Teddy Swims talks being on tour again and Unlearning EP

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From making covers of iconic songs and posting them on Youtube, to the big stage and millions of fans later, Teddy Swims has sure come a long way and he’s only getting bigger and better. It all started out when he posted a cover of Micheal Jackson’s “Rock With You” on YouTube in 2019, which has since garnered him over 6 million views to date. Since then he has covered countless other iconic songs like Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One,” which Twain herself has praised. But Teddy didn’t get his start there.

Teddy has had music in his veins ever since he was a kid. Growing up he was heavily in the metal, rap, and punk scene and was a part of different bands across those genres.Those genres are still a large part of his life now and have been a big influence on him. Teddy is clearly passionate about his music and puts his all into everything he does, and you can tell.

We recently got the pleasure of getting to chat with Teddy Swims right before he got to open for Zac Brown Band at Fenway Park. We chatted about touring again, the story behind his Unlearning EP, and much more you’ll have to find out by reading below!

 

Melodic Mag: Hi! thank you so much for taking the time to chat, it’s a pleasure!
Teddy Swims: Absolutely of course thanks for having me!

Melodic Mag: Touring has started up again after awhile, how does it feel being back on the road again?
Teddy Swims: It’s crazy, it’s even bigger than what i even expected too. You know last time we were playing it was like 300-700 people in the room, and now we’re about to play Fenway Park. It’s nuts man its so scary, there was no easing into it, you’re just kind of thrown into the fire of it. I’ll say its reassuring, to be back on the road and get all this love it’s awesome.

Melodic Mag: You’re opening for Zac Brown Band, how did that come to be?
Teddy Swims: Honestly im not quite sure how it got connected but i’ve always been a fan of theirs, grew up listening to them.It was amazing i got the chance the other day to get on stage and play a couple songs with them which was such a dream. Their whole entire team are like family, they are amazing to be around.

Melodic Mag: Congrats also on the new music with Karl Micheal! How did that song come to be?
Teddy Swims: yeah “Liar”! So me and Karl, actually he’s doing the first 3 dates on the tour with me and we’re performing that song. A friend of mine Alex Willson who we wrote it with introduced us together and originally Karl was just going to be on a song of mine as a co writer, and then i fell in love with his voice and decided that everything we do is just better together.  We probably wrote like 10 songs the last couple of months together and finally ended up on that one (“Liar). Im so grateful, i really am, i’m glad we got to do something together.

Melodic Mag: It’s always good getting to work together with great people, which speaking of, how was it working with Thomas Rhett on “Broke”?
Teddy Swims: He’s the best person I’ve ever met. He really is. He’s the best guy I’ve ever met in my life. Doing that music video together was great and he taught me how to swing a (golf) club, it’s really just amazing being around him and writing with him and working with him. He was just such a family man really.  Exactly what you think he is.  He really is the best.

Melodic Mag: And the music video looked like such a blast to film.
Teddy Swims: Yeah it was something we really wanted to do, it was such a blast. We’ve come a long way.

Melodic Mag: Your new EP Unlearning recently came out, which is a brilliant work of art, how long did it take to write the whole EP?

Teddy Swims: Thank You! I think it was never really writing or that easy as much as writing, you know? And so, I guess, it wasn’t like something I exclusively wrote for, you know, but over the last year, year and a half or so I have been writing, probably about 300 or so songs at a grip in total over the last year. So I just write everyday, everyday, everyday.And you know I try to eventually, you know, I try to piece together what could be a body of work at least where I’m at right now. So I’m just writing the best songs I can and hopefully the best ones come out. But I mean the last song on the EP “Will It Find Me”,I wrote the verses of that song like three years ago and never finished the song until about a year ago, right before the pandemic.

Melodic Mag: Speaking of the writing process, obviously since COVID it has changed a lot. Would you say you prefer creating music at home or in a studio with others?
Teddy Swims: I was lucky enough during this pandemic time to have my whole team, with me. During the pandemic, we were all kinda stuck together in a house. So a majority of the time, the guys i was always with were my best friends before, we did everything out of there. I never really have to be alone during it, I got lucky , i got lucky there.

Melodic Mag: It’s interesting to see how so many artists have taken that and made music despite the setbacks.
Teddy Swims: yeah it’s so beautiful to see.

Melodic Mag: So you started out posting covers on YouTube of other iconic songs, then decided to make your own music, what inspired you to go from covers to your own work?
Teddy Swims: I had been making music forever, you know, my whole life, writing and being in bands. We kind of like started with the covers, but we had already always been writing music for Teddy Swims or for the rest of my buddies. We were always writing as we uploaded a cover and it would work then it was like a clear way for us put up the door. I always feel like I covered some of the best damn songs on the planet ever. My song has to live up to that. Like “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (cover),  you know, I want them to be just as good as that. Sometimes that’s terrifying knowing that they’re not.

Melodic Mag: What i also found interesting was that you grew up in the metal, punk, and rap scenes, as well as being a part of different bands, do those scenes still have an influence on where you are now?
Teddy Swims:  Yeah i’m still definitely into those genres, we still like to play and write in those genres every once in a while. You know, that part of me will never go away. But unfortunately i don’t get to make metal (music) for a living, it wasn’t making me money when i was showing up. One day i’ll get back into it.

Melodic Mag: How has the music you grew up on had an influence on who you are today?
Teddy Swims: It taught me grace, it gave me value and a purpose. It definitely gave me perks I never would have thought of, that I didn’t know. I remember the first time it sparked it changed my life and my perspective on everything. I would have nothing. There would be nothing. I really don’t even know. I don’t even really know that identity that I would have. It changed my life. Saved my life.

Melodic Mag: That’s always good to hear. Something to be proud of. Is there a certain project or song of yours that you’ve put out that you’re most proud of?
Teddy Swims: Not yet, not yet haha. I mean i’m proud to have something out but by the time i ever get songs out, like with “Bed On Fire”, we had went through like 20 something different versions on the production and all this other stuff that goes into it, and it doesn’t come out till after a month you finish it, and you listen to it over and over again and you start to like hate it, and by the time it does come out you’ve already heard it so much you start to overthink it, its tough.

Melodic Mag: Yeah mentally it can be kind of tolling sometimes, what do you do to kind of battle that inner voice thats telling you its not good?
Teddy Swims: I just try to be comfortable with it, i think everyone kind of hates their voice a little bit, and is their worst critic. I just try to look at myself in the mirror and thank myself, say “you’re doing a good job” , that’s what i’ve been trying to do lately. I think you just have to make yourself have the confidence, which is hard. You got to be willing to fail, to fall on your face, i think confidence is not being afraid to do that.

Melodic Mag: Is there a moment in your life so far that has taught you a lot, or that you learned from?
Teddy Swims: I’ve learned definitely not to overthink anything. I had an amazing session one time with Will. I. Am , he taught me that writing is to kind of preserve a moment , writing is an emotion, you write for a moment in life. He said when they wrote “I Got A Feeling” he would be going to a sports game, a party, a graduation, wherever, and he noticed they would always be playing the same hit song, the same party song. So he was like “how do i write a song that would be put in that playlist, that would be always playing at events”? He told me what we needed to do is write a song as Teddy Swims that like next years American idol would sing and win with, and he would think about moments like that and he would say “you want to think about and write towards those moments for people”. Like whatever you write or however you write, somebody hears the song. It really changed my perspective, you know i’m not writing for myself, i’m trying to preserve my emotions for someone else to hear, sort of immortalizing the moment.

Melodic Mag: These last few questions will be fun ones, we know you have a lot of cool tattoos, do you have a favorite one?
Teddy Swims: I got a couple, i just recently got one of my best friends and tattoo artist who did a portrait of himself on my leg, it was kind of a sweet moment. And also on my other shin i have this picture of Han Solo but his face is Chris Farely.

Melodic Mag: Always love the stories behind tattoos, what was the most painful one to get?
Teddy Swims: Oh my back, my back was miserable. I haven’t even finished it, some of the worst pain.

Melodic Mag: Last one, what do you hope your fans take from your music?
Teddy Swims: I just want them to feel validated, I want everyone to feel validated. I want them to know their emotions are important, that they are important. I just hope i can make them feel validated like they do for me. So lucky that i get to do a job like this, you know some people don’t get the validation that they deserve, so i hope i can give them that.

See Teddy Swims on Tour with Zac Brown Band:
AUG 19 THU // Zac Brown Band w/ Teddy Swims @ 7:00pm // Columbia, MD, United States
AUG 20 FRI // Zac Brown Band w/ Teddy Swims @ 7:00pm // Cuyahoga Falls, OH, United States
AUG 21 SAT // Zac Brown Band w/ Teddy Swims @ 7:00pm // Hershey, PA, United States
AUG 27 FRI // Zac Brown Band w/ Teddy Swims @ 7:00pm // Noblesville, IN, United States
AUG 28 SAT // Zac Brown Band w/ Teddy Swims @ 7:00pm // Maryland Heights, MO, United States
AUG 29 SUN // Zac Brown Band w/ Teddy Swims @ 7:00pm // Cincinnati, OH, United States

Follow Teddy Swims:
Website // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

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