Newly minted “Artist To Watch” by Rolling Stone, ace Atlanta singer/songwriter Teddy Swims is back with his first new single and music video of 2021 entitled “My Bad” today. Get it HERE and watch the video HERE.
Once again, his rich vocals take center stage on the track, simmering with soul, spirit, and swagger. In the accompanying music video, he steps into the squared circle as wrestler “Magic Dirty.”
About the song, he said, “We wrote this song about my fear of commitment. The video was a real dream come true, and I was able to set foot in an actual ring for the first time in my life. I hope people enjoy watching this as much as we enjoyed making it!”
It’s a big day for Teddy. In addition to the single dropping, he makes his national television debut on NBC’s The Kelly Clarkson Show where he’ll perform “My Bad.”
Teddy recently appeared on the latest episode of Allen Stone’s “Live At The Lodge” on Stone’s YouTube channel. The two teamed up to cover the Hall & Oats classic “Sara Smile.” Watch it HERE. Teddy will also appear on Allen’s special Valentine’s Day virtual concert on February 12th.
To cap off a breakthrough 2020, Teddy enlisted Country star Thomas Rhett to feature on a new version of “Broke.” Inciting critical applause, Billboard described it as “Guaranteed to make you smile and tap your toes at the same time. A winning combination.” The original “Broke”—Teddy’s second original release—earned raves from the likes of Idolator, Flaunt, and American Songwriter, the latter of which praised Teddy’s “honest, emotional” sentiments. Music critic Bob Lefsetz was similarly wowed by “Broke,” writing, “I’d say it’s a one listen smash, but that’s not an accurate description, IT’S A FIFTEEN SECOND SMASH!”). Teddy got his start by posting covers on YouTube out of his bedroom. His bold voice immediately resonated as he impressively attracted an audience of 1.7 million through a steady stream of both hilarious and heartfelt moments.
About Teddy Swims
Teddy Swims contains multitudes. It’s right there in his name— “Swims” is an acronym for “Someone Who Isn’t Me Sometimes,” and it’s a kind of shorthand for everything he stands for. There’s the fact that his voice sounds cozy and rich over any of the many genres he loves to mix up, from the pop and soul most have heard, on to gospel, hip-hop, and hard rock. But it’s even bigger than the Atlanta singer and songwriter’s rich baritone. To Teddy, the concept goes beyond his art, it means empathy, connection, using music to serve a greater good, and staying true to your people—in his case, a core group of about a dozen buds, bandmates, producers, and other various visionaries who knew him well before he became Teddy Swims.
“I’m too hard on myself,” says Teddy, though you wouldn’t know it from his bright, boisterous presence in his songs and videos. “I’m always in my head. You gotta have the guy behind you who says, ‘Man, this is great!’ Well, I’ve got 12 of those guys, and they’re the best people I know.”
Today, of course, Teddy has a following of millions who’ve gravitated to him on the strength of his funk-laced originals and unexpected covers (like his version of Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One,” which Twain herself has praised). But getting here has been a wild journey. The man born Jaten Dimsdale grew up in Georgia, a preacher’s grandson with a powerful voice of his own. He played football and a handful of roles in high school musicals, but it was a particularly active time in Atlanta’s metal, punk, and rap scenes—music called to him. Teddy being Teddy though, it was all of the music. Taking his place behind the mic in a handful of acts, he rapped, screamed, and even cooed cover songs at wedding receptions. By 2018, he was in multiple bands including a progressive jam crew called Elefvnts.
By 2019, Teddy was out of a job and a home, crashing with his dad while hoping for a lifeline. He unwittingly made one for himself when, on a whim, he shared a video of him singing Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” on YouTube. “It was the 10-year anniversary of his death,” Teddy recalls, “and we just thought we’d pay homage. Within a few days, it was going crazy.” As it turns out, that clip was Teddy’s first step in making his way from broke to “Broke.” More covers followed—spanning Marvin Gaye to Billie Eilish—showcasing his talent, humor, style, and ease in the studio, and garnering more and more fans in the process. Teddy upgraded his situation, but not in the way most burgeoning stars would. That core team of his have been with him night and day ever since, quite literally. They live in the same house; they share the same dreams.
“I wasn’t willing to give up the people around me who keep me sane and safe,” Teddy says. “We figured if we all put our heads together and focused on this, we wouldn’t need anybody else.”
But Teddy knows there’s always room for more under his roof. After signing to Warner Records in early 2020, he released his first original song—the frisky, funked-up “Picky”—and took off on a sold-out cross-country headlining tour. Then came “Broke,” a raucous clap-along anthem about the joys of (finally) making and spending mad cash, produced by Julian Bunetta (One Direction) and reworked version featuring Grammy-nominated superstar Thomas Rhett. The tracks and their accompanying videos comprise a glorious celebration of excess that’s plenty justified by all of the reverent nods to James Brown and Teddy’s goofily sweet sense of humor. “Girl, whatchu want? Go pick it out,” he sings slyly. “My wallet lookin’ bigger than my belly now.”
And for all his talk about pop-star excess, Teddy is a man who makes every cent count. After releasing his timely cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” in June, he donated all royalties to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He also pays his crew members a salary, plus bought his Dad a new truck. All of which is to say: he puts his money where his mouth is, and wears his heart on his sleeve. As for what’s next, Teddy’s expanded his family to include folks like Dallas Davidson (Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan), Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, John Prine), and Boy Matthews (Keith Urban, Duke Dumont). And he’s counting down the days until the world is able to hear the wide-ranging sound he’s crafting: “Everything from straight hip-hop to R&B to ’80s metal,” he says. Sure, that doesn’t help us predict what Teddy Swims is going to do next, but if there’s one thing his moniker doesn’t quite convey, it’s that no matter what or how or who he’s singing, Teddy is always Teddy—and bringing all his influences and experiences and inspirations into glorious harmony is exactly what Teddy does best.