Stepping into the Spotlight: Teddy Swims’ Journey to a Bigger Stage

Teddy Swims © Sophie Elgort
Teddy Swims © Sophie Elgort
As Teddy Swims’ story reminds us, success does not happen overnight: Success comes with putting in many years to hone your sound and style. An emotionally walloping and deeply resonant body of work, his album ‘I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1.5)’ finds him diving headfirst into healing without any floatation devices, working out some very big, very real issues through music.
by guest writer Stacy Igel (Founder of BOY MEETS GIRL® and Author of ‘Embracing the Calm in the Chaos’)
Stream: ‘I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1.5)’ – Teddy Swims

All of it is a form of therapy and emotional release for me – it means the world to me.

Luck often finds its way to those who diligently pave their path, seeking connections with fellow artists along the journey.

My encounter with Jaten Collin Dimsdale, better known as Teddy Swims, on January 25th, 2020, just before the global pandemic, marked a significant moment. Teddy, an American singer-songwriter, deftly blends R&B, soul, country, and pop in his music. Initially recognized for his YouTube cover performances, he unveiled his debut major label single in January 2020, coinciding with my attendance at his show.

At that time, the prospect of collaborating for one of my brand’s New York Fashion Week shows was on the table. Although scheduling constraints prevented Teddy from joining that February event, his manager and friend Luke Conway suggested we meet at Teddy’s performance on January 25th at the Mercury Lounge, 217 E Houston St, New York, NY. Understanding the value of fostering connections, I eagerly accepted the invitation.

That day, surrounded by 200+ fervent fans, I witnessed Teddy’s electrifying performance, igniting the stage as though he was already destined for larger venues, foreshadowing his future success at Terminal 5.

Teddy Swims © Sophie Elgort
Teddy Swims © Sophie Elgort

Since 2020, Teddy Swims’ ascent has been staggering, amassing over 5 million followers across his platforms and nearly 39 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, gracing numerous shows and media outlets, and engaging in collaborations with notable names.

What’s truly remarkable amidst this meteoric rise is Teddy’s unwavering authenticity. There’s no hint of ego; instead, there’s an unadulterated joy in embracing this growth. Witnessing this transformation from its nascent stages has been nothing short of a dream for any artist.

The last four years Teddy has been writing his way towards an album that would tell this story – his story – to the people who were ready to receive it. An emotionally walloping and deeply resonant body of work to be released in multiple parts – much like Teddy’s own journey of self-discovery – I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1) is an album about diving headfirst into healing without any floatation devices. The ten-song Part One finds Teddy working out some very big, very real issues through his music.

“Now I’m watching people connect with the messages and stories and realizing not only are the songs helping me, but they’re also helping them too,” he says. “It feels like all that work on the back end, all that internalizing, is finally making a difference.”

Fast forward four years, and here we are, at Terminal 5 in NYC, with over 2,000 fervent fans eagerly awaiting your performance!

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:: stream/purchase I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Pt. 1.5) here ::
:: connect with Teddy Swims here ::
Teddy Swims © Sophie Elgort
Teddy Swims © Sophie Elgort


I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy 1.5 - Teddy Swims

Atwood Magazine: What has been the driving force behind your journey, keeping you moving forward through the different stages of your career?

Teddy Swims: The driving force behind my journey and keeping me moving forward is my band Freak Freely – they are my squad baby.

Reflecting on your performances, from the intimate setting at Mercury Lounge to the larger venues you now grace, do you still carry the same passion and emotions from those early stages to your current shows?

Teddy Swims: You know it baby! I love my job.

Before taking the stage, what emotions or thoughts resonate within you?

Teddy Swims: I can’t believe that I get to do this with my best buds in the entire world!!!

Your music resonates deeply with many listeners, often providing solace and healing. How much does creating and performing music serve as a form of therapy or emotional release for you personally?

Teddy Swims: All of it is a form of therapy and emotional release for me – it means the world to me.

Your remarkable stage presence seems to captivate audiences effortlessly. Drawing from your theater experiences during your younger days, do you believe those early lessons shaped the commanding character we see when you step onto the stage? Is there a transformative moment, as your music implies, that occurs when you make that entrance?

Teddy Swims: Absolutely – I think 80% of singing is acting. But, it feels like it’s my living room when I’m up there.

You have a great sense of style that resonates with your stage presence. Do you feel a need to maintain a certain vibe or image, and is it challenging to do so? You've mentioned receiving a lot of gifted clothing—how does this aspect add to your journey, and do you enjoy exploring this fashion-forward path?

Teddy Swims: It’s not challenging but I do like to feel pretty!!

You've mentioned the challenges of life on the road, often missing important events like birthdays and significant moments. How do you cope with these absences while maintaining your focus and energy for your performances? Is it difficult navigating these sacrifices while staying committed to your craft?

Teddy Swims: Yeah, of course, it’s difficult but it’s worth it to know that everyone is proud of me and that I’m my little cousins’ hero and stuff. It’s really cool.

As entrepreneurs, we often find ourselves in a position of self-promotion and continual work. Have you found that this lifestyle, where self-representation and promotion are constant, can sometimes lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation? How do you navigate these aspects while staying connected to yourself and others?

Teddy Swims: I’m a workaholic but the best part is I love my job and I’m so lucky that I get to do it with my best pals.

You released a new song, “Some Things I'll Never Know” on your debut album, I've Tried Everything But Therapy. It’s a compelling track that delves into the complexities of relationships and the absence of closure. You capture the uncertainty and emotional weight that comes with not having definitive resolutions. The song resonates with many because it touches on the universal experience of grappling with unanswered questions in relationships, leaving one in a state of limbo or ambiguity. Do you think that closure will one day be found?

Teddy Swims: No, to be honest I think it comes in a form of acceptance.

After we got to be together BTS shooting these very special photos of you with Sophie Elgort you were pumped because 100 fans were coming to meet you prior to the show for a meet and greet. I wanted to get out of your hair before the show but you seemed to be pumped to have 100 fans come before. Do these fans keep you moving every single day? Do you think the way they treat you in some way is your form of therapy?

Teddy Swims: Absolutely – I think it makes my pain seem necessary and like it’s justified. I mean I cry almost every meet and greet.

What is one piece of advice for the next Teddy Swims who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Teddy Swims: It’s okay to fail. To be honest, I’d do it a whole much more.

Last one Teddy, hard question but can you name a venue that just gave you everything you ever dreamt of on this tour?

Teddy Swims: The Tabernacle – I grew up going to that place and it was just so beautiful to play up there!

Teddy Swims © Sophie Elgort
Teddy Swims © Sophie Elgort
* * *

Teddy Swims’ breakout Platinum hit “Lose Control” became his first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with one of the longest climbs to the top in Hot 100 history.

Also marking Swims’ first #1 at Hot AC radio, the track has garnered nearly 1 billion global streams, reached #4 on the Billboard Global 200 chart, and #1 on the US and Global Shazam charts. Additionally, “Lose Control” has taken flight across the globe, reaching 2x Platinum status in four countries thus far. With over 2.6 billion career streams to date, a sold-out global headline tour underway, and new music in the works, Swims is already on track for a record 2024.

Teddy Swims has just released I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1.5), an extension of his album (out now via Warner Records)! This latest body of work includes four new tracks from Teddy: “Hammer to the Heart,” “Apple Juice,” “Growing Up is Getting Old,” and “Tell Me.”

I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (1.5) is an extension to Part 1 of the album — this whole album is just me being honest,” Swims shares. “You know, I’ve been touring, writing, and continuing to work on myself over the past 8 months and wanted to share something like a real-life check-in. These songs represent where I’m at and I didn’t want to wait ’til I had the whole part 2 done — so here you go!”

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Stacy Igel is the founder of BOY MEETS GIRL®, a global impact fashion brand which partners with leading brands, musicians, and thought leaders across industries. Stacy’s best-selling book “Embracing the Calm in the Chaos”, published by Harper Collins, highlights her journey including the many artists and personalities she has met during her career. She resides in New York City with her family.

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:: stream/purchase I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Pt. 1.5) here ::
:: connect with Teddy Swims here ::
Stream: “Lose Control” – Teddy Swims

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I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy 1.5 - Teddy Swims

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