Teebs was born Mtendere (pronounced ten-de-ra, which is Chichewa for peace) Mandowa in New York to parents from Malawi and Barbados. He is an electronic musician and painter who bounced around the East Coast before finally planting his feet in the Southern California suburb of Chino Hills. A member of Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label and the ‘My Hollow Drum’ Collective, Teebs’s style has been referred to as “beat music,” a style which involves recording, layering, altering, and organizing several sounds including, harps, shakers, drum taps, and even tape peeling. Teebs released his first album, Ardour, on Brainfeeder in 2010. LA Weekly called it “one of the most delicate and lovely albums of the year.” His paintings have been exhibited at New Image Art and Space1520 in Los Angeles, and he has collaborated on clothing designs with Ron Herman Japan and Obey Clothing.
How did growing up in the Bronx influence your art?
T: “No known direct influence. My family quickly moved to Hartford Connecticut and later California where I spent most my life. I spend a lot of time wondering what it would of been like if we stayed.”
What is your current and all time favorite piece of music / recording equipment?
T: “Probably my Seperewa. I don’t play it correctly but it’s brought so much peace to my life at home and I find a lot of joy in recording and working with it.”
How do your audio + visual art worlds influence each other? Or do you like to consider them more as separate entities?
T: “Working with the different media demands problem solving art making in different ways and I like to believe I can translate some of those solutions or ideas from one media to the other. I tend to consider them as separate entities that are linked at the root being my limitations and thoughts.”
Does your creativity flourish more during the daytime or the nighttime?
T: “I’m unsure as it comes and goes without concern or my consent but having the will to create the work happens mostly in the daytime around 10:30am when I have the most space to work to myself.”
What are you most looking forward to going into the new year?
T: “Touring and collaborating. I have ideas i hope to see through. I also hope to find time to learn how to work with other materials.”
What is your current track + snack on repeat?
T: “‘Let Me Down Easy’ by Derrick Harriott and snack atm I’d say dark chocolate.”
Get tix + catch Teebs in The Atrium this Sunday [11.05]