Tedy Andreas : Interview
The landscape of hip-hop is in a weird place. At any time, almost anyone's actions can be questioned and brushed off in the pursuit of "clout." Upcoming rappers today can and have been legitimized from the viral dances of teenagers. Tedy Andreas isn't one of these rappers.
Theodore Andreadaki, also known as Tedy Andreas, is a 25-year-old artist born in Greenwich, Connecticut, before moving to New York and eventually relocating to Houston. Originally blowing up in 2015 with his mixtape Mad Illusions, the influence of his home shines through in his music, combining the East Coast boom-bap sound with the chopped and screwed movement of H-Town. Tedy also released IN2DEEP and Andreas Soriano in November of 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Andreas grew up admiring OGs like Nas, Jay-Z, and Mobb Deep. A lot of people in music today did, but not many maintain the sound quite like Tedy. He could try to ride the waves of today's music scene, but he knows better. He is grinding, trying to preserve the feeling of the art form that many of us fell in love with. As rap evolves into different subgenres, some sounding further from rap than ever, Tedy is keeping that authentic feel of gritty 90's boom-bap... and damn, he does it well.
Howie - How are you living? Where you at right now?
Tedy - I'm staying at my cousin's crib in Brooklyn right now. Yeah, I’ve been out here for a minute. I was staying out in Long Island with my boy Eric, but I’m watching over my cousin’s crib while he’s gone. He’s not in town right now, so you know I'm just putting in work, I got the set-up right here.
Howie- It's been a crazy and weird year… Have you been handling everything with quarantine? Has it been affected your creative process?
Tedy - I mean, I'm usually pretty introverted anyways. I like to stay in the crib and make shit, you know? Like at the home studio, but I do that anyways. I never realized how important it is to go outside. This shit is crazy! Some days I can't think of anything, I'm just uninspired, but lately I've been getting back on it. You gotta kind of force yourself to get out of that mode. Now it’s been a couple months and it’s just been feeling like Groundhog Day.
Howie - How did music come into the life of Tedy Andreas? I know you're a huge rap connoisseur, especially older rap.
Tedy- I’ve been listening to rap since I was in the third grade, so I always wanted to do it, but I played sports too. I was too scared to really try, but I started writing when I was probably 13. I was just kinda nice with it. So, I finally got some money up around 16 and then went to a studio paying for time. I could go there once every couple of weeks and people liked it. I dropped my first song the last week before I graduated high school, and the response everybody had... I was getting the love for it.
Howie - What was the name of that of that track?
Tedy - It was called "Extraordinary Movements". It was my very first song I put out. I put it out with a video, too, that I edited.
Howie - Is it still out there?
Tedy - I don't think it's online any more, but I'm going to bring them all back 'cause they're on private right now and I just gotta try to re-release that.
Howie - I considered myself a big Tedy Andreas fan. I went to do the research for this and I didn't know you actually linked with Christopher Wallace’s son.
Tedy - Yeah C.J. I don’t really talk to him too much anymore, but it's all love, you know? He’s doing his thing.
Howie - You’ve talked about your favorite rappers like Nas, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Prodigy, Havoc, Raekwon, and Ghostface Killah. Who are your favorite producers?
Tedy - J Dilla. Alchemist is probably my personal favorite. Madlib. 9th Wonder. Sha Money. There’s a lot of cats. Justice League is super dope. There's a lot of dope cats, and my cousin Emami. He’s one of the illest.
Howie - What's your cousin up to? Are you still working with him heavy or is he doing his own thing?
Tedy - Oh no, he's doing his thing; he's got some shit coming. He's been cooking up. I’m at his crib right now. He’s got a lot of shit on the way and he’s been killing it.
Howie - Do we have anything coming from you this year?
Tedy - I'm working on another EP right now. I want to drop some new shit before that, and I want to get some videos going to share, but it's just weird right now. I can't really do much, but whenever it gets better, I’m gonna start doing some more videos. I've got some work loaded up, so I'm just gonna drop another EP this summer and then try to drop another one a couple of months after that and just keep doing it like that. Then, I'll look to do an album when my buzz is up.
Howie - I saw you're going to preview some music with GraphWize. Is that something from the EP?
Tedy - Yeah, we're trying to do a whole EP together. He’s been killing shit; I forgot to put him in the producers, too. That’s my guy, one of my favorites. He just makes dope shit.
Howie - Obviously you're inspired by other rappers and other music, but have you ever got inspiration from somewhere weird outside of music, like a book or a movie?
Tedy - Movies for sure. TV shows too, I like shows a lot; The Sopranos, The Wire, I can’t remember what I just finished. I don't read as much as I used to, and I'm trying to get back on it because it helps me write. You just gotta force yourself to get back into that, you feel me? I was never a huge bookworm, but I do enjoy reading. It's a good source and definitely an inspiration, just by living through life and experiences. That’s what I was saying earlier; it’s kind of different, because it’s so weird right now. There’s no excuse though. It’s all good, but that's really what it is; just walking around, you know?
Howie - If they made a biopic of Tedy Andreas, who would you want to play you in the hypothetical film?
Tedy - I would have to say I’d play myself. I want to get into acting one day.
Howie - When it's all said and done, how would you want to be remembered?
Tedy – Damn, that’s a good question… just authentic, man. Authentic and non-conforming.
Howie - Yes, that's what you're putting off. You're not just trying to come in, ride the trends, and take a bag. You’re doing your shit and people respect it.
Tedy - Yeah, that is what it's all about... I want to be respected. It really matters to me... So, I appreciate you saying that.
Howie - What is your favorite video that you've shot so far?
Tedy - My favorite one has to be one of my first ones, "Moon Walking", I still love that video. Then the "Black Ice" video, my man Lawrence directed it. "Artificial Pt. 2," those are my top three, for sure. I like the "Uneasy" joint too, that one is dope.
Howie – Following your Instagram and music videos, it’s clear you have a crazy vintage game. Some of your clothes are absolutely nuts. Who has the best vintage sports look? Whether that’s logo, jersey, or colors?
Tedy - I like the old Sonics stuff, man. The green and red. Everyone loves the old Raptors and Rockets ones. The Hawks one, too, and the Knicks. I love Knicks gear.
Howie - For those listening to you for the first time, give us a couple of songs that would help a first-time listener understand you, your sound, and what you are about.
Tedy – "Turbo Diesel", "Artificial Pt. 2", "Mercedes", of course, "Moonwalking". Off my new tape, though, I like "Uneasy" and "Vices".
Howie - Speaking of Andreas Soriano, specifically the final track "Don't Cry". I realized that it shares a sample with Westside Gunn on "Thousand Shot Mac". I was wondering, do you rock with Griselda? I know you guys are both from New York.
Tedy – Yeah, those dudes are dope. I love those dudes. They’re really killing shit; opening doors for a lot of us, you know?
Howie – You’ve also had a couple collabs with Freddie Gibbs in the past year. You had "Sputnick" off the project and you both featured on "9 to 5". Have you guys had any studio sessions?
Tedy – Nah, we haven’t linked up. I mean, we did for the "9 to 5" video. But in the studio, nah. We were supposed to one time and something fell through with the timing; I don’t even know what happened. Shoutout to Gibbs, though. His new shit is crazy, too. He’s mad funny.
Howie – With your last project Andreas Soriano, you were talking about how you were putting off your alter ego, like how Jay-Z has Hov. Obviously yours is based off famed baseball player Alfonso Soriano. Do you rock more with the Yankees or Astros, considering you got ties to both cities?
Tedy – I mean, Derek Jeter was my favorite player growing up, but I’ll probably go Astros over Yankees.
Howie - Which city do you think has influenced you more stylistically?
Tedy – Both equally, man. I love 'em both.
Howie – If you were to take a guess, though, how many windows do you think are in New York City?
Tedy – Dawg, I don’t know, man.
Howie – Your verses are very bar-heavy with a lot of clever punch lines. What's the coldest thing you've ever written?
Tedy - I used to have one, it's probably still my favorite one, off of "City Limits" on my Mad Illusion tape. I can’t even remember my bar right now.
Howie – You’re Greek-American, I didn’t know that until I was doing research. Zach Galafinakis or Giannis Antetokoumpo?
Tedy – Giannis.
Howie - Are there any young acts you want to shout out from your cities, whether that be Houston, LA, or New York?
Tedy – Shoutout to my guys, it’s not just young cats. My guy Adonis is super, super ill; super talented. We work a lot; we have a lot of shit in the stash. We are working on a tape together, too. My boy Ice Cold Bishop. Dirty Del from Long Beach. I’m sure I am leaving someone out, but those three, though, for sure.
Howie - You talked about how you played sports before you started rapping. You also have a lot of great sports references in your verses. What sports did you play growing up?
Tedy - I played all three major sports: baseball, basketball, and football. Basketball is my favorite, but I just wasn't as ill as I was with the other shit. I didn’t practice enough. Baseball was the one, though. I was really nice at that.
Howie – What position did you play?
Tedy – Shortstop. I would even hit leadoff like Jeter. I was trying to be like him.
Howie – Do you have a favorite verse of all time? One that sticks out to you from your favorites?
Tedy – "The Message" by Nas. The whole song, but that first verse is probably my favorite. That shit is crazy.
Howie - Final thoughts?
Tedy – The new music is coming. I’m just grinding right now, trying to get two projects out. I'm tryna go in right now, so expect some new shit from me. That’s it really, I’ll just keep holding it down.
Howie – Who would you want to have collaborated with in say… 5 years?
Tedy – Drake, man… I gotta go with Drake.