In a project with high profile collaborators like Pharrell Williams and Usher, it was the talented vocalist’s bright song-writing and smooth delivery that shone brightest. When we speak, Tellaman reflects on the experience of working with the world-renowned DJ.
“He and I had been trying to work on a song for a while before we had “Flava”. So it was a dope moment when we finally had a song where we were all kind of proud of it, and we were like, ‘Okay, I think we have a dope song that can fit the project’.
“As far as the success, it’s a great thing when people recognise the work and the effort that was put in behind something. I don’t think anybody expected the whole project to make it that far.
“So I’m really grateful to be part of it, and shout out to Black Coffee for reaching out to young guys like me and Una Rams. It’s such a pleasure. It’s been such a pleasure working with that guy. There’s more music coming between him and me.”
While he’s maintained some visibility through a few features like this, Tellaman has been largely off the radar for the past few years.
Since he released his debut album “God Decides” in 2019, and its lead single “Whipped”, featuring Nasty C and Shekhinah, became a national hit, Tellaman hasn’t released much music. All that seems to be about to change with the release of his upcoming mixtape, “Good Regardless”, which is due out on November 11.
Ahead of its release, the R&B star released the project’s lead single, “LM4M”, which stands for “love me for me”, on Thursday.
The single was inspired by the classic Jamali hit, “Love Me For Me”. He explains that the idea originally came about when he and Lastee, his long-time music writing and production partner, were playing around with some ideas in the studio. “We literally just heard this song, and we were like, let’s just sample the song. And then, as we were working on the beat, I just started writing. I’m just glad that when we tried to clear the sample with the group and everyone that worked on it, they thought it was a good idea.
“This is like one of my favourite songs of all time, so it’s so nice to be part of the people that try to preserve the music that was happening back then and try to repackage it in a way.”
Given the success of his previous album and the weight of expectation that that brings, I ask him if he feels any pressure ahead of the upcoming mixtape as fans bay for more music. He says: “I guess there’ll always be a little pressure here and there. Cause I’m the type of person who always wants to do better. I always try to do better than the last thing I did, At least in my eyes. I’m always like, how can I improve? How can I change this and that?
“So I always feel nervous, especially when I’m about to drop something, ’cause I’m a huge critic of my own music. I do feel the pressure in that sense, but not because somebody else is gonna try and belittle my ability to create or anything like that, because at the end of the day, I do this because I love it.
“And it has to sound right for me before I even share it with anybody else. And if they like it, it’s cool, and if they don’t, it’s still cool.”
That spirit neatly sums up the thinking behind the title for his upcoming mixtape, “Good Regardless”.
He explains: “It basically means I’m good, regardless. With or without you type of thing. I’m still gonna be me. I’m still gonna do what I love. That’s where the whole title comes from.”