Meet the Colombian singer ready to take his voice to the global stage.
Back with another stunning song is multi-talented artist ¿Téo?, making his 2020 entrance with the genre-fluid tune “UNI2”. Fresh from supporting Jaden and Willow Smith, ¿Téo?’s new track showcases raw talent and enticing vocals over a Latin-style trap beat. The multi-lingual artist showcases his love and appreciation for his international background with this hit, blending Spanish and English lyrics for a global vibe.
Having already had a busy 2019 with him starring alongside his brother Moises Arias and fellow Colombian rising star Kali Uchis for Esteban Arrango’s Latin film BLAST BEAT, we caught up with the rising star talking inspirations, indie films and what’s next.
Check out the interview below…
Hi ¿Téo? How are you?
I’m doing good! Making the most out of this time.
How has this lockdown been for you?
It’s been interesting. The same as for a lot of people, this takes some getting used to. The first few weeks were about adjusting my habits and finding ways to be as productive as I can be. Then I kinda settled into it. I’m lucky to have the setup that I do, living with my brother and being able to be self-sufficient in my work.
How has it affected your creativity?
In the long run, I think it’s changed the way I think about my music and my work. I feel like I wake up every day and all I want to do is create. But it’s also made me creative in other ways too. I used to never want to cook, but I find myself in the kitchen now at least three times a day, thinking of meals, finding recipes and really enjoying that process.
When did you first realize you wanted to make music?
When I was nine I lived at an apartment complex and the lobby had a grand piano. I remember going to the lobby and messing with the keys and really falling in love with the instrument. I would go every day and play the same melody and then eventually the receptionist got pissed at me. After I fell in love with the piano, there were moments growing up, where the people around me really inspired my love for music. It made me want to produce my own songs.
Who did you grow up listening to?
I didn’t grow up in a family of musicians so I listened to familiar music like ACDC, Rolling Stones, Eminem, Lil Wayne. Growing up my mom would have this channel on all day that played Latin music videos from the early 2000s. Obviously my mom’s love for artists like, Ricardo Arjona, influenced me massively. But growing up in ATL listening to 95.5, that influenced me in ways that was outside of what my family knew.
How would you describe your genre?
I feel like it’s become a lot less important for artists to define themselves with a genre. When I developed my taste for music, I became obsessed with bossa nova. The style felt so effortless to me. When I make music I find myself mixing this style with others that are second nature to me: alt, hip-hop, pop whatever it may be. So I don’t like to define a genre because at any point I switch from one to the other, or mix all of them at once.
Who do you make music for?
I make music that I would listen to. I feel like I’ve noticed a lot through touring, that people who come to see me are people who I feel like in some ways I can relate to.
You’ve starred in lots of indie films – for you, are music and film inextricable?
They compliment each other. For instance, in the last film I was a part of called BLAST BEAT, I played a character who was obsessed with heavy metal. So I listened to it for months trying to prepare for that role. There are so many ways in which my music inspires me visually and vice versa. Making music videos has been a really crucial part in making my music. I love coming up with what visuals would compliment my music. I can also remember countless times I’ve gone to the movies where the score inspired me to want to go back into the studio and create. I’ve always envisioned one of my songs being a part of a film score.
Congratulations on your new record “UNI2” – what inspired it?
My friend Lido played me this beat at the end of 2018 at the studio. I remember hearing it and thinking it felt like the perfect evolution of where I wanted to go. This song to me, is a coming together of so many things. It’s the first song I’m releasing with a full Spanish verse, which is my first language.
You collaborated with Jaden Smith on “Uno Dos” – how did this come about? Why was he the right collaborator?
He’s not just a collaborator but also my best friend. I’ve known him for almost 10 years. We have lived together for about five. Jaden, My brother and I all matured together and have really been collaborating creatively from the moment we met. Our different styles have influenced each other to be better creators. The moment I played him “Uno Dos”, he wanted to get on it.
What’s next for you?/What are you excited for?
I’m excited for my new album to come out. I feel like I’ve been holding on to this project and I’m looking forward to putting it out and letting people live with my new stuff for a while. Hopefully, I can go on tour soon too. I did my first solo tour last year and It was really special for me to curate my own show, where I could perform the music that I knew people who came to see me would be receptive too. I look forward to coming out of this lockdown feeling inspired and continue to create and share the art.