Today we’d like to introduce you to Te’ Riel (N.E.P.H.E.W) Lloyd.
Hi Te’ Riel (N.E.P.H.E.W), thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Music has always been a fascinating discipline and love of mine since a young age. My first live performance was in the 3rd grade at my school talent show back in Chicago where I performed “nothing but a G thang” by Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre. Growing up, my family always exposed me to music as a way of celebration and self-expression, especially my uncles (HipHop/Rap), mother (R&B) and grandmother (Classic Soul/Motown). Over time I’ve always dabbled with writing songs, raps, and spoken word as an outlet and hobby but I’ve never considered the art-form a career choice until the mid 2000’s. Attempting to find a new path in life Music showed prominence in my purpose and led me to becoming a full-time Recording Artist, Songwriter, or as I’d like to say, a Visionary Wordsmith.
When I first decided to go full speed with my craft, I sat in my basement that whole summer and wrote songs all day everyday like an exercise. I created visuals with my lyrics and I’d see how clever I could tell my experiences while using metaphors and different rhyme patterns to enhance the song and my storytelling. I would always see (Visually) how a song looked and felt versus how it sounds if that makes sense. It’s like hearing something but your mind processes it into a visual picture or representation of the sounds you’re hearing and feeling. This ultimately led me to directing my own Videos, Artwork and Short films.
Determined to curate my own art Globally and Independent, I started looking for different revenue streams and non-traditional routes to get into the music business that didn’t require me signing a record deal.
After building a loyal fan base in Chicago with two mixtapes and two full-length albums, I secured a partnership with Sony/Extreme & Viacom in Los Angeles creating music for film and television. This also led me to establishing Grind Mind Music Global, a label and production arm that merges music & film by signing and developing artists across both entertainment platforms. Since my time in LA, I’ve garnered over 250 + TV and Film placements and growing daily.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. One thing I’ve learned is when you’re going through hardships and tough times, you despise that moment and may even feel like you’ll never get through it. But hindsight is 20/20 because every time I reflect on my past, I become grateful for every bump in the road, every challenge, and every obstacle that I’ve faced because it strengthened my IQ, expertise, and overall wisdom on how to move in this industry. They say experience is the best teacher and those challenges helped me understand that everything is business. Everything!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a Recording Artist, Wordsmith and Visionary. I consider myself a visual artist thats blessed with the gift to inspire and remind others to pursue their true passions.
I’m known for my thought-provoking music (Album; Gratitude: The B side) and cinematic videos (All Black), but most notably my music in Movies (Brick Mansions, Step up, Why him), Video games (BattleField Hardline), and shows/networks such as Greys Anatomy, Ray Donovan, NBA TV, ESPN, HBO, & MTV.
The moment I’m most proud of and my greatest accomplishment in my career was speaking at the University of Chicago Theological Seminary on the Relationship between Hip Hop and Religion. Being from the inner city of Chicago and speaking to a room full of Educators and Ministers of all ages, genders and races, at full attention to every word I spoke, was one of the most powerful prolific moments of my life. It showed me the power of Words, Your Voice and what can happen when you do things you love with passion.
I think my ability to execute on my ideas with precision and consistency is what separates me from others.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I read daily and often! About a book a month. I’m actually wrapping up writing my own book as we speak. (Don’t tell anyone yet, thats a Voyage LA exclusive! But Some of my most notable reads are “The richest man in Babylon”, “Anything you want” and “How to eat to live”. My go to Podcast is “Earn Your Leisure”.
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