By Kiarra Solomon
In today’s rapidly changing music industry, most musicians enter the industry with the understanding that experiencing success, even locally, can be challenging. Artists often pursue their careers for years, sometimes decades, before landing a recording or distribution contract, if ever. So it comes as a bit of a surprise (to some) that Philadelphia native TEFF has watched his career take off in such a short time.
The dancehall and hip-hop fused artist turned to music at age 11 to cope with his parents’ divorce, but has only been pursuing his musical career professionally for four years. The twenty-something-year-old has recorded with Grammy Award winning producers, collaborated on tracks with some of Philly’s hottest hip-hop’s artist, performed overseas in countries like Spain and Amsterdam, and even shared stages with dancehall greats like Steven Marley and I-Octane. But his next move may prove to be his best move yet.
This year Jamaica will celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence from England, and Usain Bolt the fastest runner in the world, along with the Jamaican track team, will feature TEFF’s song, “We Great” as their anthem during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. “I wrote “We Great” to inspire people all over the world”, TEFF says, “The song is my way of showing my support for the track team, it’s exciting that they’re using it now.”
TEFF also in a finalist in BETs “Next Big Music Star” contest. Artists from around the country were allowed to come and audition for BET for a chance to perform at the BET Awards in July. TEFF was selected as a finalist in the contest after auditioning in Memphis. “I was in Spain performing so I missed the Philadelphia audition. I flew straight from Spain to Memphis to perform. I did my best for Philly, now I just need Philly to do their best and vote for me”, he says. Fans have until Sunday June 10th to vote for their favorite artists.
Although all of these opportunities are what every musician dreams of, TEFF doesn’t take his success lightly. “It’s a beautiful struggle”, he says, “I consider myself the underdog, so I always work harder than the average. I’m putting two types of music together, so I have to work twice as hard.” TEFF also attributes a lot of his success to social media. “It’s the great equalizer. The music industry is changing, and social media is doing that.”
To vote for TEFF in BETs Next Big Star contest you can go to http://betmst.com/facebook/video/74. You can also visit his www.TEFFtv.com for free downloads of his music or to find out about upcoming performances.