The Official Chat with Teddy Swims: "You can love somebody so much, it's bad for you"
For Teddy Swims, music is therapy.
On his breakout UK hit Lose Control - which is currently riding high on the Official Singles Chart at Number 3 - Teddy turns all his angst and pain over a relationship in its last, dying days into a soul-crushing lament. It's about a love that's so intoxicating, you become addicted to it, you can't find your feet on the ground anymore. You have lost control of it and yourself.
It's an extraordinary ballad - mixing in influences of indie-rock, soul and country blues - that has seen its hyper-specific storytelling on the widest level possible. And the song's success is having a knock-on effect too, Teddy's major label debut album, I've Tried Everything But Therapy (Part One) is slowly gaining traction on the Official Albums Chart too as a result.
To celebrate his first-ever UK Top 3 single, we connected with Teddy over a Zoom call to talk turning his feelings into hits, and what's on the horizon for him next.
Hi Teddy! As we speak, Lose Control is riding high in the UK Top 3 - it's your first Top 10 single here, and it seems to be climbing higher and higher each week. How are you feeling?
Man, I'm just so grateful, you know? I knew that song would do something really special for me and I'm really glad [to see all the success]. It makes me feel justified in trusting my gut. I'm so grateful that people are connecting to something so personal to me.
Not to tempt fate, but we could be looking at a future Number 1 single here...
Noah Kahan's been in my way...but we're gonna get him!
Can you take us back to when you first had the idea for Lose Control? Like you say, it's come from such a personal place
It was last February in a writing camp, four or five songs from the album came [from that trip]. Ammo [Lose Control's producer, who worked with Fifth Harmony and Kesha] had been working on the first bones of the instrumental, and Julian Bunetta [a writer and producer who was heavily involved with One Direction] my dear, dear friend wanted to give me something crazy that I could riff or run to.
We had this idea of doing our own [version] of Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton. There's this one crazy riff in that song that's so hard to sing. We wanted to do something along the lines of that.
The song itself is about a situation I found myself in, I was sinking down from a bad relationship I was in. I wasn't taking care of myself. It got really co-dependent. I wanted to leave but I just didn't know how to. When I did leave, it was the best thing for both of us. You can love somebody so much that it's not good for you anymore.
It must be the best feeling knowing a song that came from such a dark time in your life has connected with so many people
I am so grateful for that. I think it's important that you have outlet where you can get things out and talk to people, because you never know who's going to connect to what you're saying. I know I'm not alone [in these feelings], and that's the best thing you can ever have [happen to you].
It's been a long, long, ride. I posted my first cover as Teddy Swims in 2019 and I've been working at this for 15 years before that. I've done my 10,000 hours.
Your debut album is called I've Tried Everything But Therapy (Part One)...I'm assuming Part Two is on the way?
Yeah, I've been writing a lot, but haven't started putting everything together yet. I just like writing and writing and writing [and see what comes out of it]. It's all going to fall into place. I just hope that it's a little less on the heavier side! Not just songs about heartbreak. But who knows, I might get my heart broken again! I'll be honest without fail either way.
Lose Control has become a big, breakout hit for you. Are you feeling the pressure to follow it up?
I'm confident that I'll have plenty more. I know that I've got this. What's so good [about the success of Lose Control], is that I know I can trust my gut. I'm glad I knew [what the song was capable of] and went with it. I heard it and was like, yeah, this could change my life.
You mentioned briefly that Noah Kahan is currently blocking you from Number 1 - I actually think your voices would compliment each other on a song so well
Definitely! If we make that happen, the whole world is going to have a problem.
Lose Control and I've Tried Everything but Therapy (Part One) are out now via Warner.