TeeFLii Turned R&B Into "Fly'n'B" With a Little Bit Of Ratchetness

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TeeFLii
Not too long ago, south LA's Christian Jones -- known to everyone now as TeeFlii -- was in dire financial straights. At one point, the young singer/dancer was forced to sleep behind a Starbucks in Los Angeles. Certainly there had been other artists and musicians who had faced similar hardships in the past, but this was not the average struggling artist. This was a bright young talent who,as a teenager, had been teaching superstar Chris Brown dancing techniques and appeared in the popular documentary on dancing Rize. For someone destined to rise to the top of his class this wasn't exactly a positive start.

"I didn't see my daughter for seven or eight months. I didn't know if I was gonna go to jail or do something crazy, if I was just gonna fuck my life up," TeeFLii says. "But the good God I pray to, he sent [my manager] Ali [Darwish] and Ali came and told me straight up 'Are you going to partner with me? Let's do a company' and I told him 'I already got a company' and from then on everything happened, " he says. "I started off as a songwriter with Ali and then like year after I met Ali I broke into artistry just based off the things I was going through."

Partnered up with Darwish, TeeFLii had finally transitioned to the musical career his whole life had been building up to.

Growing up in south central LA, TeeFLii had a self-described "spoiled" childhood that was equal measures negative and positive. He was an immensely talented dancer and began writing songs from an early age, and was raised and influenced by a stellar award-winning grandmother who carved a successful career out for herself in gospel. He was also an individual who was no stranger to trouble, and had a mother who at the time was battling a drug addiction and a brother who was struggling with the street life and gangs. Throughout it all out though, his grandmother stood out as a beacon of influence.

"When I hit 11, 12, she was the main person that raised me. Her and my uncle Henry," he says. "She was the main one who really pushed me for the music thing."

TeeFLii's grandmother taught him everything from breath control to knowing when something simply just sounds good, and he wasted no time diving into the entertainment industry by trying his hand at krump dancing. He was spotlighted in the movie Rize -- a film about the krumping dance scene -- for his exceptional ability. By the time he finished his role, he was already diving into songwriting.

"I felt like one day maybe I'd write a big song and maybe I'll get known off of just that one song. I never ever thought in a million years I'd be singing my own song and be on the radio with my own voice," TeeFLii says when talking about his early career prospects.
In the years following his teenage years and his start in music and dance, life would be rougher than for most aspiring musicians. But when TeeFLii began crafting his now well-known and highly regarded Annie Ruo'Tay mixtape series and working with his manager Ali, life quickly started to take a turn for the better. He had faced a lot of hardships and hurdles for much of his life, but things were starting to work out better than anything even his dreams could have crafted.

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Angels Stadium Of Anaheim

2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA

Category: Music

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