ILUVLOLA PRESENTS: GET TO KNOW - TFHOUSE
Teddy Fantu, better known by his stage name, TFHOUSE is a 22-year old Hip-Hop artist/producer from Toronto. His first self-produced mixtape entitled On My Way was released in August 2010. It was accompanied with the video for the title track, which received positive reviews throughout several media outlets. It was a raw and humble offering, but still an effective introduction into the competitive music scene in Toronto. Eight months later, TFHOUSE followed up with his sophomore release, Superior Taste. The first single “Fade” featuring Devin Wilson of Bravestation gained national exposure and his second single, “Daytime” quickly became a fan favorite. 2011 has been a great ear for Fantu, who opened for the likes of Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa for each of their back-to-back sold out dates in Toronto this past summer and fall. He was asked by The Weeknd to be his supporting act during his University Of Western Ontario Homecoming performance in London, Ontario, which was incredible. These shows not only created new relationships and amazing opportunities for TFHOUSE but also helped garner a new and music-hungry fan base. The young artist is now preparing to release his 3rd self-produced mixtape entitled, Young Desperado in early 2012.
Q&A by Amanda Polla for iLuvLola.net
I.L.L. - First off, what does TFHOUSE stand for?
TFHOUSE - When I first released music I used Teddy F. as my stage name, which is my real name, and TFHOUSE was my production alias. Eventually I scrapped Teddy F. [and kept TFHOUSE – one word all caps] to make it easier for everybody.
How did you get started as a rapper/producer?
When I was 15 I downloaded Fruity Loops on the family computer. I started messing around with it and uploading beats to online hip-hop forums to get some feedback. Eventually I got better at producing and started using a variety of softwares/instruments. I didn’t really find my beats suitable for any artists that were available to me, so I started rapping over them myself. I kept experimenting and learning different production/mixing/recording/writing styles until I felt I was comfortable with the music enough to release it. Last year I released my first self-produced mixtape called On My Way. It was definitely rough around the edges, but allowed me to learn from my mistakes and evolve as an artist.
Your style and flow is refreshingly unique - who are your musical influences?
I’m subconsciously influenced by many different types of music and art forms in general, but if I were to pinpoint a few hip-hop/r&b artists and producers that I have really studied, it’d be people like Andre 3000, Nas, Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, 40, Kanye West, Drake, and The Weeknd.
You use a lot of different musical medleys on your tracks. What draws you to a certain sound, and how do you progress from that point?
I love to sample. I love the sound of samples in Hip-Hop. I am a sampling fiend. I got this program on my iPhone called Shazaam and that shit can tell you what song is playing anywhere you go. It’s been responsible for a lot of the samples I’ve used in the past, and new ones I’m working with right now. I got like OCD when it comes to sampling. If I hear an inspirational sound or song somewhere, I HAVE to find out what it is, I can’t let it go… it could be a hit. So usually after I find that sample I start chopping it up, add some drums and by then I’ll have an idea for what direction I want to take it in.
You’ve opened for some awesome shows lately - Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd - what have been your highlights of the past year thus far?
Well the back-to-back shows with Mac and Wiz and getting asked to hit up the UWO Homecoming with The Weeknd were all really crazy experiences and are definitely highlights for me this year. Other than those shows, the release of my second self-produced mixtape Superior Taste was a milestone because it got a lot of support in Toronto from people I never knew before, and people I really admire. Just hearing how people relate or perceive my music is so real to me… that’s why I do it.
What is your take on the ever-evolving current Toronto hip-hop scene and where do you see it going in the upcoming years?
OVOXO have definitely started a fire internationally, because it’s great music, branding and execution. I don’t think there’s any other city being put on more than Toronto at this time. Anybody making music in the city right now definitely wants to add to that fire, including myself. There’s a lot of secret talent in Toronto - a lot of artists I personally know that are going to making some very significant releases soon. I’m really excited for the world to see and hear Toronto’s true potential.
I really love the collaborations on your latest mixtape with Devin Wilson of Bravestation and Dana. Is there anyone in particular that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Not really… I just play it by ear. If the beats/songs I make can use a certain type of sound that I can’t make my self, then I try and find that particular artist I think can be that missing ingredient. I can’t sing so I think any features that I would consider in the future would be artists with unique singing voices. I’ve also been working with other producers for the first time. I’m a big fan of Jamie XX, Clams Casino and 40… so that would be dope working with any of them on a production stand point.
What is your personal favorite song off of your latest mixtape Superior Taste and why?
Track number 5, “Right Now”. It was one of the first songs I actually recorded for Superior Taste and I remember the day I did it. I had a lot of built up anxiety and things weren’t really cool for me at the time. I was sincerely upset, and wrote/recorded/mixed the song the same day. You can hear the stress in my voice and it was the first time I rapped with that type of cadence… and now it’s become my style. It’s still a rough song but that’s what I like that about it… because it’s how I felt at the time.
Who are you currently listening to?
I have this rule that I can only skim through Hip-Hop music during my creative process because I’m so easily influenced… consciously and subconsciously. I’m really trying to tap into my own unique creative zone so I can’t be listening to too many rappers. With that being said, I’ve been listening to a lot of Michael Jackson recently though.
What’s next on your radar that we can look out for?
I have some new music coming really soon. I’m working on a free album called Young Desperado, which I’m hoping to put out in the first quarter of 2012. My first solo show since before supporting Mac, Wiz and The Weeknd this year will be next month in Toronto. I’ll be making an announcement about that soon too.
[Click the cover to download]
For more music visit http://tfhouse.bandcamp.com
Follow him on twitter @TFHOUSE