Nigerian born musician TEJ is a writer and filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. As a teen, TEJ attended an arts high school where he fell in love with the creative process, acting in plays, and writing.
With a love for music, TEJ explores music as another avenue for narrating his thoughts, following in the footsteps of other storytelling musicians. Using his art to express the life journey that has taken him from Nigeria to Canada, TEJ is ready to explore where else it can take him.
With his debut single, “Watch Out,” TEJ recruits the artistic talents of fellow SEE THINGS, VIVID collective member, LOST KID GAMBIT in order to produce a somber exploration of what it’s like to hold onto faith in oneself, even in your darkest times.
The melancholic ambiance that is radiated in, “Watch Out,” simmers in a pool of raw emotion as TEJ illustrates penetrating metaphors that delve into isolation and sadness as a necessary step in the process of attaining what you desire.
Through dark themes, the unique stylings of TEJ shine brightly as he approaches this track with spirited confidence that embodies the meaningful lyrical motifs portrayed. With a slow-tempo progression that seethes in the realm of minimalistic instrumentations, both TEJ and LOST KID GAMBIT allow their ominous vocal performance to ring bells as the haunting tones infiltrate your headspace.
Fusing together a world of Hip-hop tones that float in a wave of new wave commotion, these two artists work seamlessly together to get their hard-hitting point across. As conscious hues stroke your mindset, it is easy to get lost in the imagery formed by these members of SEE THINGS VIVID. If there’s one thing that stands, it’s that they most definitely have you swimming in a narrative custom to their prevailing panache.
With this being your debut release, how does it feel to have your first track out into the public?
It feels surreal, for a long time this is what imagined and the reality is actually much better than what was in my head, just to have something you are proud of in the world is a very gratifying feeling.
What inspired the creative process behind the songwriting in this song?
I would say it's the feeling of working hard for a long time and the way it can weigh on you if it's not where or how you want it to turn out yet. You can work on your craft for a while and your pace will be different from others and sometimes that may get you down but ultimately in that feeling you have to remind yourself why you do it, and that optimism is still possible. Even if you feel weighed upon by your own expectations and the opinions and expectations of others you can still remember what it is you are striving for, whilst still being honest to the negative feelings that we all get. Both are possible at the same time; you don't need to run away from one for the other to exist. Though it sounds dark, I still find the song uplifting as it's what I needed to hear to remind me to keep going no matter what's around me.
Working with LOST KID GAMBIT, what was it like bringing, “Watch Out,” to life?
It was a very fun experience. The track came out organically, with him just strumming some chords on the guitar and me randomly singing the lyrics that became the intro of the top of my head. We hadn't planned on making the song perse, it was just a spontaneous moment that the music came from. I always enjoy his playing because it has so much soul and personality so I was just trying to match it at that moment with my voice and it fits so well. From there we just built around the basic structure of the track. It's quite easy working with him and hearing his taste in music expands my own and forces me to try new things I didn't yet know I enjoyed.
What's the message you're trying to deliver through "Watch Out?"
That whatever rough situation you face in life, because it gets to you does not mean you are not still capable of overcoming. Even if you feel lost or scared or alone, those things are not signs that you should stop, rather signs that what you are undertaking is worth it.
What can we expect from you in terms of releases in 2021?
As far as 2021 the goal is more exploration. I'm excited to make music all the time because it's always something different and I just enjoy the many ways a song can take shape, I use it to not just express but understand who I am and whatever comes out next will be different not by choice but by interest. I've been working for a while and every time I look back, I realize no two things sound exactly alike.