We recently sat down with the exciting and fast rising talent Teekay Othello, off the back of his highly impressive new EP “Luv Letters 2” Speaking on all subjects from his start in music to his creative process and aspiring goals.
1. What was growing up like for you?
I was a quiet kid growing up. For the most part, I was usually quite reserved and kept to myself. I feel like I was raised to be quite sheltered. I didn't get to do a whole lot when I was younger. It was mostly about academics. But my interest in music pushed me to get out of my bubble and learn more about myself and the world I live in.
2. How did you get started in music, was the journey an obvious choice?
I started writing music when I was 10 years old. I enjoyed listening to what was on the radio at the time, and I began writing lyrics based on the popular music I was listening to. I would often look up the lyrics from these songs and sing them on my own time, and then I would write songs to emulate the style of those songs I was singing. From there, I began to pick up other skills in the music realm, such as playing the piano, guitar, ukulele, learning to beatbox, producing instrumentals, learning to rap and freestyle rap, and other skills.
Music has always been the obvious choice for me at the end of the day. There was lots of pressure for me to perform well academically when I was younger, and many of the kids I went to school with were more interested in sports and other activities. Whenever life would prove to be difficult, writing songs was always my outlet.
3. Who are your biggest inspirations both in music and life?
My biggest inspirations range from popular artists to close people in my life. I grew up listening to a lot of R&B and Pop music, particularly from the early 2000s era. So artists like Usher, Ne-Yo, and Chris Brown played a large role in how I like to structure my melodies. In high school, I began taking my songwriting skills more seriously, so artists like Ty Dolla $ign, Bryson Tiller, Big Sean, and Jeremih greatly influenced how my music sounds to this day.
4. Looking ahead, where do you see yourself in the years to come?
In the next few years, I see myself doing music full-time. I spend lots of time learning about music marketing and industry trends, as well as curating Spotify playlists. My plan is to multiply my listeners and solidify a larger fanbase, as well as growing a large playlist network to help fellow artists get their music heard.
5. In terms of the creative process when working on a new project what does this look like for you?
My creative process when it comes to my projects looks fairly organized. For the most part, I know exactly what songs will go on each project, because I write out a whole tracklist. I then prepare all the instrumentals I plan to use, and then I plan out how exactly I'm going to sing on them, who to feature on the tracks, and where I'll record, mix, and master the tracks. I often have songs ready months in advance so that I'll always have singles ready to release, and then I use those singles to promote my upcoming project. For the most part, I do all my writing and preparation on my own, even when it comes to collaborative pieces. I like to lay out exactly what I'll need from each person going into a project, rather than working with each person when the work is being done. I enjoy working by myself when I can.
6. Do you have any live performances lined up?
I currently don't have any live shows coming up. I definitely don't do as many live shows these days in comparison to pre-pandemic days. Nowadays, I'll do a live show once every few months. My next show will likely be in March, taking place in my hometown, Calgary, Canada.
7. In terms of dream collaborations does anyone come to mind?
My dream collaborations would most definitely be Bryson Tiller and Ty Dolla $ign. I think my writing style is similar and very compatible to how Bryson Tiller writes. As for Ty Dolla $ign, I think he's a musical genius and the king of features. I've seen videos of him online playing a bunch of different instruments and producing in different styles. He's a very versatile artist, and I think he and I would sound great together.
8. What is your proudest moment so far musically?
I have two proudest moments, actually. The first one is the release of my song Violet Dreams. I always heard it was a useless move for independent artists to tease music before it’s released, but I teased the song for about 4 months before it dropped. I knew the song had potential. When I dropped the song, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people waiting for it. Now it’s the most streamed song out of my whole discography.
The second would be the release of my EP “Luv Letters 2”. I went through a lot in 2022 to be able to release the project. These songs are some of the most sincere and close-to-heart songs that I have ever written/recorded. LL2 is my most streamed project, with more than a quarter million streams on Spotify alone. Definitely a big W for me.
9. Any new projects that fans can expect in 2023?
I do have a few projects coming in the near future. As you know, I dropped "Luv Letters 2" in November of 2022, the sequel to my debut EP "Luv Letters" from April 2021. I also have a project titled "Have Fun: The Collection", which was released in July 2021. That project was more focused on my commercial-sounding music, with influences from afrobeats and reggaeton artists. So, I may follow up with a sequel to that project, or perhaps "Luv Letters 3". But for now, I do have a new single titled "Rise Up", featuring the homie Kyra, which is set for release on January 19th. So, stay tuned for that!
10. Do you have a message to your fans and listeners?
My message to everyone is this: If you have a dream, go for it, run after it, chase it, and make it real. I think something that my music journey has taught me is that it's possible to live out your biggest dreams, even if society tells you that it's not. There's so many ways in this day and age to monetize your skills. I hope that my music, the actual songs and the way that I carry out my business, will set a good example for those who are looking to actualize their dreams. A few years ago, I was struggling with balancing music, work and my academia. But now, music IS my main work, and I'm at a point where I've utilized my skills to pay my bills. I still have work to do, but it's only going to get better from here.
STREAM "LUV LETTERS 2" HERE: