After recently releasing his single, Hoods Up, which features some of the UK’s finest MCs; one of the scene’s most sought after producers Teddy Music chats with SBTV‘s Ash Houghton to talk everything from ‘Commercial Grime’ to Jay-Z on a grime beat…
Hi Teddy! So, what’s new with you?
T: I’ve got the new single out, it’s called Hoods Up and features Ruff Sqwad, Ghetts, Roachee and Stutta. I’ve also got the remix out as well, which features Lil Nasty, Double S, Lady Leshurr, Scrufizzer, Dot Rotten and Tre Mission. They’re all on fire right now and a lot of TV stations are supporting the track, too. You can get the EP on iTunes and it features all of the tracks and the instrumental.
You’ve also got an instrumental project out too, right?
T: Yeah, Selectah Vol. 1, it was a quick instrumental CD that I felt like putting out there for the people because I haven’t had a chance to fit in any instrumental releases lately, so I kinda did that in a whole week’s promo, kind of thing. So yeah, I just put that out there for the people, and people are really showing me love, I’m likin’ it. I think with the instrumental project, we’re not looking to generate massive sales, we kind of want it to be a thing that’s there – so if you want it, you can have it.
Is it true you started off as an MC?
T: Yeah, that was ages ago! Around secondary school I was more-time on the MCing thing and then later on, around 14-15, I started the DJing thing and I enjoyed that a lot more. So I quit the MCing, started buying more and more vinyl, just kept it moving and here I am today, Rinse FM.
Have you still got bars? [Laughs]
T: Hmmm..no! [Laughs] no, don’t kill me like this..no, I don’t have any bars. [Laughs]
Not many producers can get Ruff Sqwad, Ghetts, Roachee, Stutta etc on one track – how did Hoods Up come about?
T: At first I think I just wanted Dirty [Ruff Sqwad] to be on it, but obviously, it’s normal for an MC to be very long when getting back to a producer about a beat, so I was just playing it to the mandem and saying “What do you think of this tune?’ and they were getting all excited and saying ‘This tune is sick, let’s all jump on it.’ So from there, everyone who came in to the studio, I’d be like “Yeah, I’ve got a tune for you.” And then one day Ghetts was in the studio and I was playing the beat, so I was just like “Ghetts, why don’t you get a quick verse on it?” He was feeling it, so that’s how he got his place on the track. So that’s how it kind of generated, whoever was in the studio got a part on the track, really.
Teddy Music – Hoods Up Ft. Ruff Sqwad, Ghetts, Roachee & Stutta:
Was it the same process for the remix, then?
T: No, for the remix I reached out to the majority of artists – some didn’t get back to me – but some got back to me, so, it kind of generated from there. But, most of the people I asked for the feature got involved, so that was a good look.
Teddy Music – Hoods Up (Remix) Ft. Lil’ Nasty, Double S, Lady Leshurr, Scrufizzer, Dot Rotten and Tre Mission:
What inspired the the Lil Jon sample on the track?
T: Erm, do you know what.. I could be flicking through sounds and have an idea for something, but sometimes when I hear something, an idea just sparks in my mind. So I heard the Lil Jon “Put your hoods up, put your hoods up,” and thought this can run. So, I saved it as an empty project with just the sample in it, and the minute I went back to it I gained ideas and thought “Yeah, I can do something with this.” So I started repeating the sample and then put a little drum-kit behind it and thought you know what; this could go a bit old-school garage-y, retro kind of style. So I kept it like that, because I was about to go and put some melodies and whatnot in it, but I thought it doesn’t need melodies; it needs to stay as a simple beat, for the artists to just elaborate themselves and go in on it.
Who do you think had the craziest verse on the track? (includng the remix)?
T: Ermm…I would say; in the first one it’s out of Roachee and Slix. The remix would be out of Double S and ‘Lil Nasty.
As well as producing full-time, you’re at university too, right? How do you prioritise your career and education?
T: Yeah, I’m at university studying Music Industry Management. So yeah, I go to lectures, go to seminars and then come home and make beats. But, I still save time to chill and go out with my friends. For me, it’s about balance so I just try to balance everything out.
In a recent interview you mentioned you planned to make ‘Commercial Grime,’ what did you mean by that?
T: Yeah, well it’s about an agreement, really. A lot of the media don’t understand grime, and for your track to get played on radio you need to have a certain hook or whatever. It’s hard to explain, but I’ve got a new track with Scorcher coming — I can’t reveal much about it yet — but it’s hard and when that drops you’ll know what I mean about commercial grime.
If you could take an artist from a completely different genre (than grime) and put them on one of your beats, who would it be and why?
T: I don’t know actually, that’s a hard one. Probably someone like Jay-Z. A lot of Watch The Throne sounded really underground to me, so probably someone like him.
Is there anyone from the scene you’re yet to get the chance to work with?
T: I’d like to work with Chip, I think that would be sick. I’d also like to work with Tinie [Tempah] – we did a track a while back, just before he blew up, but obviously once he got signed and whatnot a lot of tracks must have gotten lost.
What are your thoughts on Chip’s situation in the states?
T: I think it’s good, he’s being real to himself at the end of the day and in order for people to see you being consistently the same, you have to be true to yourself.
So, what do the next twelve months have in store for Teddy Music?
T: A few more singles, my next single — which will be dropping pretty soon — is going to take you on a bit of a journey and I think lots of people are going to be able to relate to it, so look out for that.
Great! Any last words?
T: Yeah man, I just want to thank everyone for supporting! Hoods Up is out now and you can catch me on Rinse FM playing the best in grime on Wednesday nights – 1am-3am.
The Hoods Up EP is available to download now from iTunes – featuring the original track, remixes and the instrumental.
You can also download Selectah Volume 1 now on iTunes, too.
Interview by Ash Houghton