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Who is Teezo Touchdown?

Teezo Touchdown

Intro via The Face

The Texas city of Beaumont looks like a lot of industrial American towns. One of three municipalities that make up the state’s Golden Triangle of petrochemical production, it’s small (with an estimated population of around 116,000), boring (largely home to the headquarters of energy companies and regional deli chains) and characterised by the feeling that everyone knows everyone.

On its surface, you might just see nondescript suburbs. And yet, Beaumont is the city that spawned Teezo Touchdown: part-punk crooner, part-singer-songwriter, part-experimental rapper, and one of America’s shiniest new enigmas.

After a false start in the music industry, the surreal genre collagist re-emerged in 2020 with a series of oddball singles and a new jaw-dropping style. In the video for the first release of this run, a woozy indie ballad called Strong Friend, Teezo performs outside a graffitied garage lot, singing into a bouquet of red roses while plucking notes from his low-strung bass guitar. He’s wearing a white tank top, sagging khakis and chains, with more than a dozen nails pierced through his braids. It’s a look that simultaneously references gangsta rap, ​’00s Hot Topic punk and ​’80s hair metal icons.

His aesthetic only got weirder from there.

“I’m kind of like a piece of gum that just picks up stuff as I go through this journey,” he says. Over Zoom, he’s less of an exhibitionist – when we log on, he politely declines to turn on his webcam, explaining that he’s still working through the kinks of doing press. During Teezo’s last interview, a 52-minute video for the Lyrical Lemonade platform, he was entirely in character as ​“Eugene Hanes” – his fictional, bushy-haired manager whose eyes are always obscured by a tilted Uncle Sam hat. Today, he’s willing to pull back the curtain a little more, but there are still some secrets he’s trying to keep.


Can you tell us how Teezo Touchdown came to be?

Teezo: By way of Southeast Texas. He’s what you would call a trial and error artist. My origin story came so in the moment that I didn’t really get to track it. But my timeline was really this: artist turn video director, turn artist.

When did you first start making music?

Teezo: Oh, music has been a part of my life since as long as I can remember. I think my first memory is music, so it’s always been there. In 2016 I decided to take it by the horns and really take this thing for what it is and just engulf myself in it. I was in school at the time because I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing, kind of something to tell my family on Thanksgiving when they ask what I’m up to, you know. But when they ask now I’m like: ‘I’m a full-time artist’.

What were you learning in school?

Teezo: I was going for Mass Communication, which is ironic because now I think I’m doing mass communication for sure with my art. So it’s full circle.

Remember the first instrument that you ever picked up?

Teezo: They have this thing called Sam’s Club everywhere in the US, it’s like this wholesale warehouse, but they have like a piano that sits in the middle of their store to test out. I think that was like the first thing, unless you want to call turntables an instrument.

Your dad’s a DJ right?

So you were surrounded by music from a very young age?

Teezo: Absolutely. He showed me how to DJ, now he’s kinda like my booking manager. I started mixing around fourth grade, I remember because my teacher wrote a letter home to my parents about it. My class was asked to write down what we were passionate about or something like that. And I wrote about how I just learned how to chop and screw music the day before. Instead of saying to my parents like: ‘hey he knows what he wants to do! You should water this plant’, she was actually like trying to see what the hell was going on in my house. Other people were playing basketball and baseball. I was learning how to DJ.


What is a good reference point for how your music feels?

It feels like a hug… No it doesn’t, because hugs feel dangerous now. So if someone goes to hug you now, it means they’re trying to kill you… So yeah, it feels like a hug.

If you could no longer make music, what would your next project be?

I would be a director. Wherever I’m at, I’d probably be shooting locals. Just helping them get the vision that they see in their head out, or just helping them see a vision.

Given the versatility of your creative expression, what is the common thread across your body of work?

The writing ties everything up—whether that be songwriting or script writing. I take pride in my pen.

What is one medium or genre that you’d like to explore next?

Scoring. I play with it now, but I really want to get into scoring films and commercials—wherever I’m needed.

What can we expect from you in 2021?



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