To work with an eccentric artist like Teezo Touchdown, producer Hoskins realized he had to get comfortable with the unexpected. At any moment during the making of the artist’s debut album, How Do You Sleep At Night, Teezo could turn whatever they were talking about into a full, lyrically layered song.
“One of the funniest ones to me is definitely the song that didn’t come out called ‘I’m Just A Fan,'” Hoskins told REVOLT. “He literally turned me making a joke about an actual fan in the room into a song about a double entendre of having a fan and being an actual fan (the object) in a room that no one cares about.”
In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” Hoskins explains how he earned Teezo’s trust when recording, what unreleased songs he hopes comes out, and the song that helped him understand Teezo as a person instead of a character. Read the chat below.
How did you first link up with Teezo?
Initially, I linked up with Teezo through my publisher, Katie Welly. She also publishes Teezo and told me, “There’s this dude coming to London. He’s sick; you have to link with him. He hasn’t got much views and shit right now, but he’s cool.” Then, she sent me the name, and I told her, “I’ve seen this guy doing skits on Twitter and stuff, but I’ve never heard any of his music.” This was a couple of years ago.
I liked the few songs he had out, so I linked up with him at a studio in London called Strongroom Studios. I remember I went in there, and it was just him in there, and he was super quiet, sitting in the front by the speakers. He had a bunch of McDonald’s cheeseburgers in there. We started working. We were cooking up beats, and he got super excited. He said, “Bro, you actually don’t understand, man. You just saved me because I’ve been in the studio for a week, and I’ve made nothing. You pulled up, and we made two things that I liked. We have to work together all the time, and I have to bring cheeseburgers from McDonald’s every time now.”
What were the two things you guys worked on? Did they end up with the album?
It was just some beats. There’s probably some stuff that will eventually come out later because I have a bunch of stuff with Teezo. While he was figuring out the album’s sound, we were making a bunch of stuff, and there are still conversations around finishing the songs and figuring out who will [be featured] on them. I feel they will eventually make it out somewhere. The most important part of working with an artist like Teezo is he sees that your vibe matches with his vibe. You can bring your influences together to make something unique because he’s trying to find something unique every time he’s working with someone.
How many songs would you say you guys recorded in the making of Teezo’s How Do You Sleep At Night? album?
Maybe about seven songs. Only two made it on the album. One was on the album until two days before or something. I don’t know if he’s doing a deluxe, but hopefully, he is doing one.
What did you notice about his demeanor when you met with him?
I could feel the pressure. I walked into the room, and I could see an artist signed to a major label who felt like he just paid all this money for this studio out of his budget, and he hadn’t done any songs since he’d been in London. He was putting too much pressure on delivering something, and I think the good thing we did was not do anything specific for his album or anything. We just cooked up and caught a vibe. He would say, “Yo, this is the most fun s**t.”
What’s the creative process for an artist as eclectic as him?
It’s different every time, man. He’ll go through little phases with me. When we first linked up, we’d cook up beats and make stuff. He might start some vocal ideas, but he wouldn’t record them. As he got more comfortable, we’d make some stuff, or I’d make a beat or music idea, and he’d be like, “Do you mind if I have the room and do some vocals?”
The first couple of things we did, he’d just record on his own in the room. I recorded one song for him, and he said, “You can record me next time, bro. This is good.” From that point, it became a lot more collaborative because we didn’t have that barrier between producer and artist that you can often have, especially if they record themselves or have an engineer that just records them. You don’t get to be in the nitty-gritty of making the song.
What was your favorite session?
I would say “Daddy Mama Drama” because, before that, everyone knew Teezo as a carefree, comedic person who would say some funny, witty stuff. There wasn’t a moment when we worked on something more profound about him and his life until “Daddy Mama Drama.” He still managed to keep his charm and the puns. There is an element of humor still to it. He says, “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. But if it does, can we go and fix the screen?” It’s a clever pun, but it’s actually about his relationship with his parents. That was a fun session because that was the session when I got to know Teezo a little bit more as a person. It’s someone who has such an outward character that everyone knows. He lives that character; he’s not like making it up. You rarely get to see a level below that.
Were there any conversations that turned into songs?
One of the funniest ones to me is definitely the song that didn’t come out called “I’m Just A Fan.” We were in this studio in London that Teezo called The Frat House because many people were coming and going. Sometimes, we’d go in there, and there’d be a party upstairs, and we’d say, “Oh, alright, cool.” One song he did with Hit-Boy didn’t make the album, but it was called “Frat House.”
But, for “I’m Just A Fan,” we were in The Frat House, and the room was super hot. There was just one fan in the corner of the room. We would try to turn it on, and it would start for a bit and then grind to a halt. I went over to it and said, “This is the most unenthusiastic fan any artist could ever wish for.” Teezo just started singing, “What’s the point of being on all day,” and singing what became the hook of “I’m Just A Fan.” And then he was like, “I’m just a fan.” We were like, “Hold on a sec. We need to actually make that into a song.” He literally turned me making a joke about an actual fan in the room into a song about a double entendre of having a fan and being an actual fan in a room that no one cares about.
To that point, what’s your favorite unreleased Teezo song you two worked on?
I have two for different reasons. One is called “Ernest,” and it’s about spending so much time in your own head that you have a pet cat named Ernest in your head. The opening line is, “I stay in my head so much it’s furnished. I even have a pet cat named Ernest.” Then he goes through the mental back-and-forth of your inner voice telling you to do something beneficial or negative for you, and not knowing whether the advice you’re giving yourself is good. It’s like the whole back-and-forth we all go through, especially as creatives. There’s another one, one of the funniest songs I’ve got with Teezo, called “For You.” It’s basically him saying to his girlfriend, “For you, I will,” and then it’s a list of ridiculous stuff he’ll do for his girlfriend like drive to Tennessee with no AC and one CD.
What do you have coming for the rest of the year?
I’ve got a bunch of songs coming with Channel Tres, Jean Dawson, Tanna Leone, and AG Club. Hopefully, I’m going to jump on the tour bus with Teezo. That would be super fun. I’m trying to close out the year. So, Jean Dawson is supporting Lil Yachty in Europe. Maybe I’ll even jump on the Yachty and Jean Dawson tour, too, in Europe, which would be cool.
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