Teeah made it big in the music industry singing back-up vocals for the likes of Mel B and Amy Winehouse. But it wasn’t until she didn't sing for ten years that she realised she was good enough to do her own thing and be a solo artist. We spoke to her about all this as well as working with Delirious, her new track and what she loves about London.
How would you describe yourself and your sound?
I'm an introvert with ‘outrovert’ expectations. I'm caring but my friends say I'm too kind, life has been hard enough for me to not be someone’s kindness. God is sensitive about me. My sound is a vibration of sounds but no matter the tempo, it will always have soul.
You have worked with some huge names, like Amy Winehouse and Mel B. How did you go from being a backing singer for these artists to deciding to do your own thing?
To be honest I thought I was only good enough for backup. I hadn't realised who I am, it took 10 years of not singing a single thing anywhere, before I made the choice to start again. The decision came because my heart would have stopped beating if I never completed the dreams I had as a child, wondering what would have happened next.
Tell us about your new single ‘Complete’?
Complete was a whole experience. I often think about aspects of love and passion and how its evaporating before my eyes. Complete opens a line of communication and understanding, an expression of love beyond the norms of sex, with the emotion and connections of the act of love making 'I feel you touches, I feel your pain'.
How did you get involved with working with Ice Prince?
Ask-Seek-Find lol literally. I wish I had some wonderful backstory, but I don’t. I'm just thankful he loved the track enough to want to be on it.
How has working with the producer Delirious shaped your sound?
Working with Delirious is great, we go back over 10 years which makes it a lot easier. My sound is very different to most of his clients. We work together on the foundation of the beats. So, we shape a vibe that's right for me.
You have previously spoken about how the track is about finding real love and ‘industry’ love. What do you mean by ‘industry’ love?
Industry love is love behind the lens of viewers, also the love of what you do within any industry, these days, industry love can get in the way of what's real. You can have both but you both have to make each other complete
What to you is real love?
Zengeh, Zengeh is real love
You are from East London. What are the best and worst things about being from there?
If I gave you the worst things it would get political so the best thing, I would say, is the cultural diversity. My corner shops sell plantain and okra, avocado from Barbados and spices from South Africa. What more could a girl like me want from her corner shop?
What is the music scene looking like in London for you right now?
It's very eclectic but also very urban. AfroSwing, that's the wave right now. It's hard because I wouldn't say my music is the generic of the London scene, but it is what it is. Once my music is heard that's all that matters. In time, my music will be that light you can’t dim
What do you usually like to do in London in general?
London isn't as hectic as people think. Generally, if it's not a concert or shopping, that's about it for me. Then I spend the rest of the time waiting for a sunny day above 25 degrees.
You also have Bajan and Southern African heritage. How have different cultures influenced your art?
We have more similarities than differences, especially when it comes to food. I'm a big foodie. I grew up listening to a massive variety of genres, from soca to lover’s rock, Kwaito, SA House, Gospel, reggae, the list is endless. The culture is my art and as I grow as an artist, I hope to express it more.
Do you think that Britain needs to embrace culture from around the world more in general?
When it comes to culture, being embraced is a choice of wisdom, respect and love. Britain has tried and been successful in many areas but also failed in plenty.
With everything that has happened in 2020, do you think the creative scene is changing?
I think the creative have adapted well to the situation right now. To be an artist you most definitely have to be a hustler. So, no matter the change we will find a way to allow the change to benefit the art.
What does the rest of the year hold for you?
A fabulous EP that I can’t wait to drop. More music, a few more seasons with my web series and plenty more blessings.
Check out more of Teeah’s life and music on her Instagram, Twitter and Website.