Rahul and Teezo Touchdown Provide the 'ANECDOTE'

Rahul and Teezo Touchdown Provide the 'ANECDOTE'

Comfortable behind the camera as a music video director, Rahul eventually stepped to the front to launch his music career with the magnetic single "ANECDOTE." Like lightning in a bottle, first time was the charm for the young musician. Despite earning nearly a quarter of a million monthly Spotify listeners in less than a year, his bio still simply states "rough draft rah". However, it feels fitting as Rahul takes it a day at a time, quietly becoming an act to watch in the coming year.

With a cadence and silent laser-focus like Frank Ocean in his rap bag, Rahul crafts hazy soundscapes with trap-inspired production and experimental flairs, such as pitching his voice up and layering it into an endless oblivion. While it sounds effortless, Rahul's keen ear for pop melodies shine through. It's only right that pop-punk rap provocateur Teezo Touchdown hopped on "ANECDOTE" for the remix treatment.

Together, the two expand upon Rahul's lo-fi viral hit. Teezo unravels Rahul's threads of optimism as he ponders over his success. It's a fitting irony that the song is off of Rahul's 2022 EP DEPRESSED BUT MAKE IT COOL, an eight-track project released via D36 that tackles his imposter syndrome over glistening hip-hop and house-inspired beats. Insecurities be damned, Rahul and Teezo Touchdown unite to create a masterpiece.

Below, watch the PAPER premiere of "ANECDOTE (REMIX)" by Rahul featuring Teezo Touchdown and keep scrolling for a chat with Rahul about the track.

"ANECDOTE" dropped last year. What inspired you to revisit the song and give it the remix treatment?

Rahul: Anecdote started gaining mad traction and attention over the past few months so my label pushed for a remix. I could only think of one feature that would do the song & the visual world justice — Teezo.

How did you and Teezo link up?

Rahul: We linked up fr at the video shoot. Lol I don’t think he knew I was as involved in the making of the videos as I was.

I love the lyric "I want ooh and ahhs on the day I die." Sometimes I think about how I won't know the cool things people may say about me at my funeral. Tell me more about that and the overall message of the song?

Rahul: As far as that lyric goes— I’m sad, self-deprecating, & want some form of validation for whatever I do or really— whoever I THINK I am. I’m not that comfortable with attention though so being dead would prolly make it easier, who knows. Also, it’s kinda that cliche in which you’re only really appreciated once you’re gone & I hope to have an impact on whoever/whatever in this world whether or not it’s recognized now or later. Oddly enough the song is more of a confessional goodbye letter rooted in blind optimism. "We gon’ be alright," I say while gazing off a cliff I'm debating to end my life at.

You went from directing videos to being in front of the camera. What has that been like for you?

Rahul: It’s cool— idk. I have imposter syndrome on either end so I couldn’t tell you. But I can honestly tell you I wouldn’t be able to pull it off without Marcos. He’s one of the best directors I know and trust and also a very close friend who can (at least vaguely) understand where I’m coming from creatively even when I don’t. Random fact— my "ANECDOTE" verse was originally written to one of his songs. We made music together before ever filming.

The idea of inhaling the helium in the video to highlight the pitch change in your voice on the production side is brilliant. What was the thought process behind that and the significance of the balloons as a whole in both the original and new video?

Rahul: Well once Marcos trashed the original song I had wrote my verse to— the next morning I re-recorded it to a new beat I made. My voice sounded hella insecure and wack on the take I did, but as a video editor first, I’m very big on finessing what I already have available. Like least effort— greatest reward. Work smart— not hard. Basically I’m lazy. So instead of re-recording it, I pitched it up & it sounded kinda fly. Marcos came in the studio and heard it and said it sounded like I was off helium. We workshopped and filmed that first minute of the video that same day. The rest is history. Also I just generally like balloons & the sort of innocence it represents— but also how quickly and easily that can be popped.

As I also asked Rahul, the way you take that line about death and run with it in your verse is beautiful, especially when you take the time to give yourself credit. How important is that to you to recognize those achievements yourself before waiting on others?

Teezo: Sometimes you have to be ur first lover, supporter & critic so that you'll know how to treat them when you get them. Who you gone treat better then you?

How do you choose your collaborators?

Teezo: Art first.

You seem to have a fascination with heavy machinery juxtaposed with more delicate things (such as balloons). Tell me about the role you play in this video.

Teezo: The same role I play in real life. A hammer slangin salesman <3

Photo courtesy of Rahul Gowthaman