I spoke with Eclectik’s Ta’Sean Du Bois briefly in an interview last semester, where I talked to several members of the San Diego-based worldwide music group. But just recently I got to sit down one-on-one with rapper Ta’Sean and talk to him about his upcoming EP, musical inspirations, and what he’s trying to bring to San Diego.
When and how did you officially start rapping?
2014. I started taking it like seriously kind of when I started working with Eclectik. My older brother showed me hip-hop and I started writing over instrumentals that other artists already wrote over. Then I found out about finding beats on YouTube, so then I started writing over those and then after high school is when I actually found friends that had studios with microphones, and then I just started going over there and kept recording and got more confident. My voice was actually like more monotone and more mellow, but now it’s like more confident and louder. Performing-wise I started doing presale tickets, so like I would sell tickets to open up for like a venue. And now I just get offered to open up for venues, it’s pretty cool.
How’s Eclectik going?
It’s going pretty well right now. Last thing I heard was that we’re working on a new .WAV, so it’s gonna be like a .WAV2 so that’s gonna be pretty lit. The first one was pretty successful, I think we had like 800 people there [The World Beat Center].
It was pretty cool, like the place was packed and everybody knew like someone’s music, like who was performing, who was on stage, so everyone was live and like into it. Right now people are dropping projects…we’re kind of dropping everything before people start performing again, so people will have new music to listen to and vibe to.
So, tell me about your upcoming project.
It’s gonna be an EP; it’s seven songs. Me and my friend Bobby [Bier], I met him through Eclectik, we’ve actually been in his house for the past like six, seven months just like making beats together, kind of trying to like find a flow and like getting everything together. We’ll just like make a beat, I’ll rap over it, maybe we like it maybe we don’t. You know just going back at it like every day until we came up with like seven solid songs. Each song is completely different. You can listen to one while you’re turning up, you can listen to one while you’re like coming home from school and you don’t wanna hear like trap music, you wanna hear like mellow stuff. It’s like all-around, like seven solid songs. We’re gonna release it on SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music, a lot of different platforms, and have it on two websites [Eclectik and producer’s websites]. A lot of people are anticipating it. They’re asking me “So we hear you’re gonna drop something, when’s it coming out?”
Do you have a date set?
We don’t have a date set but it’s definitely gonna be like early March. It’s gonna come with like t-shirts, we’re gonna have like CDs and everything so it’s gonna be fun. We’re gonna have like stickers and people can like post everywhere and really get the name out, and just have people who support and rock with me so we can get the whole of San Diego on.
Is the whole EP a collaboration?
I did all of it with this guy [Bobby]. I do have like a lot of singles, after the EP drops I’m gonna have singles coming out too. On the EP coming out, I actually have a feature with some people from Eclectik and then I have one with my older brother. That was pretty cool, you know, working with him. Yeah, those are the only features I have but every beat I have on that EP was with Bobby.
What message were you trying to show through your music with this EP?
Basically showing like, I’m versatile, I’m fun. I don’t even like curse a lot in my music so it can be played on the radio. Everything is like upbeat, happy; we just gotta be like that these days. Like if we’re not happy and positive, you know, everything around us is already so negative, it’s just gonna make everything worse. So it’s the kind of music for people who don’t trap and all that stuff, they can listen to this and connect to it.
Is there any common type of theme throughout it? Or is it all just so different?
They’re all kind of different. I mean, like you can definitely tell that it’s a whole different sound. Like you can tell, ‘this kid is from San Diego.’ Like, ‘he doesn’t sound like he’s from New York, he doesn’t sound like he’s from Atlanta.’ It’s a straight San Diego, California sound.
What else is coming up?
We’re gonna be dropping like a lot of videos, a lot of venues to perform at and I wanna get the whole city to see who’s behind the mic. That’s honestly where my specialty comes up: live performing. Like getting the crowd hyped, you know, jumping, crowdsurfing, and all that. That part is gonna be fun. When San Diego sees like, “Ok, this kid can perform really well, he’s gonna put the city on.”
Who inspires you personally?
Lil Yachty. It’s funny because I don’t even make music anything like his, but he is smart. He’s real smart. Like he came into the game with red hair. No one has red hair. It’s a whole different sound, but he pushed it in totally different way. Like he always wore Nautica, and now he’s signed to Nautica. And like signed with Champs and he has his own Adidas. People say like, “Oh, he blew up off one song.” And he did, but he carried it really well with his business.
Yeah, he’s business-minded; I like that. I like being business minded.
He’s gotten real far. His live performances are lit and it inspires me as a performer. Like that rush—I wanna know how that feels—when everyone’s rocking out to your stuff.
If you could collab with anybody, who would it be?
Kanye. I feel like he would just bless the track. They’re both [Kanye and Lil Yachty] like real business-minded. That’s where I’m coming from, like a different sound. It’s not auto-tuned, but I just have a weird voice I guess—not weird, just unique. Different sound, different style. You know, San Diego, out here we wear board shorts and Vans. Like I’ve traveled to like Atlanta and the East Coast, and people don’t wear that at all. I wanna show our style; it’s like a beach-city style. I went surfing just a couple weeks ago when it was winter, like that’s where I live.
How do you balance being an artist and a college student?
Basically, when I’m not doing schoolwork, I just make music. I’d just hit Bobby—hopefully he’s free—and he’s like, “Yeah, I already did my homework, like let’s make music.” But to be quite honest with you, like the tape isn’t coming out this month, so I have to plan like when the songs are gonna drop, when the videos are gonna drop, and how to promote it. It’s just a lot, and sometimes it makes me nervous or makes me wanna stop. But literally every time I have that thought, like the next day someone will be like, “Hey, Ta’Sean, your music is really cool, like you gotta keep doing it.” And I’m just like ok, let’s do it. Like, the city’s really speaking about me and I’m loving it.
Message to your fans?
My fans that are rocking with me right now, I really wanna say thank you. It’s not like I’m hitting 10k right now, but it’s grown. Like last year I was at like 200 plays, now it’s like over 3,000. People are really talking about me, like where I’m actually living at. Like people in my area are actually talking about it. I just wanna say like thank you. I just dropped a song recently, I haven’t promoted it at all, I just promoted it one time, and it’s at 1,000 plays already. To my future fans, just know that I’m in this 100 percent—1,000 percent. Like every performance, that’s really what I want to emphasize to everybody, is like go to the performance. They’re always live. That’s the heart and the soul of where I come from. I just wanna put the whole city on.
Listen to Tea Time below & check out his other music.