when I have a date.
First quarter or second quarter?
I would say beginning of second quarter; the very beginning. You don’t have long to wait, trust me.
What should we expect from this new project?
Expect nothing. In the words of Kendrick Lamar, “expect nothing”. Honestly this project is a lot different to a lot of the music that I’ve put out before. Even recent music like [eXOtic] isn’t on this. So, expect nothing; but definitely expect a level up in production and direction, content. I dig a lot deeper. I get a lot darker. So, expect nothing.
Carlos Brathwaite is the Founder of 246Mixtapes. Follow him on Twitter.