See down below everything Coach Tev had to tell us down below!
The Coach Tev…man thank you for taking this interview. You just released a new small cut in Coach of the Year. What do hope people take away from it?
Coach Tev: "Preciate you for reaching out my man. As far as COTY, man I just love piecing things together and creating cohesiveness. Finding the pattern in the accident and expanding on it. I speak a lot about trophies throughout the project. But just know you can’t die with any of them. Enjoy yourself but make sure you’re living with a purpose that extends past the surface level rewards.”
One thing I’ve noticed is that you take hip-hop and music as a whole like art and game of skill as opposed to the “gimmick” artists which we are seeing more and more of.
That in of itself is awesome, but what really makes you such a serious contender in the underground music scene is that you don’t rely solely on musical ability. You also firmly grasp the fact that good/creative promo is equally, if not more important, than good music. The cover art of C.O.T.Y is a good example, along with the huge slew of visual teasers, etc. Now, with all that being said, what would you say to other artists who believe they should be blowing up off the strength of their music? Is it unrealistic to have that expectation with the state of the modern entertainment/music industry?
Coach Tev: “Yea I mean by now we all realize how fast attention spans are lost so there has to be something more that grabs people’s attention. Music, in its best form, tells a story. The best artists find a way to have their music (or their artistry as a whole) tell a story. And that doesn’t mean it has to be a narrative with a concise beginning, middle, and end; it just needs to have a unique perspective that only you can tell. Everything that you do as an artist can enhance that story whether it’s your music, visual, interviews, merch, etc.
Now as far as it being unrealistic for an artist to believe they can pop off the strength of just their music alone, yeaaa I wouldn’t bank on just that if I were them. Because at some point, even if they do pop off just the strength of their music, on some accidental viral shit, someone on their team will eventually have to start developing the artist’s visual aesthetic if they want any type of longevity in their career. So yea it could happen but it’s really rare because the consumer’s nowadays require more from the artist. Especially with so much content in the world fighting for fans attention.”
To continue touching on that same trend of marketing and branding- how did you come up with the name “Coach Tev.”
Coach Tev: “Lol man you could say it’s been my calling for some time I just didn’t realize it until late 2015. My pops has always been a coach (basketball/football) all throughout my youth all the way until my youngest brother graduated HS in 2016. They were constantly winning back to back championships in both sports. He conditioned the “no excuses” mantra in me. Never took any bullshit. You wanna do better? Work harder. Simple as that. So yea the coach lifestyle was around me so much that we even named our dog Coach (RIP to a real one).
Also, I’ve always dressed somewhat leisurely rocking windbreakers and such to the point where people use to tell me I looked like an AAU basketball coach. But what really brought this all home is the job I had from late 2014 until summer 2016. I worked at an elementary after school care while I was going to school at UNT. And since you’re not technically a teacher, the kids are instructed to call you Coach (insert name). So mine was Coach Tevyn or Coach T or Coach Tev, whatever they felt like calling me that day. But yea long story short I never cared for the stage name I had prior so I was in the shower one day and it dawned on me that the branding opportunity with a name like Coach Tev could be insane. So yea, then the coach was born. "
Where was your love for music realized? When did you realize that not only was it a hobby, but potentially a career?
Coach Tev: “I dabbled in music when I was like 12 years old but strictly for fun with no intentions on actually being a rapper; just something to do with my cousin (Cambino) when we were bored in the summer. Even had a few beat making video games on the PS2. But I didn’t get back to actually creating it and writing until after HS before I went to UNT. My best friend at the time was really into singing and recording his own music on his laptop so of course, the music-making bug rubbed off on me especially when we got to college. I’ve always had the innate need in me to create so this was one of those outlets. But what really pushed it is when I realized that I actually had a knack for it. People gravitated to what I was saying and how I was saying it. So then I just took it and ran with it and as I got more skilled at other mediums of art (film/photography), I realized that I could tie them all in together. From that point on I know creating was my future, whether it stopped at music or not (hint: it will not stop at music).”
Who is Coach Tev to you? What do you want him to be to others?
Coach Tev: “Just a cat expressing himself through his art. Taking in the world around me and spitting it back up in my own imaginative perspective. Also, I want people to understand that being multifaceted isn’t just the wave anymore, it’s basically a necessity. I just hope to inspire and motivate the next person to take their life in their own hands and put those 10,000hrs in to achieve what it is they really want to. I might be a real-life coach ouchea.”
I’ve approached you regarding artist management in the past and you declined thankfully (turns out it’s something I (Jon) need to get better at…not my biggest strength.) What are your thoughts on managers, public relation managers and overall record labels? Is artistic independence the way to go?
Coach Tev: “Depends on what the artist wants out of their career. It’s one of those questions we have to constantly ask ourselves. You want to be a touring artist with a niche market or do you want to sell out stadiums and have #1 hits? Do you want to be work at your own pace with full creative control even if it takes 10+ years, or do you just want to strike it rich as soon as possible? There’s no right or wrong answer but that answer will help determine what/who you need and what you don’t. But also at the end of the day, there’s no way to manage a career with livable income all by yourself. At some point, you will need some type of help.
When deciding who to add to your team, you must go with your gut. Whoever is working for/with you must be going just as hard at their job as you are with your art. Not only that but they have to understand your vision. Also, you must have a vision for them to even understand in the first place. Help them help you. Then again, sometimes I feel like too many chefs in the kitchen can make it frustrating for the artist to create how they want to without everybody and their mama’s opinion and influence distorting the original idea.
I don’t know if I really answered the question or not but yea, I’m not necessarily only 100% team independence, but I do think that should be the final goal. Ownership.”
Now onto a lighter topic, I love asking this question to artists… but if you got booked as a headliner for *insert massive festival name here* what would you put on your rider?
Coach Tev: “I’m a simple man. Some fruit so i’m not tempted to go crazy on welches fruit snacks although a few bags of those couldn’t hurt. Lots of water. Gotta take care of this skin. Also, I’m addicted to Apple TV so yea let me get that on the 4K TV. I need all the pixels. Now that I think about it, I need my laptop and recording equipment too. Inspiration comes at crazy times. Oh and my camera. I need to be able to shoot impromptu video/photoshoots. Now that I think about it, I could get damn near all that shit now lol I need to work on my “things i’m going to spend my money on reckless” list.”
You had to wear a single fit for a whole month (you wash it every day obviously) what would it be?
Coach Tev: “A hoodie/vintage HBCU windbreaker jacket, XL graphic t-shirt, bball shorts, ankle socks, low top sneakers/or Sperry’s, might have to throw the snug dad cap on top of the two-strand twists. Shit, I like to wear at the house. Hell, I have on that exact fit right now minus the shoes and I trade the dad cap for a satin du-rag.”
Rap battle between you, B. Anderson, Jahn Dough and Devy Stonez- who’s going to win it?
Coach Tev: “I’ma wash them then head to the court for the re-rinse.”
Now for the last question: what do people need to know? Summarize as best as possible.
Coach Tev: “COTY out now. Mini Cap visual coming soon. Remember, you can’t die with your trophies so be sure you’re chasing more than worldly accolades. I mean those shits are cool but true spiritual freedom is getting to the point where you don’t need it to find joy. Take care of your health. Call your mom today. Allat.
COTY COTY COTY.”
Big thank you to the Coach for letting me annoy him non-stop into finishing this. I loved this conversation. Make sure you stream COTY down below -Jon
Peep Coach Tev on Twitter: https://twitter.com/coachtev