Terror Telboy, born and raised in Bow E3, battles Paranoid Schizophrenia to release new EP

Terror Telboy & Key Changes

Rapper Terror Telboy is a prolific Hip-Hop/Grime Mc from Bow E3, the birthplace of Grime. His Troublesome teenage years included addictions to drugs, alcohol and violence leading to his mother kicking him out of his home at 18.

Being bounced around from hostel to hostel in and around London caused his mental health to dip rapidly, leading to hospitalisation and a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis in his 20’s. The loss of his nan, mum and dad during the past 10 years ignited further mental health battles.

Terror Telboy encounters Key Changes

Key Changes provides music industry mentoring services in hospitals and the community for young people and adults affected by mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They offer an award-winning music-industry focused recovery service for musicians with mental health experiences.

Since his introduction to Key Changes Telboy has gone from strength to strength and is now a valued volunteer, musician and highly supportive part of the Key Changes Record Label community. He is noticeably passionate about the role music has played in his life and wholeheartedly believes “You must never give up; you must keep on going til the wheels fall off.’

Portrait Terror Telboy represented by Key Changes
Terror Telboy: photo by Lauren Matthews / Key Changes who also took the top photo.

‘LVL 4’ is his 4th offering with Key Changes. ‘Watch Out Terror’s About’ is the lead single of his new release.

Telboys clever cockney rhyming slang punchlines express his troublesome past channelled through his alter ego. “It’s an exaggerated version of someone I used to be, it allows me to express my darker side along with some of my sense of humour,” he says.

‘4th Level’ blends modern rap with his Grime style. Influences range from Eminem, Roll Deep, Pay as You Go Cartel to more recent artists Chip and Bugzy Malone. His new EP Level 4 blends cutting-edge modern rap mixed with Terror’s own unique take on grime.

Although he credits lots of people with helping him, he says “Key Changes is the one thing that gave me that platform. It is my dream to be an MC and it has really helped my recovery. Doing my own songs is even better than listening to music that I like. Positive mental health through music!”

A background to Grime and London E3

Grime, a genre of electronic music, emerged seemingly from nowhere around twenty years ago. You’ll hear different versions of its history because it was developed by different groups of teenagers working independently. It was broadcast by pirate radio stations operating from the roofs of tower blocks.

The UK garage sound of the 1990s mixed soul and R&B. A darker more instrumental sound was emerging which allowed MCs to overlay the tracks with lyrics. At first it didn’t have a name.

Dizzee Rascal was raised in Bow, expelled from Langdon Park School, St Paul’s Way Community School and more. But he was good at music. At age 19, in 2003, his first solo album Boy in da Corner reached number 23 in the British album charts and he won The Mercury Prize which came with a £20k cheque. As this excellent timeline of Grime in Time Out says: “Suddenly, music-label fat cats are feverishly stalking the streets of E3.”

Elsewhere in Bow, London E3, Rapid says that when he was about eight or nine (in 2002) his teacher at parents’ evening said, “He needs a PC, to be doing his homework, and research.” Together with his friend Dirty Danger, and other school friends they started messing about with some software called FruityLoops 3. For a laugh they called themselves Ruff Sqwad. Their influential track Functions on the Low was released in 2003.

Grime is about community, has sharp lyrics and is the voice of a huge section of London’s population who were ignored by mainstream media.

Alan Tucker

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