To conclude our short series of AR 15 project interviews, we got the low down from Youngs Teflon about his involvement with the AR15 Concrete Jungle Mixtape, a newfound love for performing, and his ambitions for the future.
Youngs Teflon has put his stamp on the UK Urban scene for the last decade progressing from Grime to Rap, and is widely respected as one of the finest MC’s in the game. With his unrivalled delivery, the humble South Londoner has been killing it recently, receiving praise from fans, producers and artists alike. Bringing new vibes to his music, his most famous EP ‘Renaissance’ blew up, going straight in at number 1 on the ITunes hip-hop chart. His latest EP ‘The Jungle Book’ is sure to have a similar impact and pays testament to the progress in Tef’s sound, and the movements he’s making in his musical career.
For his Ar 15 tune ‘Running Away’ Tef teams up with Bekki Hlava, Chucks and Avelino. The tune brings a reflective vibe, where every line is convincing and every word gripping, it is storytelling at its finest.
Look out for 'Running Away' and a host of other bangers on the AR 15 Concrete Jungle mixtape that can be previewed on Itunes now and will be available to buy on the 28th August.
PS: Thanks for chatting with us today. How did you find the experience of working with the other artists on the Concrete jungle mix tape?
YT: It’s a learning curve, especially if your in the studio, because making a track together you get to see how people record in different ways, how they do their takes or how people like there things edited. You just learn things that you can add to your trade and you can make judgments as to what you have or haven’t been doing right. Its good if you’re a fan of the artist, its cool to just be around that guy. Just like when I bring someone to the studio that doesn’t do music to be able to see how I work, just for them to sit there is an experience for them.
PS: We’ve read that it was hard to get everybody together because there was bad blood between certain artists, did this affect your involvement in the mixtape?
YT: I just said just make sure that when I come to the studio I’m there to do my work, because I don’t want to see no one I have problems with. I keep music separate from negativity. I see music as such a positive thing, it’s a pathway away from the negativity, even if we might be speaking about violence or certain things that happen in the streets it’s a means of getting away from it. I.E if I’m in the studio recording all day I cant be in the streets getting into trouble, I can only be in the studio. So when I go to the studio I always make sure that everyone there I’m cool with, or it’s just me to do my thing.
PS: Do you ever get involved in the production side of things for the beat?
YT: With my producer, more times I might just go and check him and he's on his computer in the studio all day always making beats and I just start rhyming, so as he’s building the beat I’m rhyming. So he might put something in and ill be like nah nah nah don’t put that in or ill be like can you make this a certain way. I won’t touch anything but I definitely have an input into what he’s doing.
PS: Do you think the AR 15 mixtape having so many artists on it (over 50) is a positive force?
YT: Very. Like you said before, people have problems with each other and its hard for them to be in the same venue, let alone on the same track but for people to be on the same compilation gives the fans a variety where they don’t have to go out and look in more than one place for everybody’s music.
PS: We saw you Blade and Corleone kicked off with the tune “Trap God” did that change the game?
YT: Yeah it definitely did for Corleone, because although a lot of people knew him, I don’t think a lot of people knew about him musically they just knew about him in the streets. He picked up a lot of respect from people for it. Trap god was like a follow up to ‘Poor Little Rich Kid’ with Snap Capone, it was just more ballsy and out there. ‘Poor Little Rich Kid’ to me was humble and it was like this is my story this is where I come from and I struggled to get here. Whereas Trap god was like, listen, we made it. The video was nice as well, we went to a nice house.
PS: How did you get that video done?
YT: Gb team man. There always on hand with these locations and always like to make these things look the part so we had fun, we definitely had fun shooting the video.
PS: Where do you see yourself in a year’s time? What would you like to be doing?
YT: I will need to be overseas touring. I think I’ve done quite a lot in this country. Even if its like I dno France or something, I just need to be doing music in places where people don’t know me. Places where people wake up and speak a different language but they still understand the vibe. That’s what I need to be doing, because I feel like as an artist, performing is my favourite part.
PS: Did performing come naturally to you?
YT: I didn’t use to like coming on stage to be honest it wasn’t really my thing, but now obviously its different. I just came back from the bags and boxes tour with blade. To go places miles and miles away where people have never seen you before and there standing in a crowd singing your lyrics back to back at the top of there lungs that’s amazing man and not everyone can get that.
Tef's 6 track 'Jungle Book' EP is out now, check it out!!!!
Interview: Joshua Mac & James Goldring
Photography: James Goldring