MEAWW's Basement Tapes: Tedy's debut EP 'Boys Don't Cry' is a dark take on toxic masculinity, trauma and pain
The budding artiste has already amassed an online following thanks to his previous work, but his official debut reveals layers to his artistry we haven't seen from him thus far
Musical artiste Tedy unveils his debut EP 'Boys Don't Cry', a thoughtful and in some ways painful assessment of how trauma ravages through the soul of a young boy, forcing him into a shell instead of allowing him to thrive. Featuring six gut-wrenching tracks, this release is a meditation on toxic masculinity, the experiences of anyone who dares to color outside the predetermined lines, and the desire to thrive and evolve despite it all.
Hailing from Haiti, the Montreal-based 28-year-old artiste is something of a hidden gem in the musical industry. There's no denying his vocal and songwriting gifts, but what adds to his artistry is his willingness to explore concepts and blend styles in a way that creates something unique. And that, in itself, stems largely from Tedy's desire to build connections and create art that moves people. He began his musical journey as a YouTuber that earned him the moniker 'Reaction King'. But despite building a following of over 900,000 subscribers on the platform, he recognized that his emotional needs were not really being met. After all, a creative soul needs to find a fulfilling outlet or that voice remains unheard. In 2014, Tedy wrote and recorded his first song, 'Soar', before he knew how to play any instruments and had not much else to go on besides the music playing in his head. And from there, he continued creating music, releasing the tracks 'Can I' and 'Hold On Tighter' in 2016 and 2018 respectively, before finally finding a major label to call home and make his debut through. And from this milestone came the artiste's first single 'Stuck' off his new EP.
What stands out about Tedy almost instantly is his propensity to dip into the macabre when telling his tales. Art of this nature has often been viewed as being more niche, but the emergence of artistes like Billie Eilish and The Weeknd have brought it fully into the mainstream, allowing for young budding acts to explore their own idiosyncrasies in full view of the public. And, it turns out, the public tends to quite enjoy darker concepts. In a world that is seemingly constantly dealing with raging fires, both figuratively and literally, dark art can tell a far deeper tale than styles that merely scratch the surface of the feelings beneath. And Tedy, it would appear, knows exactly how to tap into those depths.
His latest single, 'Boys Don't Cry', is accompanied by a hard-hitting video that serves as an intimate portrayal of traumatic experiences Tedy has undergone or witnessed in his life, highlighting how he has had to mute his emotions to survive. The single tells the tale of always having your guard up, showing no weakness, only to realize the strength in your own vulnerability. The song opens with the lyrics, "Triggers, triggers. Little boys living in hell. Safeword, safe place. They don't care, we don't kiss and tell," and that alone is enough to get you on edge, bracing for what you know is coming but still cannot prepare for.
'Boys Don't Cry' is, essentially, a macabre take on toxic masculinity, including depictions of the abuse young boys endure at the hands of the men in their lives as well as allusions to self-harm and suicide when their innocent joys are stripped away from them, simply because "boys don't do that". It allows Tedy to explore his own musicality while also coming to terms with his own trauma. And as he embarks on that journey, we get to go along with him, finding healing along the way. But where songs like this title track take on the darkness head-on, others like 'War' offer a softer approach as Tedy attempts to chart a course for himself. This dichotomy is evident throughout this EP as Tedy oscillates between finding healing and breaking free from the shackles his abusers have placed on him. 'Twisted (I Hate Myself)' is the best representation of this, and sees Tedy battle his demons, both internal and external. The closing track, 'Hopeless', conveys both the feelings of loss while simultaneously delivering a sense of hope, providing the perfect ending to a solid debut EP from a promising new artiste.
Tedy's debut EP 'Boys Don't Cry' will be released on Friday, September 11, 2020, via Sony Music Canada.
'MEAWW's Basement Tapes' is a column that shines a spotlight on undiscovered/underrated musical gems.