Teddy Riley is a Grammy award-winning musician who created the New Jack Swing genre. New Jack Swing was popular from the ’80s until the ’90s. And it’s known for influencing the sounds of R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop and others. Bold Life got a chance to chat with Riley about his Verzuz battle, career and more.
The Verzuz battle
We’ve all consumed a ton of media during this unexpected quarantine. One of the most talked-about virtual events were the Verzuz battles. Created by Timbaland and Swizz Beats, Verzuz is a battle where two artists challenge each other and play their worldwide hits live on Instagram. Even though this is a battle, Verzuz celebrates and uplifts both artists’ achievements. On April 20, Teddy Riley and Babyface went up against each other, breaking the IG live record at the time with more than 500K viewers. The songs that were played ended up doubling in streams. With music being universal, Riley highlighted that Verzuz is bringing different types of communities together.
Riley’s music industry career
With decades of experience in the music industry, Riley sees the shifts first-hand. “It’s not the way it used to be,” Riley told Bold Life. He notices that the current artists boast about their numbers instead of focusing on their purpose. He learned how to make moves in the industry by watching how legends Quincy Jones and Barry Gordy handle their own careers. Riley mentioned that artists are not creating music with substance. When asked about the importance of music, he bought up the significance of Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World.” Riley was friends with Jackson for 19 years and produced many tracks for him. When asked about his best moments with Jackson, Riley said, “you’ll definitely see in my biopic the moments of Michael and I … it’s going to really shed a light on a lot of people.”
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