Monmouth seems to be the home of many talented students, and I had a chance to talk with sophomore and music industry student, Tyler Robinson, also known by his stage name “Teddy,” who has become a popular musician amongst the students of the University. He’s performed at several campus events and will be performing at the school pep rally Oct. 28.
He throws a twist on the average “up and coming young artist” story because you can see the dedication in the ambitious rapper, considering Teddy hit the ground running with his career by focusing on live performances. Even prior to the release of his first album, Say Less: The Prequel, the artist started performing his music live. He has performed in a variety of places for different artists and will be opening for Tory Lanez ,a hip-hop artist who has released songs such as “LUV” and “Say It,” on Nov. 6.
Say Less: The Prequel features seven tracks that mix hard beats with Usher type, slower melodies. Teddy is definitely on it with the vocals; he has that Andre 3000/Frank Ocean/PartyNextDoor type of feel to his music.
There seems to be a greater appreciation of artists who can actually sing beautifully and accent notes rather than just spit bars to a beat for two reasons. First, it puts the artist in another category because having that type and level of talent – musically – is rare. Secondly, it’s rare because this is part of a throwback era of rap and hip-hop. We saw this type of style with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, but today, hardly any rappers have any kind of vocal melody. This is a huge advantage for Teddy and is something that will definitely set him apart from other artists as he progresses.
During the interview, Teddy talked about his hustle and a variety of topics surrounding his music and the creation of his first album, Say Less: The Prequel.
When did you get into music and why?
Music has always been my passion. Every time I brought it up, people kind of took it as a joke and never took it seriously. I really decided a few months ago that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life so I made my music, started talking to people, and really tried to promote myself.
Who are your favorite artists?
Definitely Drake, J.cole, and Lil Uzi Vert, but I have a really wide ear and I’ve learned to appreciate everything.
Who is your inspiration?
My dad used to be an artist and a producer, the business didn’t work out for him, and my mom was always musically talented also. Based on what they experienced in the business, they didn’t want me to venture out into the dog-eat-dog world, but I know I can succeed and one day take care of them.
What’s your process?
I write my own lyrics, make my own beats, and record my own stuff. I really do everything from a-z on my own.
What separates you from other artists?
I’m so invested in learning more about music and the process that goes into producing it. I changed my major to music industry because I’m looking to sharpen my skills. A lot of artists don’t have that prior knowledge of the process or the desire to dive deep into things. I feel like my raw talent mixed with my knowledge of the music business will give me an edge.
Is there a tone to your music?
A type of music I like to make is what I call “RNS R&B” because I mix singing bridges, and melodies with rapping. What I’m working on personally is keeping my music related to what is real to me. I want to apply a mass audience appeal and have my music be about real experiences that I go through in my life.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently working on my second album. I definitely want to get new music out. I also want to keep performing as much as possible and continue to promote my music and story.
You can’t help but root for an artist like this, whose passion bleeds through his music. Teddy has hit the ground running by releasing an album, making it available on popular music streams like iTunes and Tidal, and performing for big name rappers, such as Tory Lanez. As a young artist in the game, Teddy is already doing major things but it’s really only the start. It is clear that there is more in store for this ambitious nineteen year old.