Leading Montreal’s new musical vanguard is hip-hop/jazz artist, L.Teez, who drops his brand new single, Questions, today through the new label Hydrophonik Records (part of the Indica Records family). Questions is the kickoff track on his second EP, The Index to My Inner Thoughts, which is surely going to help redefine the Montreal hip-hop sound. This new single gently leads the listener into a poetic and blissed-out boom bap jazz universe, that unfolds in exciting and intimate ways over the course of the EP, a lush path into L.Teez’s thoughts, values, hardships and questions which comes out September 18th.
Questions, an introspective ballad with a cool jazz trumpet motif courtesy of Jérôme Dupuis-Cloutier, tells a deep and complex story through questions and reflections of one’s self. The instrumental to this song reflects a state of uncertainty and contemplativeness. With some beautiful semi-acoustic guitar jazz chords and a soul warming upright bass baseline, the lyrics are enhanced by Dupuis-Cloutier’s stunning trumpet performance, which gives the song a very haunting quality that stays with the listener long after the final notes have faded out.
After releasing The Half Full EP a year and a half ago, L.Teez, who studied trumpet and trombone at Montreal’s fine arts academy, F.A.C.E, went on a journey around the globe to absorb as much as he could to write his next record. The young rapper, who is of Quebecois, Algerian, and Jamaican-Chinese descent spent significant time on tour, showcasing his music all over the world, going from the bustling streets of Shibuya, Tokyo to the free-flowing sidewalks of Hongdae, Seoul, soaking it all in and writing his rhymes in the Parisian cafes of Montmartre. It’s fair to say this is a very internationally influenced project.
“My inspiration finds its roots from many different aspects of life: our daily lives, emotions, and those little moments we all live through which are experienced differently from one individual to the next. Anything that has the capability to make us FEEL, negative or positive, drives me to tell a story or to make the listener understand a certain emotion or moment through my words & poetry.”– L.Teez
Born in 1995, L.Teez is a Montreal author and performer whose childhood was immersed in music. Growing up he was strongly influenced by hip hop during his adolescent years. His passion for music subsequently led him to develop a strong appreciation for the classical jazz masters from which he finds inspiration as well. His formative school years and early musical influences led him to composing, a pursuit he found for coping with the ups and downs of family and personal circumstances.
L.Teez has already proven himself to be a major force in underground hip hop with a sizeable following on Spotify where he already has over 75,000 streams of his songs and over 40k listeners. The young rap artist has also opened for artists like Black Star and GUTS Live at France’s Vienne Jazz Festival, Earth Wind and Fire at the iconic L’Olympia in Paris, and he has blown away audiences at home with solo performances at le Festival d’ Été de Québec, Montréal’s Festival Mode & Design and the outdoor stage of the 40th Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. Today he is as comfortable channelling artists like Lupe Fiasco as he is referencing early icons of rap like NAS, and he counts Jay-Z’s 2009 tour in support of The Blueprint 3 as the moment he really caught the bug:
“It was something I had never seen before, I was already a huge hip hop fan but it was my first time seeing a live band playing with a rapper. There was even a whole brass section and that hit close to me because I was playing trombone until 2008. Add that to the fact that it was my first time at a Bell Centre show, and it totally changed my life! “ – L.Teez
Living in downtown Montreal most of his life, where he spent a lot of time in amazing museums (MAC, Museum of Fine Arts, McCord), L.Teez has always been a huge fan of contemporary art. When his close friend, Guillaume Pascale (art researcher and film director), listened to Questions, he loved it right away, so it seemed only natural that L.Teez let him take the creative lead on the video, which was shot through point cloud on iPhone. The video, which according to Pascale, was an opportunity to create a flowy, almost seamless film in which the bodies appear through the prism of a thin film of diffuse dots, tells the story that we are all different yet we still all ask ourselves questions and reflect on life. We are all connected through Questions.Guillaume Pascale explores the unstable and speculative nature of forms and objects produced in the era of new information technologies. Considering data in its indeterminate and fluctuating forms, he creates works of anticipation combining audiovisual production, programming, electronics, robotics, sound, musical and graphic creation. His work questions, in particular, our ways of being in the world and our perception of the terrestrial environment according to the conditions suggested by digital environments and the operational ways of making an image today.
L.Teez is poised to change the game! Ya heard it here first!