EP Walkthrough(s): TEEKS dives into his break-out year, details his I and II EPs
The Māori has been quick to establish himself as a blossoming force this year, and is most definitely one to watch in 2021.
To some, TEEKS is a musician that's been on their radars for a while now. The New Zealand Māori musician has been an act worth keeping an eye on across the Tasman, finding his feet with a debut EP back in 2017 - The Grapefruit Skies - and a few songs that have littered the time since; a combination of which ushering TEEKS forward as a multi-award winning face of New Zealand's musical future and the glimpses of sheer talent captured within it (talent that we've had the utmost pleasure of showing throughout the year).
In 2020, however, things have been upped to an entirely different level. He's now someone grappling with a place as New Zealand's next major break-out act, with his musicianship finding fame both in real life and in the virality of the internet; his performance at the Auckland Town Hall backed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, for example, proving a runaway success that's found itself circling the internet multiple times over, drawing comparisons to some of the world's most beautiful acts.
It's something he's shown through recording too. Early in the year, he released a four-track new EP titled I; a collection of songs that doubled down in his otherworldy craft while showing how he's evolved and furthered himself throughout the three years since his debut EP. He was soon labelled someone you "need to know," with the I EP being a testament to the soulful backing he's made a career out of, featuring his honeyed vocal front and centre.
Then, in mid-November, came the release of a follow-up EP aptly titled II - another four-track release that reinforces TEEKS' strengths, all while further positioning him as a breakthrough artist worth paying attention to. There's a certain form of beauty captured within the EP's four songs (and the ones from the previous EP, too); a soulful, butter-smooth potency mixed with a charm and class that together, bring something you'd expect from musicians like Adele - not from a small, gradually-growing New Zealand musician only emerging three years ago.
There's not too much we can say to capture the brilliance amongst TEEKS and his two EPs, so we're going to leave it to him, as he breaks down the releases and shares the stories that fuel those rich, brilliant lyrics. Check it all out below:
TEEKS - I EP Walkthrough:
Just For Tonight
What if we could start from the beginning? No rules, any expectations. What if we did what we felt without caring about what people thought.. I know I’m asking a lot but could you take a chance with me? Can we be brave, together? At least just for tonight.
My entire life I’ve lived next to the ocean. She raised me like my mother. Every time life got hard, or the world got too loud, I’d swim to the bottom and stay as long as I could. I’ve never known a place more quiet. The silence was my medicine. And I was at peace.
I’d fantasise about having super powers almost everyday as a child. I still do. I used that narrative in this song, to express how I was feeling at the time.
I never knew what it meant to truly long for someone before I wrote this song. And it sucks. That’s the power of heightened emotion. It can hurt so bad that the pain becomes physical.
TEEKS - II EP Walkthrough:
Have you ever met someone so beautiful they leave such a deep impression on you that it imprints through your chest. I still have the scar. This is my love letter, to you who I admire only from a distance.
If You Were Mine
Just give me a sign, anything, say the word and I’ll conquer the world for you. This song was written by the hand of the alter ego. The one who doesn’t sit around and cry, but gets up and gets what he wants. The fearless, the bold. I wish I could be him more often.
It’s the internal battles that are always the hardest. I have a darkness in me, but I’ve learned that without darkness there can be no light. Duality is a law of nature, you can’t have one without the other. So it’s a matter of waking up every morning, and keeping those demons from stepping out of line.
“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” - Federico García Lorca.
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