It’s been nearly two years since we last heard from Barbadian hip hop artiste, producer and songwriter Teff Hinkson.
In 2017, the rapper caught the vibe of the Caribbean with Vibe Like You and had us grooving with Headshot. Since then he’s been relatively quiet working behind the scenes on new music related business adventures.
However, this year he came back with a new focus. Teff dropped Tired back in February and was also featured on a freestyle collaboration with Barbadian entertainer Crab Soldier named Drippin. In his latest single Tired, produced by Chris Rose, Teff makes reference to his ‘retirement’ back in 2016 and also the local music industry.
Bajan Vibes caught up with the busy artiste about his changing sound and new music endeavours.
First, you recently released the single Tired. Could you break down how that came about?
Chris Rose came through to Loud Box studio to reproduce a song I had previously done with Rico Maserati so it would suit my current sound. It was hard to get the acappella to groove because of the new dancehall-ish drum bounce. When I revisited it next session, my boy Renee Sensei passed through Loud Box as well and freestyled some melodies that I kind of ran with and in the process it hit me that this was a good song to jump back in the water with.
In the single you talked about retirement. I felt like it was referring to how you have been working the Barbadian hip hop scene but you aren’t getting the recognition. What was your inspiration during the writing process?
To be fair, I’ve done a lot and I’ve been the first to do a lot of things regarding this field coming from Barbados and I’m very proud of myself as are my real supporters. However, it doesn’t pay to be a martyr. Being the first is overrated. In another life I would like to have started when there was an industry for rap from here and things were already flowing. Even though I decided for a while now not to stop, I’ve been in Loud Box just stacking songs. Inspiration fluctuated at this stage so that led to the lyrics.
How has been the response so far to Tired?
I really only meant for this song to be a moment introducing my return for those who really cared but it looks like it picked up a little radio run so… sweet! [It’s a] warm up track for me though, to be honest.
This collaboration with Chris Rose isn’t your first. How is it working with Chris and what are your thoughts about his growth especially as ‘A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’ album went platinum?
Working with Chris Rose is a breeze. He’s quicker than industry standard, his ear is cultured and futuristic and he’s musically solid. He works hard too and keeps his head down. It was amazing to see his production in A Boogie’s album which was holding down number 1 on Billboard for a couple weeks. [It’s] already gold and heading to platinum. Just happy to see local and international success in this field, especially to someone who deserves it.
The last we heard from you was Vibe Like You in 2017. What have you been up to or working on?
Chris did Vibe Like You for me as well, which was the last thing you heard from me prior to this new wave I’m about to splash. I don’t announce anything early anymore because I could just wait until the time is right for me and roll things out the right way. Just know I have tons of songs.
What has been your personal/professional focus since coming out of retirement? And give us an update on MoonLit Festival!
My focus now is building new business models that don’t compromise the art. Showing others a path to financial freedom as an artist right here in Barbados. There’s a misconception in my field that you HAVE to head outside to get through. I agree with a lot of that notion but I more so believe in both. Any successful artist would tell you both matter but that’s a conversation for another day; the point is we need to like and love ourselves more. Fans, and many artists, see local as regressive and foreign as progressive then complain and say Barbados ain’t got nothing. You could just take a look at the MoonLIT Festival that I hosted last year and see we have all that we need and more. I can’t wait to drop the date and info for this year. We’ll be introducing MoonLIT Mxrs really soon – a series of pop up events for industry networking so we can collaborate and build projects from scratch off combining resources in a fun, lounge atmosphere. (KK)