Psyychology session with Teekay [Interview]
Calgary, AB – We’re still reeling from Teekay‘s Aug. 1 launch of Psyychology. Though Teekay has spent more than a decade as the MC-half of Dragon Fli Empire, he decided to switch things up. Teekay took on the producer-role for this project, and teamed up with local MCs for an album that showcases Calgary’s popping hip-hop scene.
So HipHopCanada caught up with Teekay for our own little Psyychology session. We touched base on production, the YYC hip-hop evolution, music therapy, and more. Check it out after the jump. And make sure you head over to Bandcamp to download a copy of Psyychology. Seriously, don’t rest on it. You should also head over to YouTube to peep Teekay’s ongoing preview series, which spotlights the various artists featured on Psyychology.
Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: First off, big kudos on the album release. You took on a different role as the producer of the album. How does your musical approach as a producer differ from your MCing approach?
Teekay: Thanks. I’m very pumped on how it turned out — way better than I originally thought. It kind of took on a life of its own. As an MC, my approach is to keep the listener entertained with my concepts, wordplay, flow and style. As a producer my approach for Psyychology was to assign tracks to the MCs that would bring the best out of them and allow their skills to shine. And sometimes, to achieve that, I made an entirely different beat once I received the vocals back.
HipHopCanada: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from [Dragon Fli Empire’s] DJ Cosm about music production?
Teekay: Attention to detail. [Cosm] is very precise and nothing comes out without him being 100 per cent on the sonic quality.
HipHopCanada: Word. So what’s the link between Psyychology and psychology?
Teekay: I wanted to find a word that had “y” and “c” in it so I could put “YYC” in it to represent Calgary’s new nickname (after our airport code). So I chose “psychology” and added the extra “y.” It represents a different side of Calgary that the masses aren’t tuned into yet. Calgary is a diverse cosmopolitan city, but people still associate it with being a completely conservative place. The reason the cover art shows the skyline flipped upside-down is to represent the fact that our hip-hop scene is one of the ways we are turning the stereotypes of our city on it’s head. Think again if you think you know Calgary. [In] many of the songs, you hear the artists expressing what hip-hop means to them and [their] struggle to pursue their dreams. The title represents getting into the minds of Calgary’s hip-hop scene.
HipHopCanada: So how has Calgary’s hip-hop sound changed over the years?
Teekay: In terms of production, you’re gonna hear the whole spectrum. You can hear an obvious classic boom-bap influence to my production, which is on purpose. But there are so many amazing producers who have a crazy diversity of styles. The difference now is that the quality is getting better and better. In terms of lyrics, I think the “Calgary sound” is just being honest with who we are. And being proud to rep where we’re from — which wasn’t always the case.
HipHopCanada: I find Calgary’s hip-hop scene to be more about collaborating, as opposed to competing. Thoughts?
Teekay: We’ve gotten to a point where the goal isn’t necessarily about being the big fish in the small pond, but getting the world to take notice to what we’re doing. So every success is shared, at least to a point, because we’re all underdogs when it comes down to it. With DFE, when we got albums released in Japan or toured Europe I felt the support of the entire scene for what we were doing coming from Calgary. And the same goes from us to every artist who is making moves from our scene.
HipHopCanada: Calgary hip-hop heads definitely know how to show love. So when you need some serious music therapy, which tracks do you listen to?
Teekay: “Umi Says” by Mos Def, “Afro Blue” by Robert Glasper and Erykah Badu, “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” by Nas, “Soul Obligation” by Rascalz. The list goes on, and on.
HipHopCanada: Serious therapy, right there. Now you’re also gearing up for DFE’s new release, Mission Statement. What do you have in store for us on that front?
Teekay: Mission Statement is our fourth full-length album and has been in the making for over three years. Myself and Cosm have done a lot on our own since our last LP in 2009. So it’s fresh to join forces again with our added experience now. It’s a more mature sound, but [it] still carries the same spirit of our previous efforts, just more evolved.
Photography by Glen Co Photography