Based in Monterrey, MX, Telepathic Teddy Bear is a musician and producer that has been on our radar for quite some time now – product of his outstanding style. Even since we first heard about him we’ve been obsessing over his killer tracks – well blending the synth-pop and indie vibes in a way only his creative mind could.
We recently caught up with him to discuss what it means to be an independent artist while talking about what he’s been working on, what we can expect from him in the future and of course, what he’s been listening to lately.
Hello, first off, thanks a lot for having this Q&A with us! Would you please introduce yourself to the TDL community?
My name’s Juan Carlos Padilla, I started this project back in 2010 with the release of my first EP, Telepathic Teddy Bear.
Back in 2014 you got to play at a brand new, yet huge music festival (Monterrey City Festival) in your hometown. Then about 5 months later you also had the chance to open for Phantogram. How did these experiences make you feel? How did they come about?
I got a call from the festival and they asked me to play. It was great to play there since it was very well organized and the crowd was especially responsive. About Phantogram, a friend of mine told me they were coming and that it’d be cool to attend the gig and he also said I should try to get to open for them. I kinda shrugged the idea off but then I found out that someone I knew was organizing the gig and then the next day I decided I wanted to open for them, so I wrote the promoters and showed them some of my work. They got back to me and said my name was already on the poster since they were already thinking of me, which was a great thing to hear. The gig was great and it all worked out just fine.
Taking a look back at your roots, when did you decide music was the path you wanted to pursue?
It really wasn’t a conscious decision. I came back from Berklee with a bachelor in Film Scoring so I had to decide what I wanted to do with that. Without going too deep in the story, there were many ups and downs and I even tried to give up on pursuing a music career, until one day I made up my mind and decided there wasn’t a reason why I had to keep on “surviving” doing something I hated and I just really wanted to make music. So I quit my job, started a business that could support my passion and adjusted my routine in order to find the time to work on my music.
You’re an independent artist, while I can imagine it is difficult, it’s also something to admire. What have been your main struggles by being on your own? How do you deal with them?
Being an independent artist and producer means you have no one to help you out with the day to day stuff. There’s also the fact that I’m not aiming for a local target (Mexico) so that’s kind of difficult, trying to reach an international audience. Like, I had no idea how to do that, but sometimes some interesting things happen. I can’t really pinpoint specific struggles because there’s a lot of them, but my advice would be that you need to keep on doing what you do and to be persistent in doing so.
There are a couple of your songs that feature some pretty deep lyrics; some may even transport the listener to a certain state of mind, a personal experience, among other things. What inspires you to write these songs?
Personally, my creative process consists of creating the music and melody first and then focusing on creating the lyrics for it. Right now, the way I’m doing it is that I try to write at least 10 minutes on a daily basis about a certain topic and then I try to take whatever stands out on those pieces to make a whole out of them. But mostly my lyrics come from personal dilemmas and all the stuff that goes through my mind while trying to fix them.
You’ve got quite a particular music style which is really, really cool. It’s got vibes like the ones portrayed by The Postal Service, Purity Ring and Passion Pit, just to mention a few. How did you find your style? How did you decide this was the one?
It really isn’t a decision you give too much thought about. I try to be as experimental as possible and create a style I’d personally like to listen to.
Looking at your social media pages, you’re really dedicated to posting short cover videos of a wide variety of artists. Why did you decide it was better to post short versions of them instead of doing full-length ones?
Mainly because when I first started using Vine, I took that as a way to promote myself. It’s a way to communicate the type of songs I like in order to create a connection with people who also like those bands. I wanted to practice getting my face on camera as well. Meet new people, maintain presence, to keep making new stuff all the time, among other things.
Since your music gets the chance to be heard anywhere and everywhere. How does it make you feel to have fans from all around the globe?
You don’t always get to know where the comments are coming from. But when you come to find out that there’s someone listening to your music on the other side of the world, the feeling is really cool.
The artwork from your albums and singles are very impressive. Do you imagine the concept and main idea before you get to see your cover artworks come to life?
Yeah, for the first albums I got to work with a friend of mine. She’s an artist so we got to talk about the music and she pitched me some ideas. She ended up getting really into it and, as you can see, she’s really talented and understands my style very well.
You have released a couple of singles along with a killer cover of Crywolf & Ianborg’s “Runaway” in the last few months. How would you say they differ in style from your previous material?
It has definitely evolved in quality and production. In style, I do miss a little of the essence portrayed in The Course Of Empire compared to the vibe in Forgiveness. I wanna start getting into some orchestral stuff again but that will depend on what’s available during the creative process. I don’t usually box myself in before I start messing with sounds.
This one question is pretty much an obligated one. What are you currently listening to?
There are a lot of suggestions coming from my own Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify that I’ve liked, but I’ll go with Baths and Submotion Orchestra as the ones I’m currently listening to the most.
And last but not least, we’re curious…what are you currently working on? Can we expect some new songs in a near future?
I’m finishing up an EP that will be called Vessels, to be released very soon mid 2016. I’ve already started making beats for future stuff.
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