I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with one of the nicest rappers in the game: TE dness let me in on how life has changed since becoming a father, his goals in 2018, and why he’ll never feed his daughter baby food!
Keep an eye out because this summer is going to be a busy one for the West London rapper!
Have a listen/read of the interview below:
Noha: Doing a mixtape in 2 weeks by yourself?
TE dness: Yeah! I’m gonna have a few features so some of the work will be done by other people. I don’t know who the features are yet though. Literally I just need to wrap up in 2 weeks.
What does TE dness stand for?
‘TE’ stands for temper. When I was a teenage I used to be called ‘MC Tempa’ when I did Grime and stuff. When you search ‘TE’ online though you couldn’t find me. ‘Dness’ is actually a play on my surname ‘Denise’. So you get TE dness.
What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I feel like with my music there’s a continuous highlight and being able to keep growing. I feel like my career has been really different to a lot of the rappers that have come in and got a hit. My rise is a slower rise to the top, but I feel like the foundation that I’m building is very solid. My fans have the understanding that I’m not the typical rapper. The highlight of my whole career is being able to see continuous growth. I haven’t had a moment or like an event or a show that been like ‘yo this is the best thing ever’. But there has been continuous growth. I just make sure that I know that I am progressing.
One of your biggest tracks ‘Saucy’, does it annoy you that it’s your least lyric track?
It’s mad that you noticed that because that’s something that I definitely noticed. It doesn’t annoy me it it’s justa realization about the state of music. It’s similar to annoying. It’s the song I put the least effort in. I think it just says a lot about the state of music.
Who would be your dream artists to collaborate with?
Missy Elliot! Swizz Beats, Pharrell, Jay Z. A lot of people I’d collaborate with just so I could talk to them. A lot of people say ‘Ed Sheeren’ but it’s not ‘ahh sick song with Ed’ it’s like you get so much knowledge and information in that session.
I’ve read that you don’t have a specific writing process. What was the last thing that inspired you to write?
I don’t always write in my phone. Sometimes I just freestyle into the mic. I write lyrics all the time- it’s literally just the things that I live.
And do you ever get writers block?
All the time! But then I just take a break from music- I don’t try and force it. If I sit down with an instrumental and I know this instrumental is very good and I want to write to it and it’s not happening I just take a break.
I’ve seen on your socials that you’ve got the most adorable daughter ever. Has being a father changed or inspired the way you make your music?
I’m a bit more conscious of what I say but I try not to hold back though because I don’t make music for my daughter. I’m more aware of the fact that younger kids hear my music and she’ll hear my music one day. It doesn’t make me change my content it just makes me more aware.
And has being a father changed you as a person outside of music?
Yeah, I’m a lot more compassionate. I follow through with my words. She’s taught me that love is not something that you can just say- it’s something that you have to follow through with your actions all the time. It forces you to be compassionate and man up. She’s also taught me to be my biggest fan because I have to love myself before I can love her.
Random one, have you ever tried baby food?
No (laughs). I don’t feed my daughter baby food. Baby food sits on the selves for ages- you don’t know where it’s made or how it gets transported.
Are you quite health conscious for yourself as well?
I’m becoming more health conscious. I haven’t had meat in two weeks. I’ve been having fish at the moment. My body is just starting to reject meat. My favourite dish is prawns and pasta.
I hear you want to write a kids book?
Yeah I wanted to base it on my daughter. I got the inspiration from the Little Mermaid- Ariel. Her father is Zeus. I wanted to make my daughter a character like Ariel and her dad would be the God of Sound- and that would be me. I haven’t sat down and put it into production. I have loads of ideas but it’s just about making the time to do them.
And is there anything you want to work on that you haven’t done just yet?
Yeah I want to do more writing for other people and go down the publishing route. I feel like my writing ability gets slept on because of who I am because I’m the only one projecting it into the world. I feel like at this moment my songwriting could go a lot further then I could. I’d like to help other artists express themselves.
It’s safe to say that you do a lot! What do you do when you chill?
I don’t chill. It’s a bad thing- at the moment I’m literally burning both ends of the candle. My friend used to call it ‘life to life’- you live one life and the other back-to-back, and it’s literally what I do now. I’m a dad, at the same time I’m a rapper, at the same time I try and do business, at the same time I’m TE. It is a lot. I coulnd’t tell you the last time I chilled and took a proper break. Where this is my focus year, and I’ve moved out of London, I’m just in that mode.
Trap Nominated 2 is not coming until?
November. I’m working on something through for April. There’ll be 10-12 songs.
Credit where credit is due, you’re doing a lot!
You have to try! The difference between making it and not making it is literally just trying. I feel like if I keep trying then someone has to notice my hard work, even if it’s just me.
We’re definitely noticing! Out of all the tracks you’ve made what’s your most memorable?
Probably the song for my daughter, ‘Ride with You’, I did on my Trapicana EP. Obviously it features my daughter because she’s laughing in the beginning. Completing that song cemented my place in fatherhood. I needed some musical expression dedicated to her, and I feel like that was the last part of me excepting fatherhood. Me expressing myself how I know was what I just needed to just say ‘you’re here this is your journey now’.
Thanks so much for your time! It’s been a pleasure interviewing you.
By Noha Omnya
Twitter/ Instagram/ Mixcloud: @Noha_Omnya