Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are very pleased to bring you an interview with eclectic indie rock/pop artist, Tete Essein.
1. How did you get started as an artist?
I had a backlog of songs saved up and I started demoing them, just on my laptop in my bedroom. A lot of it was about satisfying this itch I had. I’d spoken to The Animal Farm before, back when I was in a group, so I sent them my demos kind of for a second opinion. They seemed excited about the songs so we set about getting some real recordings down. Suddenly I went from bumming up all on my lonesome to having this whole team to work with, that I could bounce things off, and had this whole 5 year plan laid out for me. Very prince charming in how they swooped in and resolved things.
2. How would you describe your sound?
Kind of like a statue erected on state lines, at some kind of intersection, and it’s designed to blow in the wind. Depending on the direction of it, it leans on one side over the other but it’s still routed in one place. To me It has inflections of different sonics and styles, but at its heart its pop music made with, maybe, a slightly leftist approach and depth.
3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?
There’s loads. Arctic Monkeys, Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, Jamie T, Barry White, Lana Del Rey, Jungle, Tyler the Creator, Kano. I could go on in detail for days but I’ll leave it there for the minute.
4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as an artist?
What it has done is help create an immediacy with which you can write, produce and unveil your music. From a standing start you can reach further afield than you probably could have previously, certainly on your own. In that way, it’s kind of levelled the playing field. But it’s also a proponent of junk food media, and with greater supply and demand, the capacity for retaining attention seems to have dropped off. It’s a trade-off innit and like a lot of things it’s about what you make of it. You can focus on diminishing record sales, or see it as an opportunity to launch your music a greater distance with your first throw.
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
I like reading, I’ve got a library of things to tackle over the next few weeks. It’s the same with watching films, I’ve got a film list I’m making my way through as well. I like being active so exercising and working out are regular fixtures in my day, they do wonders for a clear head, as well as the obvious physical benefits. I’ve been cheffing a lot too recently. My friends and I talk about food a lot, and we all pretty much like making it, and trying out new recipes. Cooking is probably one of my favourite things to do, gives me a focus and escape for however long it takes and I enjoy that.
6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?
I do wonder how a tour would look in this climate. Set up and play outside of a set of venues, perhaps I could do that. My plans are always to write and write and write some more, eventually move to getting the live band tight and ready too. Playing shows will take care of itself, when the time is right and things settle. Until then I just want to hone my craft. There’s nothing I enjoy more than making music, start to finish and being excited about the end product. That’s what turns me on, and if you enjoy what you do if doesn’t have to become work.