Atlanta's Teddy Swims has lived a few different lives. He's been a football player at school, a musical theatre student, and grew up as the grandson of a Pentecostal pastor. It shouldn't come as any surprise, then, that his musical styles are just as varied. His music mixes sounds from the like of '80s hair metal, funk, soul and alt-country, and if you try and fit him into a box, he'll break out. He's that type of artist.
He's played in rock bands, been a rapper, and spent a year living alongside his team in order to become the artist he wanted to be. These sessions saw him combine R&B, soul, country rock, pop and more, and he's always going to have his team by his side. He told Ones To Watch that, "We built this ourselves…I always say: 'If there's twelve of us here it's not a democracy - it's a jury.' We can all figure out why we have to make a decision. But if there are two or three people that don't have the same answer as us, there's always time to make sure that everyone can get on the same page. Because we trust each other and we have each other's best interest at heart."
Teddy defines himself by his experiences, and Swims actually stands for "someone who isn't me sometimes". He started really getting people's attention through covers of the likes of Marvin Gaye, Billie Eilish and Shania Twain, with Shania Twain loving his cover of her track You're Still The One (which he dedicated to his mum).
— Shania Twain ? (@ShaniaTwain) July 17, 2020
Once he decided to start putting out his own music, the talent his covers showed came to the forefront. Speaking about trying to find his sound to Hype Off Life, Teddy says it's a never-ending battle. It’s kind of hard for me to because I think I’m in this place right now where the covers and the way that we’ve done things come from very different backgrounds. I’m in a place that I’m happy about because it’s a place of discovery, but I also think that I’m in this place where I’m just kind of clueless.
"So I don’t know if I’m ever just supposed to know what my sound is, or if it’s just a thing that’s always ever-changing and always growing because sometimes I’ll write a song and I’ll be like, “Man, everything needs to sound like that”, and then the next day I’d be like, “Man, actually that song sucks, everything needs to be like this song”.
He's just released his latest cover, and it's one that'll excite Australian fans. He's covered Matt Corby's Brother, and it's a great glimpse into how he takes the emotion of a song, and captures it in his own way. Backed by nothing but an acoustic guitar, Teddy's voice sounds ready to fill huge rooms, and we hope he gets to tour Australia in the near future. Check out the cover below - it'll get your hairs standing on end.
Teddy's set to release his debut EP in the near future, according to a late 2020 interview with Ones To Watch. Teddy says, "We plan on having an EP out at the beginning of next year and an album out sometime next year… At this point we're writing right now, so I don't want to tell you what something's going to be about and then change my mind… I'm scared to commit something. Maybe the album will be about my fear of commitment."
Stay tuned for those projects - they're set to be special.