Teezo Touchdown Takes Amsterdam’s Red Light District

Teezo Touchdown

Shot on Teezo’s iPhone 4

These days, you might catch Touchdown Teezo with metal nails dangling from his head, or flowers wrapped all around his mic, hopping out on stage decked out in full football gear. One part emo, one part rocker, one part rapper, the 31-year old musician thrives off a sound and style that cannot be easily defined or replicated. After collaborating with the likes of Doja Cat, Lil Yachty and Travis Scott, and opening for Tyler, the Creator on his Call Me If You Get Lost tour, the Texas-born musician amassed a cult following of adoring fans and industry players—and not just here in the States. His highly anticipated debut album How Do You Sleep At Night? With You was released late last year to immediate fanfare, and a US and European tour followed. Just a few minutes after last week’s solar eclipse, as he concluded the European run of his first headlining tour, Teezo called us to talk about his meteoric come up, thrifting on the road, and hitting the red light district. Plus, he documented it all for us on his old iPhone 4.



CHLOE SHAAR: Hey. How are you?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: I’m great, thank you.

SHAAR: Did you see the eclipse?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: No. I grabbed my glasses, I looked up, and was like, “These are definitely not the right glasses.” So I went back in. 

SHAAR: We’re all on Canal Street, and one of the other writers got scammed at Walgreens. They gave her regular glasses for $30. I had the $1 ones from Chinatown and they worked.

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: That’s unfortunate.

SHAAR: Yeah, for real. But welcome back to the States. How do you feel?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: I feel great. I’m excited to go back on the road on the 30th.

SHAAR: Oh, yeah. Tell me about Europe. Was it your first time going there for work?

Teezo Touchdown

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: No. So I did a quarter of my album in London.

SHAAR: Okay, cool.

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Yeah, my first festival was the Alt London Festival. That was in 2021. But that was my first time performing in different continents.

SHAAR: What do you feel is the biggest difference between American crowds and European crowds?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: I really can’t compare those shows to anything, because that was my first time just having a Teezo headlining experience. I did it in Chicago, but that was such a last minute thing. This is the first time having people buy tickets and pull up. I’ve never felt anything like it.

SHAAR: Yeah. That’s so real, though. Did you have a favorite city in Europe?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: As far as the shows go, they were all great. But I really enjoyed Amsterdam because I was able to meet Ray Fuego, who I’ve been talking to since 2017. To have him show me around Amsterdam was really great. I’ve never felt love like that from a city. To see how his home embraces him as an artist was really cool. And London was really exciting, because to have worked on the album there, and it being the finale, and the biggest venue… Those two really stick out to me. London and Amsterdam will be unforgettable. Also, Paris. I played this 500 cap room where if I jump high enough, I’m going to hit my head on the ceiling. I was super-duper excited for that. I’m so excited for this journey of having the privilege of doing arena tours to start on my journey, just like everyone who I’ve supported has started in these clubs and stuff. 

SHAAR: Right. And it’s just up from there. To do Europe first before an American tour is unheard of, so congrats.


Teezo Touchdown

SHAAR: In Amsterdam, did you go out in the red light district or anything?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Of course. It’s funny because it’s just like New York. When I’m out in New York, someone randomly passes by and they’re like, “Cocaine, MDMA…” It’s way scarier when you’re in Amsterdam because the accents make it even more…

SHAAR: Well, also because they’re cool with it. They’re like, “Oh, go to a coffee shop and get what you want.”

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Yeah. It was still a little bit of discretion. But I definitely did the red light district, walked around the different clothing stores for Ray Fuego. Everywhere I went, I really made sure to really take it in, being in this place that I’ve never seen before, among faces I’ve never seen before.

SHAAR: Yeah. Did you get any good pieces of clothing?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Oh, yeah. I got some Patta, I got some Sumibu, just a lot of the local brands from there. I’m so thankful for that trip. I was prepared for the weather and everything. If you look at the “Sweet” music video that we shot in Paris, that was all the clothes we got from Amsterdam.

SHAAR: I saw that. 

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Yeah, that was all from a Netherlands clothing company, Patta.

SHAAR: Do you have any tour rituals, pre-show stuff to get you pumped for the stage? What does the day of the show look like for you?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Well, now my show team is expanding. So the one big difference of this tour was a lot less stress, not having to worry about small things like when you’re doing things DIY with an intimate team. We added a few more crew members and the professionalism went up a step. And I’ve been doing a lot of training and stuff before we go on stage. We always say, “You don’t want to go out on stage cold.” You think of the body as an athlete before you go on. So it’s a lot of stretching, sound checking, making sure that my support are happy with their lightning and their sound. I had Laundry Day for the European run, and that’s the first time I was able to have someone open for me. I wanted to make sure that I gave them even more love than Tyler [the Creator] and Travis [Scott] gave me. And right before we go on stage, I call my dad back at home, we pray, and I go out and kill the show.

Teezo Touchdown

SHAAR: I love that you call your dad every time.


SHAAR: That’s so sweet. What about when you’re getting ready for a show the night of?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: We make sure we have four bouquets of flowers backstage. That’s mandatory. And then making sure that my shoulder pads are nailed up, and just having just replicas of the black suit that I’ve been wearing. It’s a callback to the “Bad Enough” music video. I’ve pretty much been having my rise during the pandemic, so my connection with a lot of people seeing me has been through a phone screen, through their television. So this was about bringing a lot of what they’ve seen right to their face. So we made sure we got replicas of the body suit. I wear shin guards, Telfar boots. The one routine that’s really stuck throughout every tour is having Telfar on me. And making sure my shoulder pads were spiked. And making sure we got the flowers.

SHAAR: What kind of flowers?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: We try to go to a little local shop. But if not, we just go to whatever grocery store, especially in the States. But outside of the country, it was like, “Yo, stop at any mom-and-pop shop and get me a bouquet of flowers.”

SHAAR: I love it. You got to get the natural scents up. What about post-show? Anything fun that you’re getting up to?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Well, with the European run, it was going from country to country. So usually after the show it’s hopping back in the bus and heading to the next border. I mean, with the time difference, with the adrenaline of doing a great show, we are probably editing something that we shot before. We record every show to look at lighting cues, what I could have done better, stuff like that. And I read through letters that fans have given me. We set up a sticky notes section where the merchandise is and people come up and write me notes. So I’m on the bus reading through those, watching footage, and really taking in the night.

Teezo Touchdown

SHAAR: How would you describe your personal style in a couple words?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Well, for the stage, it’s giving show. This is my best showmanship at this play. Even on my day to day, I try to keep it very flamboyant. But on stage, there’s an extra level that I strive for. I look at a lot of great showmen and see iconic style. It’s very Kiss, it’s very Rick James, it’s very Prince, it’s very arena stadium status, even in these small venues.

SHAAR: Right. And I know that Monique does your hair. What made you guys start integrating the screws to the look?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: That was just me being like, “How can we incorporate nails into my hair?” I had the idea in 2019, but I didn’t put it in until March of 2020. The first music video you can see that in is “Strong Friend.” So it goes from that style to the one that I have now, the mullet-mohawk thing. It’s cool that in every single video performance, you’re seeing Monique’s style and you’re seeing our creativity grow every time you see me. I really like where we’re at right now with the style, it’s very lightweight. I’m excited to see what we come up with next.

SHAAR: I love seeing you guys collab. Are you getting excited for the American shows?

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Oh, yeah. We’re super excited. Revisiting the set list, seeing what we learned from Europe and how we can upgrade it. 10 days in Europe was cool, but I’m ready to go on this seven-week excursion.

Teezo Touchdown

SHAAR: Also, congrats on the debut album. How does it feel having a real album out now versus releasing singles? 

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Yeah, we were just talking about that. Even when I went on the Tyler tour, I only had a few singles out and that was a 20-minute set. And now for this hour set, even when it came out, I really commended my team on the sequencing of it. Even in a live show, I can basically do the album from start to finish and it goes with the tempo that you want to have live, the ups and downs, the lively moments. This album has all of that. So Europe was definitely eye-opening to me for just validating the musicianship that I’ve been raving about. I’m seeing it really connect now for the first time with fans. Even at the festivals, these songs are still connecting. It’s a great sentiment to me and my team, and everyone who was involved in the album, that it was a successful album that’s reacting live.

SHAAR: Yeah. Well, congrats and thanks so much for taking the time.

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me.