Published December 28, 2022
Teison just recently moved to Copenhagen, but he quickly caught our attention, and we think he deserves yours too! Just in this small feature you can sense his true passion and heart in everything he does when it comes to music. We are curious and excited to support him in his musical journey, that’s for sure.
Home town: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
You started to produce at quite a young age, tell us a little about that, how did you become involved with electronic music?
From I was 13 till 16 years old I lived in Bangalore, India, and that’s when a music teacher at school showed me a DAW for the first time and I kind of got started. When I was like 13 I got into electronic music through EDM, which was blowing up in India at the time. I would go to these shows with 20/30,000 people in fields in and around Bangalore, where the crowds just went absolutely insanely wild. It was an accessible way at that age to get into electronic music and it set the precedent for me to dig deeper and find the stuff that I really love today. I just started learning Logic Pro pretty quickly and started making short remixes and originals after school.
I also started DJing at home, and at 15 I got in touch with a local promotor in Bangalore who got me my first gigs around town there. I remember just being in awe that I got to be in those booths at that age, opening up for the established DJs over there. My dad would always have to join as I was way underage for those spaces, haha. It was a special way to start, and India overall left such a deep impression on me still today, I’ll never forget those years in that beautiful country.
Earlier this year you released the EP “Mi Alma”, what’s the story of this project?
At the beginning of this year, I decided to borrow my mom’s car and drive down to Spain. I was still making music throughout my first years of studying in Amsterdam but I just couldn’t really finish anything full-fledged that I was happy with. I didn’t really know what I wanted it to sound like or what I wanted to say musically. So I filled the car with all my gear and set up my studio in a beautiful space in Andalusia, close to Sevilla, with the goal of finally finishing a cohesive piece of work.
I remember I had 3 days in Spain before I was off to go surfing with a friend of mine in Portugal for a week and in those first three days, I made Mi Alma. Not the EP, but the title track. It’s all a bit blurry, but it just fell out, and that energy carried me for weeks, I was so insanely happy to have made something that felt so right, a feeling I had been missing all those years before. I was listening to a lot of Spanish music and the phrase “mi alma” (meaning “my soul”) fit perfectly.
Portugal was incredible and when I came back I had 7 weeks left in Spain to make and finish the rest of the EP. Under Stars was mostly finished, just needed refining. The piano piece that became The Space in Between, I had already written loosely on the piano throughout the years. I always tried to make it into an electronic record before I finally decided to record it as a piano piece in Spain. A Little Life, named after the book by Hanya Yanagihara I was reading throughout that period, was the final missing piece written and produced in the last week, a bit more dancefloor-oriented, but really made as the closer of the EP with the smooth, dreamy, elongated outro at the end.
In the last two weeks my older brother, Stijn, helped me finish the EP. We always joked that he was my Rick Rubin, haha, but seriously, I couldn’t have finished it without him. He would walk in the studio a couple of moments every day, and really had a beautiful bird’s eye view of what was important and what wasn’t. It’s hard to maintain perspective on what you’re making after a while so to have him come in and just be the perfect collaborator, without touching any buttons or playing any instruments, but through complete honest feedback and ideas. He just has an incredible feeling for music and I’m unbelievably lucky to have him.
I love this EP so dearly, it’s been a dream for years to have a coherent piece of music and it works from start to finish, from Intro to A Little Life, not just a collection of 5 songs but a full cohesive 18-minute project.
You’re located in both Copenhagen and Amsterdam, how do you see the two electronic music scenes compared?
I moved to Copenhagen just a couple of months ago and I’ve been loving it here. It’s quickly growing to feel like my second home. I came here to study but also wanted to dive head first into the music scene here which coincided with the release of the EP and everything so the timing was perfect.
Anyways, it’s a tricky comparison, I’ve been to nearly every electronic space in Copenhagen and the scene here is beautiful. It still feels a little more undiscovered in a way. It’s super honest and the people on the dancefloors are really in it for the music. I guess the scene is a bit smaller in a cosy way, in Amsterdam it’s all a lot bigger, with international lineups and a festival season that lasts the better half of the year, but you also have a couple of hidden gems that kind of feel more like the clubs here.
Do you see yourself more as a producer or as a DJ?
I’m obsessed with both and I think they’re two very different things. I want to see the two separately; DJ’ing not as a conduit for playing my own songs but more as its own thing, which is kind of liberating in a way. I can play records I would never make, and kind of showcase my wider range of taste in electronic music. I play a bit more dancefloor oriented as my music isn’t always really made with the dancefloor in mind. I think at this moment my strengths as a producer lie more in a song-based, melodic, storytelling approach.
What are in your opinion essential qualities that make a good musician?
If I think about the artists that stick with me throughout the years it’s the stuff that feels really honest. The sounds, melodies, and songs really feel like they connect to some sort of essence. Whether it’s through words in what in my opinion is the most hauntingly beautiful song in the world, Holocene by Bon Iver, or wordlessly in an equally touching record like Daughter by Four Tet.
Do you have any dream destinations to play your music?
I went to Karrusel in my first weekend in Copenhagen and spent all night at the incredible Tribunen stage. I dragged my friends there for Kerala Dust and we ended up staying until the end of Xique-Xique’s magical closing set. The whole atmosphere in the crowd, in that little part of that little forest, was just magical, it was the perfect welcoming to this city for me. The sunset or closing slot there would be such a dream.
I mean the first weekend I ever visited Copenhagen in February of 2022, long before moving here, my girlfriend and I went to Culture Box to see Nandu and Denis Horvat play but we slid down to the Red Box a couple of times as well and I remember it making a real impression on me that night, so playing there’s been such a dream as well.
In terms of back home, my lifelong dream has been the main room at Paradiso in Amsterdam. there’s no musical space like it in the world.
If Culture Box were to inspire more young people to listen to or work with electronic music what could we do?
I see a lot of young up and coming local names on your lineups which I love. I think you have a great platform, especially with the second room which a lot of clubs don’t have here, to inspire and give people their start in this city. Not sure if you do this already, but I think having more residents might be really nice to give artists a steady flow of opportunities to learn and grow and give the club a nice continuity in music and regular faces.
And to end it on a less formal note: If you were a dance move, what would it look like?
My face is quite expressive when I listen to music and the best club records give me a really nasty bass face. So I guess I’m some sort of nasty bass face, haha.
Nah, I don’t know but speaking of dancing, a line that has been on my mind recently, you’ll like this one, I think it’s a song title from something, is dancing people are never wrong. Words to live by.
Thanks, Mia, Tim and the rest of the great crew, I can’t wait to be back in the Red Box on the 13th of Jan to celebrate Culture Box’s birthday weekend. My birthday’s only a couple of days later so let’s make it a special one. I really appreciate all the love and support, it makes me feel super welcome in this new city and scene. I’ll see you very soon.