An artist’s resiliency often determines their ability to succeed, and one local hip-hop artist is setting himself up for success by defying today’s hardships.
TeawhYB, street name Tyler Baumgart, is a local hip-hop artist who is continuing to make waves in the Chippewa Valley music scene. He is set to release his new EP called What We Were on June 5 and is enjoying the success of its first single, “Controller 2,” and its accompanying music video. Baumgart said the new record is an introspective journey through navigating modern romance and the uncertainness it breeds.
“It’s a real tale, and it personifies the ambiguity of modern dating culture,” Baumgart said. “In this day and age, it’s really hard to meet somebody and know what their intentions are. So, I just tried to put together a project based on dating apps and emoji relationships. You never really know what you have when you have it, so that’s why we look back and wonder what we were at that time.”
“In this day and age, it’s really hard to meet somebody and know what their intentions are. So, I just tried to put together a project based on dating apps and emoji relationships. You never really know what you have when you have it, so that’s why we look back and wonder what we were at that time.” –TeawhYB
While thousands of streams and video plays have been sweet for the local artist, they’ve been earned and fought for every step of the way.
Baumgart has been writing, recording, and performing under the TeawhYB moniker for years, making a name for himself regionally for his blend of alternative hip-hop and pop. His pursuit of success culminated earlier this year when he won a competition put on through the music app Lum, which granted him the ability to perform at one of the biggest music festivals in the world, South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. After receiving the news, he and a few friends made plans for the festival, secured lodging, and looked to stay in Texas for a week around his performance, but fate had other plans.
“Unfortunately coronavirus hit, and they canceled the entire festival,” Baumgart said. “It’s hard to be too upset about it now, but obviously at the time I was devastated. I didn’t foresee what the world was going to become at the time, so now I understand that there was no chance the festival was going to happen. I’m just grateful I had the chance to play the festival, and just because I wasn’t able to perform doesn’t mean I didn’t earn it.”
Thankfully, Baumgart had a plethora of endeavors to focus on when COVID-19 quarantine set in. In the two months of social distancing, TeawhYB has been focusing on promoting his new recording, writing, contributing verses to 10 feature songs, and planning to put together a local festival at some point to celebrate the eventual return to normalcy in the Eau Claire area.
TeawhYB’s music has evolved from party anthems and college life to now tackling deeper topics, which he hopes captivates his audience in a more personal way. When What We Were drops on June 5, Baumgart said he hopes it helps inspire optimism and smiles for a population in desperate need of it.
“Growing up, I always wondered what I was to society,” Baumgart said. “When I started, I wasn’t out, and now I can look back and see what I was, and I’m better for it. At the end of the day, the message I want to present to everybody is we shouldn’t forget what we were before the coronavirus pandemic hit. We had wonderful relationships and we had unique characteristics. Things will definitely change once the world opens back up, but it’s important for us to remember what we were.”
What We Were, an EP by TeawhYB is out June 5 on major streaming platforms. You can check out the single “Controller 2” now. To learn more, follow TeawhYB on Facebook and Instagram or visit teawhyb.com.