According to Tedy, boys don’t cry, but they can dream big: the songwriter recently left Montréal to get closer to Toronto’s music business, and he’s just released the Boys Don’t Cry EP after being recruited by Sony Music Canada.
Tedy has two main assets: his voice, as strident as it is sensitive, and his passionate, dramatic demeanour. He would be right at home in on Broadway – that much is immediately clear. “I think I lived through a very dramatic period in my life when I wrote these songs, you can hear it in the music,” he says. “I need to be as authentic as I can, and if that’s how it comes out, then so be it.”
Born in Haiti, Tedy grew up, for about nine years, in Florida, where he completed most of his schooling (“that’s where I spent the most time in my life, Florida has made up a large portion of who I am today”). Then he re-located to Montréal with his family, about 10 years ago. “Canada is my home,” says the nomadic musician, who’s fluent in Haitian Creole, and speaks very good French, but says that “it’s harder to speak because I think in English, and English words come to me first.”
Which is why he sings in English, even though some might detect a slight Caribbean influence, although he considers that “it wouldn’t be correct to say my style is Caribbean, but I could very well explore that in the future. Everything is possible!”
Indeed, it’s just the beginning for Tedy, who tells us how he went from anonymity to a record deal with Sony – although the concept of anonymity is relative here, seeing as he had nearly 50 million streams of his songs before being offered said contract. “I’ve always kept a low profile,” says Tedy. “I’m very insecure, to tell the truth. I’ve always stayed backstage, I’d never published a picture of myself – I preferred releasing my songs online. I wrote my songs alone, in the dark, I’d record them in my bedroom and put them online without any form of promotion. People could do what they wanted with them, I didn’t care if they knew who I am, I just wanted them to feel something thanks to my music.”
Obviously, one doesn’t sign with a major label hoping to remain in the shadows. A happy coincidence led someone at Sony to be captivated by his voice, and soon after, he was shooting music videos and giving interviews. He opened up completely, in intimate detail, with the release of his first single, “Boys Don’t Cry,” and he announced to his fans on TikTok that he’s a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The six songs on his first EP are mostly about that – the desire to assert oneself, and a different vision of masculinity. “I used to think I wasn’t able to accomplish all this,” meaning to speak with an assured voice, and sing with an even more assured one. “I feel stronger now.”
For Tedy, the way one sings is just as important as the music is when trying to tell a story. He started by singing over productions he’d find online, and would re-work some of them himself. Now, he works with designated composers and producers, most notably Torontonians Mike Wise (Ellie Goulding, The Chainsmokers) and Herag Sanbalian. “It’s a wonderful experience to work with them,” says Tedy. “For the first time, I was able to work on songs from scratch, and create something that’s very close to who I am and what I go through in life.” The songs express his vulnerability, and the despair he once felt. “[These are] songs that allow me to say who I am, how I got where I am and what I’m going through these days.”
This is a transitional EP for the musician. “Now that I got all of this pain out of my system through these songs, the next project will be more musically diverse,” says Tedy, citing Rihanna, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, and Justin Bieber as sources of inspiration. Watch out, because he’s just getting started.