In addition to not subscribing to the cookie cutter mold of what an R&B singer is “supposed” to look and sound like, his music isn’t easily defined by the R&B genre- or any other genre for that matter. TeeFLii is navigating a lane all his own, one that takes you on a trip through the streets of L.A. and leaves you with an unparallelled, FLii&B experience.
Tee is a true musician who has taught himself, at one point out of necessity, but more so out of genuine curiosity, how to see the process of composing music from start to finish. His studio sessions rival the laboratory of a mad scientist as he handles everything from producing to writing his own tracks. He even goes so far as to move the microphone out of the sound booth in order to act as his own recording engineer while tracking his own vocals and then mixing down the final product, or as he calls it “blending.”
Like many artists, T comes from a musical background with many family members involved in the gospel music scene professionally. However, unlike many T-Fly is extremely talented- multi-talented. While most are blessed to be skilled in one respect TeeFLii humbly notes that he’s equally adept in playing the organs and drums, producing music and writing songs. He can hit dance moves as well as he can hit notes, and he can sing just as well as he can play instruments.
For him, each area of expertise mastered only enhances another. He’s such a great producer because his keen sense of rhythm and use of drums stems from his proficiency in dance and also because he has the distinct ability to make music from a songwriter’s perspective.
Born and raised in South Central L.A., Tee got his first taste of fame when he was featured in a segment of David LaChapelle’s 2005 documentary film Rize, which chronicled the dancers behind the rising street art form of Krumping and Klown dancing. At the time, T was just a young kid dancing his heart out. He’d later go on to appear in the 2007 film Stomp the Yard as well as work with Chris Brown and his choreographers Tone and Rich. Although he still dances, he took a step back from that to channel his creative energies into songwriting- an aspect of the music industry that dancing actually turned him on to. During that period he worked with artists like Sean Kingston and Omarion before pursuing a career as a solo artist.
The best taste of TeeFLii’s work can be sampled in his recently released project AnnieRUO’Tay. Released November 21, the project features verses from Badd Lucc, Problem, Skeme and Nipsey Hussle. Aside from himself, Tee chose to work solely with 1500 or Nothin and The Futuristiks, two of L.A.’s powerhouse production collectives, whom Fly regards as consummate musicians more than simply producers. The high energy album also got the turn up treatment from DJ Mustard who produced “Celebrate” and “This D*ck” on the mixtape.
If there’s any question as to how his unique sound was created, the answer lies in the fact that TeeFLii isn’t just from the streets, he’s of the streets. A lot of his life experiences and lifestyle choices play into FLii&B- an edgier sound than what any other male singers are releasing right now. With songs like “Annie” and “Furniture,” FLii takes you from the streets to the club to the bedroom and back again. Although his name may still be new to you, FLii is well known in the streets of L.A.
“When I first met him I thought everybody knew about him. So it’s funny looking back at it now because he’s so dope,” says Problem who enlisted FLii for his Welcome II Mollywood 2 mixtape. “With a work ethic like that how can you not be on top? Plus on top of that he has the talent? Flii could produce the record, write the track, sing it and probably choreograph a dance to it as well. And he just never stops, he’s always in the studio on the next thing, the next idea.”
And the next thing for FLii will be his upcoming mixtape project …. Be on the lookout in December 2013