Updated: Dec 16, 2020
TheyNeedWeeZ, gives DrDesha, our LHHD correspondent, a reason to find bounce in R&B.
Desha: All right TheyNeedWeez, so tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you get your artist name? How did you get started in music?
TNW: I'm from Antioch, TN. I got started with music early. My parents and family, we grew up Christian. So, I got started in the church singing in the choir. As I got older, it transitioned into what I was doing in life. So, then I got into R&B. The name TheyNeedWeez came from me and my producer Nice. We came up with it. Everyone called me Weez. Originally, when I was coming up it was Weezy. But we have Lil Wayne and all that. So, we took the Y off and kept it at Weez. There were a lot of artists with similar names. So, we put the TheyNeed in front of it and made it one big word. That's how I got my name.
Desha: So tell me what Antioch is like. You grew up in the church. Is Antioch community driven? Does everyone know each other? What's that like?
TNW: Growing up in Antioch, basically it was good. It was like a fashion show. Like my highschool everyone wanted to be cool and "The man," and "That person." Before they even say "What's up" to you, they will look down at your feet to make sure that you are all the way together. It was like a fashion show and there was a lot of pressure growing up in Antioch. You always want to stand out. Growing up in the church, my grandad was a pastor and had his own church. So, my whole family met every Sunday to have service.
Desha: So, there's this kind of stigma. "That's the church boy" or "That's the choir guy." Was that like a heavy title for you?
TNW: No, because I came up that way. My mom always wanted what's best for us and tried to lead us in the right direction. But, I got into the street life. Coming up in highschool I was exposed to a lot. Because, I was able to move around. You can still tell that I didn't have any business moving the way that I was moving. You can tell that I'm that church boy type of persona. It's still in me, but I got exposed to a lot growing up in the street messing around with things that I have no business. Getting my money in a different type of way.
Desha: Ok, that's honest. So, you were secular?
TNW: You know that you don't want people saying "You came up in a good home, what are you doing"?
Desha: Oh, gosh, can they smell the freshness on you in the streets?
TNW: (Laughter) No
Desha: Oh, my goodness, I love it. So, even though you're kind of juggling these two different worlds. Like you were in the streets and things are kind of fast moving, would you still go to church on Sunday and still sing?
TNW: I'm not in there as much as I should be nor as often as much as I should be. But, I connect to my own type of connection. I'm going at it. I'm just full time chasing the dream. I'm not around sometimes to drop into the church. But it's still in me, it's still there. I've still got a little of the church (in me).
Desha: How do you know that being an artist is your passion, is what you want to do? When was your 'Aha' moment?
TNW: It was always something that I feel like I wanted to do. I feel like it's what I'm best at; what I'm good at. It came to me just by releasing music and being around other musically inclined people. They just basically tell me that I've got it. They give me that confirmation every time we drop something or we go in there and we "do it." As with the project before the last one, it was two singles. We dropped those and got a real good response. I knew that's what we're supposed to be doing. I was a rapper first. We just really started singing for real with no rap and changing the style up 2018. Once I found my sound R&B, that's when I knew "Oh yeah, we got something here."
Desha: What was the first kind of notoriety? The talent show? The Showcase? When did a public audience say, "He's got it"?
TNW: Well, in highschool, I got the Senior Superlative: Most Talented. I used to rap and sing in front of my classmates. I had an in home basic set up studio as a teenager. I would just record myself and burn CD's. I would write on the front of them with a magic marker. Pass it around to my classmates.
Desha: Oh, wow, so you were autographing the blanks. Who do you look up to when it comes to rapping or singing do you have your favorites or those you study?
TNW: My favorite rapper of all time is Tupac. I really mess with him because of the way that he would talk on different subjects. He was very versatile. He can take it to the Clubs, to the streets, to poverty; and a whole bunch of different lanes. I'm old school and I like Tupac. R&B wise my favorite is, (well) I've got a lot of people that I listen to. I like female R&B (even) better, but if I had to pick it would be Pain. I feel like he has the vocals, the range, and the soul.
Desha: He has been very adamant about making sure that R&B stays alive. That's why he calls himself a general. Tell me what your process is. Like when you go to the studio. Such as: "I got to drink a little" or "I got to smell the air?"
TNW: Actually when I'm in there I like to make sure I got my mind and I got my beat. I've got down before, drinking, rolling up…. The process is that I come in with my producer Nice and whatever we're feeling is how we go. We'll put on a beat or cook one from scratch. I let him know how I'm feeling or what I've got. We just put it together, just like that.
Desha: So, this producer Nice, you guys seem to go way back. How did you meet him? And build this chemistry?
TNW: Me and Nice go back 2012, back when I was in a rap group. He was the first person that really let me know that "singing R&B is the lane for you. That's where you should be." I used to record with Nice and we've been going since 2012.
Desha: Wow, ok, if you have someone who's going to take you to that next level. "Like, look you're cool, but…."
TNW: My boy Nice definitely has a cool sound.
Desha: When people hear your music do you have any kind of interesting comparisons?
TNW: You mean comparing me to another artist. I get a lot of Lloyd, Bryson, and Trey Songz. I get a lot of those three. They're all cool people. I mess with all that music, it's all good.
Desha: (So) It's singers like that and they all have their own personalities and we've kind of been on this journey with them. So, what is it that you want your fans to take away from your music? When they listen to it, what is it that you always want them to remember about you?
TNW: I want the fans to remember that he did R&B, but he didn't do it the traditional way. Like over saturated love songs and slow music. I want them to take the fun in my life, but like I got a thing where the name R&B stands for Rhythm and Bounce. So, I like to have bounce in my music. I like to have it up tempo. For the most part. But I want them to take away the energy that my music brings.
Desha: I love how you coined that. Because, they have these conversations all the time like is R&B popular? Is so and so considered R&B? So, do you feel like with this Rhythm and Bounce that you will be this person that brings up tempo records that we are going to play on the way to the club?
TNW: Right, them (those) turned up vibe records, that you can vibe to. You know how you can turn on a record and you start cleaning the house. You get in your vibe and you get in your groove? That's what I'm trying to make.
Desha: So, what do you feel like is probably the record that you think will do really well on the radio or the record that you think "Yo, I can really hear this in a movie?"
TNW: You say that you can definitely hear in a 'what' now?
Desha: In a movie or in a commercial?
TNW: Yeah, I've got a couple. I've got a lot in my catalog and I try to keep it so it can be ready for the radio. I try not to sound local. But if I had to choose one that would do good on radio it would be one of that would do good on radio it would be one of the first singles that I dropped called: "Go Up Baby." - 2018. It's been doing real good. That's my go to track and I've got another one called Toxic Behavior. I feel like that would go well in a cinematic type of movie. It speaks on relationships and things like that. I feel like that song would be brought to life in a motion picture.
Desha: That's cool. Is there are way that you introduce yourself? In the business world we call it an elevator pitch. They tell you that your elevator pitch is: If you had 30 seconds or if you were in an elevator with Oprah or Diddy. How would you introduce yourself? What would you say?
TheyNeedWeez part 2 (the complete response to the previous question isn't present).
...To Oprah or Diddy I would say "this thing is coming out of the South right now.
Desha: That Rhythm and Bounce part is powerful. You definitely can't leave that out. So, that's how you are introducing yourself to Oprah and Diddy.
TNW: I've got to let them know.
Desha: The next set of questions that I'll ask, they will be (sort)/kind of fun and light hearted. It's just so that I can get a well rounded sense of you:
Do you prefer a beach or the mountains, for a vacation?
TNW: I prefer a mountain because I'm not the swimming or water friendly type. There's not much at the beach for me to take part in. I'm just chilling. In the mountains it's a more relaxed place for my issues/needs, for what I would rather do. Like just chilling.
Desha: I feel like "cabin on the log vibes."
Do you prefer cats or dogs?
Desha: I feel like you own one with that answer.
TNW: No, I don't own one. But I like dogs. Cats just seem suspicious. Like they are constantly looking for something.
Desha: Man, you are just not with the sneakiness. That's what you are telling me.
Are you a sweets person? Do you have a favorite dessert?
TNW: Yes, I'm a sweets person for sure. I like caramel cake. I can list a bunch of others.
Are you an ice cream guy? Or are you just like give me the cakes?
TNW: Ice cream all of that. Yes, I'm an ice cream guy.
So, what's your favorite ice cream flavor?
TNW: I like cookies and cream. Can't go wrong with that, not ever .
What's your favorite color?
TNW: Navy Blue
If you were to have a person play your life in a movie who would that be?
TNW: If a person would play my life in a movie, like an actor? Michael B. Jordan
Desha: So, you're going for the big time?
TNW: I'm going for the big baller.
Do you have a favorite movie?
TNW: Yes, my favorite movie is The Wood. Have you ever seen The Wood?
Desha: Yes, but it's like a classic. It's been a while.
TNW: Yes, it's a super classic.
Desha: That's the one that has 4 brothers.
Do you have a favorite type of alcohol? Do you prefer dark liquor?
TNW: I like dark liquor. I like Deuce, Hennessey, and 1942.
Desha: Oh, you're expensive. You have aged tastes.
TNW: I've got aged tastes.
What's your favorite hobby outside of music? Are you a skater? Do you like to play ball?
TNW: I like to play basketball.
Desha: Do you have a position?
TNW: I like to shoot a little. I have some 'skills' on me.
Desha: We will have to take you to the court and test those out.
TNW: You don't want none of this prime.
Are you a card player?
TNW: Yes, I like Spades.
Desha: So, what is it about Spades that you are like "that's my game?"
TNW: It's something competitive. I like the way you can tagteam and have a partner. Get together, go crazy, and talk that talk.
Who are some artists, producers, or just people in the industry that you would be super excited to work with. " (Like) Man, I can't wait to work with…?"