Have You Met.. Tee Peters

Young musician from South east london, Tee Peters self- released his debut project, Seasons Volume One last month. The first three singles from the project, Seasons, Numeracy & Breath of the Wild premiered on BBC Introducing, titled as ‘Track of The Week’ & has since been featured on Spotify’s ‘Conscious’ and ‘dazed’. Tee Peters took some time to join our Q&A series:

Where did you grow up, how did you get into creating music?

I grew up in South East London & I started making beats when we got a computer that had a software called Reason installed so I would play around on that. My uncle had a lot of video games and a few were only in Japanese so I spent days learning how to play and do things without understanding what was happening through language.

I would just figure things out through seeing what worked at the time. Same goes for my music process back then & even today – I just played around on my computer and figured out what I liked. As I grew up I started writing lyrics, I loved UK Rap & Grime, RNB & early 2000s – late 90s Hip Hop so I just found myself trying to mimic styles like that until I started to develop my own sound. My first lyrics, I would make songs rapping as Anime Characters… but we can talk about that another time haha

How did you meet your producer, Mensing, so create your first EP

I found Mensing on Soundcloud somehow. He had a different name at the time and there were two beats and probably only 2 followers. I loved what he was producing and so I reached out. We made a song using the beat I liked which I plan to release sometime in the future – it’s been 2 years and it’s still one of our favourite songs. When I found out he was in Germany we kept talking online, I invited him to a collective I make some of my music with called FUNCC & he just started soaring with his beats – getting on all the chill, lofi playlists and things.

He’s the guy you listen to when you need to study. With my background in listening to Soulful Hip Hop, grime and Jazz we started making our own sound that showcased that. In the intro song to Seasons Vol.1, No Rest was written while I was inspired by Grime and Drill music , the original title was Game Of Thrones and you can really hear from the chorus “this ain’t no Game of Thrones, You can’t mess with a Lord at Home” I’m that I was really coming with energy. Mensing’s style really gave it (& the whole project) a different feel through – a medium point of being music you can chill to but if you want to listen to the lyrics you’re getting energy and meaning.

Why do you think you work well together?

Like I said it’s that contrast of styles and our common interest to make a positive vibe. There isn’t a Tee Peters & Mensing song that doesn’t try to awaken your conscious – whether that state is “I need to get focused” or “I need to think about my actions” you can’t deny that the music brings positive vibes. Also we talk all the time, keeping each other inspired with new music and supporting out next endeavours. I’m going to be working on my other projects this year and so is he but even that is fuelling our next link up

Are you working independently to release your music? If so, what are some of the challenges?

Working Szn is my own independent platform for my music, I got a label which I’m building with my bro D’larm and it’s just me and my music friends making music, paying each other for the work and enjoying the fruits. Challenges would be convincing ourselves that we’re really doing it right. I’ve always been a DIY human before I was ever an artist and so I like to find ways of making things happen.

I always have discussions with my friends and collaborators about whether we should send our music to labels and stuff and it’s usually me that needs convincing to do it. I’m aware that having some extra support sometimes is very helpful and it’s nice to exchange value though. That’s why I have a few of my bangers released via indie labels and things but ultimately I’m learning to find a balance between self belief and tactical collaborations.

If you weren’t making music, what do you think you would be doing?

Up until Last Year I was aiming to do videography and Marketing. I love creating content and I do enjoy delivering it to people (most of the time) so it was a good route to go down.

Although, I will say Music is just one of my efforts and I still edit and market all the time so does that even count? I think it’s best to say I’d just be trying to exist for myself. I don’t like being tied down to things that don’t develop or provide adventure so I’d just find another means to avoid that.

Do you play any instruments, if not, which would you love to learn first?

I started with Guitar, Piano and Drums when I was younger. I didn’t get far with the lessons though. Been playing around with my guitar recently and trying to play some chords

Do you have advice for anyone releasing music independently?

I keep a post-it note on my wall saying “Do it Now” because any idea you have, you will face resistance. Something will tell you to wait for something like a label or a manager when you don’t even know if that’s ever going to happen. Forget about the things you don’t have control over.

If you’re an artist and you feel like your job is to release music, then just do it. Do the research, upskill yourself to be the label/manager that you don’t if you’ll ever receive support from and do it.

Which artist would you love to collaborate with most?

I really want a song with Jay Prince. He has one of my favourite albums ever and I feel like if we were to fuse resources we would make a gem! I’m speaking this into existence because as I write this, I’m thinking about what a sick network of producers I have, and all of the songs that are going to be coming out…

I just feel that there will be a time where people will be asking for this collab – which is funny because I will have been the one who wanted it the most haha.

In a hypothetical world, if you were performing at any festival this summer, what would that be and why?

Lovebox, Soulection’s festival or Wireless. Those were my first ever shows full stop. I got to experience live music for the first time at these places so I think any of these places would be a full circle moment

How would you describe your new EP in three words?


Chill, Conscious & Jazzy. This is a project for when you’re ready to transition from one negative season of life to a more positive one.

So if you’re ready to jump on the #WorkingSzn journey that I’m on and cut out all your distractions for the betterment of your relationships, work ethic and health, then this project is for you. It’s a soundtrack and a PSA 🙂

Listen to Season Vol 1. below.

Q&A: Have You Met.. Deyah

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Photo credit: Will Beech

Berkshire based lyricist, Deyah is slowly starting to make a name for herself. A dynamic lyricist opposing a blend of rousing narration behind lethargic, lo-fi beats, she excavates her deepest insecurities, probing and scrutinising the essence of her innermost vulnerabilities. Her honest lyrics and intriguing video style for her single ‘Venthouse Suite’ caught our attention and, so we asked her to join our Q&A series:

Where are you from? Describe the kind of creative culture within the city you were raised in?

I was born in wales in the capital city of Cardiff.. the creative culture there was unique and still is but it didn’t really accommodate the RnB & Hip Hop movement, so i struggled at times to find my feet within the culture.

What made you get into music, who were the people who influenced you?

My pops played music constantly and consistently in the yard when i was growing up. It was like a 24hr / 7 day a week event. I loved the sounds, rhythms, word play, lyricism and the way the melodies made me feel.

Are there any producers/artists you work with really well with, what makes your relationship work?

Kenneth English is one of my favourite producers. We haven’t actually met but every beat he makes is actually mad and i connect with each one.

What were early experiences in music, did you start with playing instruments or express yourself through spoken word and singing?

I played the guitar, the Cajon drum and the piano from early whilst writing and performing spoken word. I didn’t start singing until a couple years ago.

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Photo credit: Will Beech

Are you signed to a label, if so what’s your relationship, if not, has that been out of choice?

I’m not signed to a label and that’s for sure out of choice. I don’t see myself wanting to be signed either. I appreciate the freedom.

Have have you changed your approach from your previous album, ‘Lover Loner EP’, to your recent album, ‘Care City’ EP ?

Lover/Loner was an experimental project for me.. it was a kind of trial and error situation. Care City seemed to come together with ease and my approach was totally different.. I created the project without fear and created what i wanted not what was expected of me.

Your single titled ‘Venthouse Suite’ has a really cool video. Why did you choose that particular style?

Thank you. I wanted something simplistic but still wanted the visuals to stand out. I wanted to explore different videography methods and hope to continue on that path.

Finally, can you share any more details on the album in terms of possible features?

This project is just me ft me. I decided not to have any features on this as the subject matter was very personal and i didn’t feel it needed another perspective. However, my next project will be a collaboration EP.

Be sure to have a look for Deyah’s EP titled, Care City on all digital platforms, Check the videos to Deyah’s single, Okoposire:

You can listen to the full EP here:

Q&A: Have You Met.. Maũ

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Where were you born, and raised Maũ?

I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and raised in both Nairobi and the UK, specifically Ascot and West London.

What are your earliest memories with music and art, in terms of who encouraged you to express yourself through art and music, or what is just a reactionary process to your environment?

My earliest memories of with music and art were probably school plays as a child and music lessons. My parents always encouraged creative expression but as more of a hobby or extra-curricular thing; I had way too much energy as a child so it made sense they wanted me to get it out aside from school and sport.

I watched you short documentary on vimeo, clean water. What inspired the documentary

Clean Water came about from a lot of racial encounters during my second year of uni in New York that pushed me to question how blackness intersects with my identity and upbringing. At the time things felt super overwhelming so it just became about making sense of this part of myself now being older and experiencing a different kind of racism from people.

Clean Water from Kamau Wainaina on Vimeo.

I really like the recent video you released for your track, Chances, what was your vision for the video. How did you want it to be received?

The Chances video came about through a lot of conversations with the director. Originally it wasn’t a song I had a clear visual for – [which is strange given that from my background is mostly in film]. Coby and I met to brainstorm some ideas after he approached me wanting to do a video as part of his class project. I had an idea about exploring a space where I interact with different objects and Coby took that and adapted it to Chances, where we conceived a dark kind of nether-space that represented the scary uncertainty of being an artist and how that fear is fueled by my personal background and culture.

In spite not living in Kenya, how do you try to maintain a certain closeness and awareness to your Kenyan roots through your art?

I think I just try and be aware of that side of myself and let it come out naturally when it wants to. I’ve realized more and more that if I try and force elements of my “Kenyanness” or culture into my music in ways that I’ve observed I may end up overthinking it and being disingenuous.

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Which musicians and lyricist have inspired your music?

Right now I really love Saba, and how he plays with words and cadence. I’ve also always loved Loyle Carner and how honest he is in his music as well as his flow and delivery. Other influences include Little Simz, Murkage Dave, Noname and recently Obonjayar.
From a cultural standpoint, how does living in London compare to living in New York?

I saw a tweet the other day that said New York and London are cousins and I kinda feel that, like there are similarities and differences. I feel like New York is a lot more urgent, people move a lot faster and in general there’s a restlessness which is great for being proactive and productive but can be really overwhelming. It’s been a long time since I lived in London, but I definitely felt like it was more calm – still energetic but you could still find peace when in very built up spaces. I’m likely moving back soon so it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like living there after 5 years of New York.

Check out our soundcloud playlist of Maũ latest tracks:

First Thoughts: Jerome Thomas – Mood Swing Vol 1

With his headline show just around the corner on the 27th of February at the infamous Jazz Cafe, Singer/Songwriter Jerome Thomas released his second EP titled – Mood Swings Vol 1. Having been nearly two years since his debut EP release – ‘Conversations’, this EP has been a long time coming but Jerome has continued to grow since his debut release. With headline shows across London in Bush Hall, Queen of Hoxton, Camden Assembly, Hackney Empire, Notting Hill Arts Club.

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As a listener, its always more exciting listening to an album which has taken a little longer to create than your previous, you’re always going to approach listening to the album with a bit more intent. Especially as Jerome revealed on Instagram, he wants to make music which is timeless. Enthralling a range of emotions within each track from the silky-smooth harmonising tones he displays in tracks such as ‘Bruises’ and ‘Lovesick’, to the quicker, punchy, almost spoken word at times, in the track ‘Loaded’, there’s an element of grace and elegance around Jerome’s delivery.

As a vocalist, he’s one of the most exciting singers the UK, he’s able to enrich a track delicately for it not to become too overbearing but still stand out. Stand out track – ‘Loaded’ sees Jerome switch up his flow to match the up-tempo soulful broken beats pounding, along with the added feature of German based MC – Serious Klein. Another stand out track – ‘The 1’ builds beautifully, as the slow radiating saxophone lays patiently behind, for Jerome’s powerful vocals to shine through.

You can catch Jerome Thomas perform live at the Jazz Cafe on the 27th of Feburary, click here for tickets

Have a listen to the full EP on our spotify below:

 

First Thoughts: Moak – This Is Us

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At a time where mumble rap seems to be at the overwhelming forefront of mainstream music, its always refreshing to hear spoken word and poetry projects. MOAK was someone who grabbed my attention at a ‘Love & Music’ event last year, where he performed a few memorable spoken word pieces along with a number of very talented poets and singers. An extremely inclusive event which highly recommend keeping a tab on! However, MOAK’s confident performance struck a chord with me and he stood out with everything; from his execution, to his flow, and the backing group, who beautifully provided a befitting accompaniment of classic instruments which easily drifted in the backdrop, for MOAK’s voice to take center stage.

So, from immediately listening to MOAK’s debut release EP titled; ‘This is Us’, a lot of those amazing memories began to flood back. Moak touches on a few interesting topics from empowerment and betterment for black lives without the downplay of other lives, to a more humorous, and relatable experience of a black Barbershop. The attention to detail and ability to cleverly mold the meaning of words at his mercy is poetically amazing. The stand out single – ‘This Is Us’ culminates and rounds off MOAK’s overarching message of what it means to be black, and being proud of ones’ black heritage, in spite the stigma placed by the media, which then forms a part of our psyches. ‘Black Queens’ speaks of a truth which is close to home, discussing a lack of appreciation for black women by black men, a topic which has grown in debates across black radio shows and podcasts. MOAK’s ability to speak so candidly on sensitive topics shines through and makes the EP a definite listen.

First Thoughts: Barney Artist – Home Is Where The Art Is’

 

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Now, I remember discovering Barney Artist a while back from his stand out track, “I’m Going To Tell You” with Jordan Rakei around a year ago, but never delved into his full discography at the time. Although, having recently read he was planning a full album release this autumn, I wanted to get back in to his music again, and after noticing banging singles like; ‘Rose Thorn ft Dornik’ and ‘Something True’, I was quite excited to hear the album. With two albums behind him, his third album titled; ‘Home Is Where The Art Is’ touches on a few points from his views on women, past relationships, and being optimistic on the future.

Barney Artist cites at UK artists; Kano and Ghostpoet as his main influences, along with,  American 90s hip hop groups’ ‘A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots’, as well, which is recognisable from the general tone throughout the album, as he skillfully raps over jazz and hip hop sampled beats. Barney’s introspective, poignant lyrics perfectly marry with the conscious style of hip hop most prevalent pre-2000s, and I think that candid approach is what has earned his respect. Tracks like ‘Rose Thorn’ show this, where he only expresses an experience he had in past relationship, and cleverly minces his distinctive, bold voice with a poetic styled wordplay which blend well with vibrant guitar melodies. Tracks like “Know him well” written for his younger sister, speaks on guidance and advice for her as she grows and gets in relationships with other people, as well as empowering her to be confident with herself.

The album includes host of successful UK based artists’ towards the latter stages, with features from; George the Poet, Tom Misch, Loyle Carner, Emmavie and Jordan Rakei.

You can support the artist via bandcamp, have a listen below: