[@Z_Chibs] in depth with: TE dness [@TE_dness] pt.2 April Showers 3, being independent, and more

TE dness is a force to be reckoned with and April Showers 3 was almost a statement of intent that he’s here to stay.

It has been two years since I first sat down with TE and with April Showers 3 dropping it was only right to come back again. This time circumstances are very different, whilst the world is in turmoil especially of recent on a musical and business front music is looking up for TE.

Two years ago we spoke about April Showers and at the time you said you’d end it on a trilogy. Do you still think that’s where you’re ending it?

Yeah, I’m definitely done with April Showers man. I think if I ever came back with an April Showers 4 it would have to be something mad special. I think its right to end it on a trilogy, just because theres certain things you don’t want to taint. D’you know like, because its been a strong three, it just feels like a good point in time to leave it and not drag it out.

I hear you. So what in those 2 years have been the biggest changes for you?

There’s been a growth in numbers, a few collabs here and there but the last two years haven’t been the best musically man if I’m just very honest. I think I’ve been consistent, I’ve released things but there’s been no strategy, there’s been no calculation to it. You know how for April Showers 3 we had a whole strategy? Well for a while it hasn’t been like that with my music like proper strategy and a team.

So before we get into April Showers 3 properly tell me about the cover. It proper stands out so what made you go with that specifically because the gold was a bold choice?

I can attribute that to Diri from Creative Nerds, I think he threw us that idea. I think the gold rain thing was him, we spoke about it I kind of gave my ideas and then he gives his input and then he blends that together. That’s how I translate through design, art, and branding it’s Diri I can’t really do that side of stuff myself. So whatever ideas I have, he can bring them to life and whatever ideas he has that makes sense we can just run with that.

I’m assuming based on the tracks that are on the project and the videos that have been shot for it that obviously lockdown affected the recording process. Talk to me a bit about the process and how lockdown affected that.

Bro, the beautiful thing is the lockdown aided my recording process because there’s nothing else for me to do right now but go studio. So during lockdown, I’ve just been from home to the studio, and because I don’t need any outside help to record the music I was literally able to zone out and get most of the mixtape done. It actually helped me and I used it on my side in order to get the work done. You have to remember that studio was empty most of this time, the people that I share the studio with usually – they all have other things to be doing at this time so they’re not there all the time. So the times that a lot of people aren’t around I just try and utilise it.

So would you say that you recorded quite a lot of the project during lockdown?

Yeah, I’d say the majority of it during lockdown man. I just had a plan bro, like lockdown or no lockdown I just knew that this year was going to be all music. Lockdown, like I said, kind of helped. I did ‘Pandemic’ which is already one of my most viewed solo videos and it kind of gave man a strong run up for the release. And that song only came about to mark the timestamp of this time where we’re going through this so it wouldn’t even be there if this wasn’t happening. It just aided me and I just used it to my advantage at every time that I could.

What would you say is the big motivation or key idea behind the April Showers series?

Just showing people what you can do independently. Ground roots independently, not independent with label structure behind you. I’m talking real independence and real groundwork type of structure. Just trying to show people what we can do and to have more pride in the fact that we are independent and can control our music. Also giving people ideas on how to distribute the music, how to market it, it’s just a display of true musical independence. I think that’s what it is, I think we had a dope rollout for this – you can learn from it. If you’re independent you could take little bits from it and to be honest even labels could learn from it.

It’s honestly very true. So you had some time away towards the end of last year did it help you to refocus or was it just a bump in the road?

It definitely did help me focus. It was only a short period of time, but that period of time just woke my mind up to how effective my music is and how many people I’ve affected. That just took a negative situation and made me realise that there’s power in this voice, there’s reach in the voice, and it’s a positive one. So it was just understanding that power and influence.

Speaking of influence, Nipsey seems to have been a big influence on the project in the rollout with physicals as well as a track being named after him. What kind of did you take from his message and story that you apply?

To monetise and digitise at the level that you’re at. With my 21k followers, I was able to reach near enough 600 or 700 thousand people within the three/four day period in terms of reach and interaction and those kinds if things. We had 40k store visits and all these crazy numbers that you wouldn’t expect from somebody who has an account of my size. So what I learnt from Nipsey is it’s more about the impact.

How did you pick features for this one?

It was just people I wanted to connect with really. The reason I got Ard Adz and Ling is because they are two other great examples of independent artists who stayed solid, who have managed to navigate the music industry to their benefit and now they’re really reaping the benefits from it. Then E. Mak is another one, independent and running it the way things are supposed to be. So yeah I just wanted to link up with like minded people that had a similar type of journey.

Speaking of E. Mak you guys did your Supply & Demand joint project, how come it came about?

We’d always thought about it, we gel together well on tracks, we’re from the same area, and he even executive engineered April Showers 3. So yeah it just felt like the right time to do it, there wasn’t any crazy thought into it. More than anything E.Mak wanted something that he could ride to for himself and so that’s how we made it.

You mentioned earlier you didn’t think you’d had good rollouts on your projects, but I don’t agree with that especially on Full Circle

I wouldn’t say I didn’t have good roll outs, I’d say that there wasn’t as much strategy or an after plan for Full Circle. So now, I know what I’m going to do for the rest of the year. With last year [2019] that case was always hanging over my head.

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The rollout and marketing plan is easy for us it’s just how are we going to take this to the next level. I would of done a headline show, I would of sold it out, and then I would have gone on to do festivals – that would have been the capitalisation and taking things to the next level with April Showers 3.

On a personal one, I know you’ve stuck to saying it’s ending on a trilogy but I think at some point in the future we should get April Showers 4, what would it take for you to drop that?

Errrrm…mind space. I think it’s just mind space, there’s like a build up. The general feeling on this one is obviously the pride in independence, there’s a more boastful manner about my music, I’m more confident about my music. So it has to be a point in time where I’m going through something or growing through something. That’s what would make sense for me to do it.

If the April Showers door is semi closed for now, where are you going to be channelling that energy next?

Probably some singles. I want to get some collabs done. There’s a lot of people that want to work with me and that I want to work with as well but we just haven’t come round to it. Like I said I haven’t always been in the best mental space for it or been ready. There’s certain collabs I could do that I know would have a very positive effect on my career but if I don’t have a follow up or a plan then it’s kind of a waste. Just because I’m not going to do April Showers that doesn’t mean I’m going to go quiet I want to put out at least two mixtapes this year.

The energy will go into that, and Wrap City is still doing its thing so not totally going to push that to the side.

Two years ago and on your latest Mad About Bars you said you’re dropping Trap Nominated 2

Never! Only cause I really have to be in that space, I can’t just talk about it I have to live it. That’s just me being honest. I can’t find the feeling without really being out there.

You can stream April Showers 3 here and but merchandise here. Also, keep your eyes peeled as there is potentially some good news for fans that wanted to see April Showers 3 performed.

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