INTERVIEW: Teddi Gold

Hi Teddi, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi! Thanks! I am doing well, all things considered. I hope you are, too. It’s been a crazy year so far.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bossa Nova Baby (feat. Mi$HNRZ)”?

Yes! The song came out in July. It was just added to Summer Party on Spotify! It’s been unexpected and honestly incredible to watch the response to it. It was so much fun to write and record and having the Mi$HNRZ guys included on the track was awesome. This song was written and produced before the Covid-19 pandemic so it’s become this nostalgic-feeling summer song, given what’s going on today… longing for the days of pool parties and carefree hangouts.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

This was a collaboration between Ish and Matt (the duo behind Mi$HNRZ), songwriter Shayna Zaid, and producer Drew Alexander. Drew co-produced the first single off of my upcoming EP, “Vol. 2”, called “Confetti”. When Drew told me the idea for “Bossa Nova Baby”, I had recently returned from a trip to Brazil and was into bossa nova music. It was serendipitous. He suggested we feature Mi$HRNZ on it. They loved the idea. We envisioned the song to be a jubilant summer song. In the room we listed off our favorite things about pool parties with friends. At first, we were joking, thinking it should just be a song about stuff you see in the party aisle at Target. It’s funny because most of the ideas ended up sticking. For example, the lines “floating flamingos”, “tiny umbrellas”, “flip flops”. Target FTW.

What was it like to work with Mi$HNRZ and what did they bring to the table? 

They were so much fun to work with! I adore them. They brought great melodies and positive energy and they got involved with the artwork and music video. It was a blast working with them! We recorded the song at Drew and Ish’s old townhouse in Glendale. Shay and I went into the room and I recorded my verse. Then we sat downstairs while Mi$HNRZ went upstairs and recorded theirs. The whole time they were recording, Shay and I were watching old Gwen Stefani music videos, but we had them on mute so we could listen to what they were doing upstairs! We couldn’t contain our excitement. After we finished recording and listened back, we all started screaming because we felt we had captured something special.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video? 

We shot the video in quarantine during the first few weeks of the Los Angeles lockdown. My dad and his boyfriend have a small house in the Palm Springs desert that was empty and I went to stay out there with my boyfriend, Jefferson Stein, who is a filmmaker. We shot all of my scenes over a weekend in the mornings and evenings when the lighting was good since we couldn’t rent any film gear because the rental houses were closed. We had the idea of doing a nostalgic 1950s 8mm-style home video. Like it was decades ago and someone was filming me at home, throwing a pool party by myself. I ordered some party favors and a little plastic disco light online. We had Mi$HNRZ remotely film their scenes and my friend R. Brett Thomas edited it. It was all shot on iPhones. I love how it turned out.

The single comes off your new EP “Vol. 2” – would you call this a direct sequel to your previous volume or are you treating each installment as its own? 

That’s a great question! I think it is more of an evolution than a direct sequel. Through each song, I learn a little more about what I like and don’t like, and how I want my sound to evolve. I have learned and understood myself better with each song. I think this EP is getting closer to who I am. “Vol. 1” was dipping my toes in the water, “Vol. 2” is a cannon ball.

What’s the story behind the title of the EP?

I think of my EPs as collections. “Vol. 1” was centered around a specific period in my life. “Vol. 2” is a subsequent period. Like chapters in a book, each song captures a time in my life. The volume of songs together is the novel. Each EP is connected but distinctly different. One grows from the other.

How was the recording and writing process?

Writing and recording is one of my favorite things to do. I find so much joy in it. It’s always rewarding, even when challenging. I worked closely with Shayna Zaid and Kara Connolly on the writing for this EP, and my friend, Jon Buscema executive produced it. I spent so many incredible days at his house working on the music. I feel like I’ve found collaborators who I can be fearless with my ideas. For instance, I had this idea to go to Party City and buy piñatas and have Jon record me smashing them with a stick from the backyard. We ended up using the recording in one of the “Vol. 2” songs (I’ll let you guess which one). I even bought candy to fill it up for total realism! Unfortunately, the day ended with me eating most of the candy that came out.

How has your upbringing in the Caribbean influenced your writing? 

I grew up going to the yearly Carnival and I dreamed of being in it. My friend’s mom from Venezuela taught our dance class in 5th grade. The music she brought in was latin or latin-influenced and it’s what I grew up learning to dance to. That year, I danced in the Carnival parade. It had a major impact on me. The music was infectious and I saw how is brought everyone together given a not-so-great family situation at home. It was a giant party in the street. People felt united. It was joyful and primal.

What aspect of relationships did you get to explore on this record?

On this EP I got to explore different aspects of my relationships from different angles. One example is last year, I was having trouble with a close friend. She was falling into depression and struggling with addiction. We both yearned for real connection with each other, but it was tough. It’s painful when you feel like you can’t connect with someone who’s important to you. I write a lot about this in my songs. My mom lost custody of me and my brothers when I was in 10th grade and is now estranged. I find myself constantly seeking deep connections that won’t break.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics? 

I found some of the inspiration for lyrics and titles from the books and poems I love. Some of it was from conversations I had or people I heard talking with each other in the street or cafes. Sometimes I heard a melody in my head. For instance, “Wink Wink” popped in when I was driving back from the airport. I’ve also recorded hundreds of melody and lyric ideas in voice memos on my phone that I went to for bits of these songs. And of course, I’m inspired by others who have come before. I listened to 100 Gecs, Charli XCX, Fergie, and Gwen Stefani during the making of this EP.

What else is happening next in TEDDI GOLD’s world? 

I officially release “Vol. 2” in October! I’m writing “Vol. 3” right now which will come out after “Vol. 2”. I hope circumstances allow me to see you guys soon and start playing live again! Take care of yourself.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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