CLOT MIX #002 - TEDMAN LEE – Juice Store USA


Ask anyone around, “What does Tedman Lee do?” and you’ll probably get an answer along the lines of, “I’m not sure,” or “Everything.” The Hong Kong and Ohio-raised creative can only be described as a “multi-hyphenate” (whatever that really means), but if we were to list it out, Tedman’s the definition of just that. He’s a filmmaker, DJ, musician, artist manager, party planner, consultant… the list goes on.

Blurring the line between different platforms and media, he’s proven that there are no boundaries in being creative. Through his many endeavours, he’s become a voice for Hong Kong’s burgeoning subcultures and underground scene. According to him, his biggest passion is music, so it’s no wonder that he’s in a band, directs music videos, DJs, AND manages artists.

In this exclusive mix, we get a taste of Tedman’s vast musical styles. And while there’s no XXX anymore for our favourite DRAGON TOWN TRAP HOUSE parties, we’re sure Tedman’s getting up to something to provide a space for Hong Kong’s underground music scene to grow.

So you basically do everything. Can you tell me exactly how you'd describe everything you do?
I do creative consultancy for brands out here in the Hong Kong / China region. I direct fashion promo films and music videos, etc. I host parties (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DISCOHEADS and DRAGON TOWN TRAP HOUSE) and DJ. And I am part of an indie band here in Hong Kong.

What interested you about making films/directing? 
I never properly studied in film school and it was never really my world. Around 2012, I met my previous partners Dee and Eddie and we started a creative agency called HEHEHE. At that time, we never really defined 100% what we exactly were; in a sense you can just see it as the three of us providing creative solutions for different brands and labels through all sorts of projects that came to us. The opportunity came and we started directing videos.

I think that was also the time where social media was starting to have its influence (but not to the point where it’s oversaturated like it is now) so we came up at the right time and started experimenting with a lot of different things.

When did you start in music? Are you still in a band?
As with everything else, I never really considered myself “in” music either. Music is definitely my biggest passion and it’s the reason why I’m into everything that I’m into, whether it’s film, visual, fashion, design, party culture, and everything else that defines me. Yes, my band NI.NE.MO has been on hiatus for about a year and a half. We will be releasing a new single and music video soon.

In 2018, do you think it's important to be a "multi-hyphenate?" I mean, that’s really what you are lol.
I wouldn’t say it is important, but more like something that would happen naturally. I think my generation of cats who are in their late 20s / early 30s now was the first wave of multi-tasking creative force. And for the kids now who were born in the 2000s, it’s inevitable that they will start off fucking with different media platforms because it’s fun and simple. Things became easier with the growth of technology. Everyone can be a photographer, director, beatmaker, “influencer”, etc. So I think there’s definitely gonna be a lot of interesting things happening in the years to come!

You also manage YoungQueenz, what is it like managing an up-and-coming artist in HK?
I met YoungQueenz a few years ago when James from Love Da Records was doing a show and linked us up to do a track together. Afterwards we started talking more on the internet and he told me he was gonna drop out of art school so I told him he could come work at my creative agency to get a feel of what it’s like to be in the industry. After awhile, I told him he should focus on his rap career and quit my agency because that’s something that he could do later in his life. So eventually that’s when I became his manager. It’s definitely inspiring for me to be actively working with a creative dude who is 10 years younger.

“To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all, because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it.”

Thoughts on Hong Kong’s music landscape? Party landscape? Underground scene?
The disco scene back in the 70s and 80s in Hong Kong was insane and I heard there were crazy raves in the 90s! Over the years, things kind of lost its way as property became more expensive since the 2000s. The scene has definitely gone a long way over the past few years though.

With Hong Kong, it’s always the toughest city in the world to create any sort of ‘scene’ due to high prices and short attention span from the audience. It’s less likely for kids to dig deeper into the culture and it’s certainly less likely for club owners to spend time on getting to know about subcultures because of money issues. So it’s always tough to ‘experiment’ with something different in a city like Hong Kong.

But after all these years of training with the people before my generation along with everyone who’ve made an effort over the past 10 years in bringing ‘something different’ to the party culture, I think the scene has definitely picked up over the past few years and there’s definitely more kids who are dressing more weird again and opening up to experiences. The internet has definitely helped a lot. Kids are no longer trapped with what they are fed with the traditional Hong Kong media, which is great too because the press here in Hong Kong are forced to step their game up as well since the consumers are more knowledgeable now, so hopefully our scene will be in a much better place in the next few years. The ‘scene’ is definitely here, the kids are definitely learning, we just need to wait for a proper underground venue to pop up again.

What advice do you have for young creatives in HK?
“To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all, because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it.”

What do you have coming up this year?
Living life and experiencing things. I think that's the most important aspect for creating and progressing.

Lastly, what is Tedman in three words?
Stressed, depressed, but well-dressed.


Sususu - 韩江花月夜
Frank Ocean – Ivy (Chiamu Remix)
Chrome Sparks – Ride the White Lightning
Ross From Friends – Romeo, Romeo
The Blaze – Virile
Antony Georges Patrice – Parallel Romance
Full Crate – L’Afrique
Yaeji – Raingurl
LSDXOXO – Lady Vengeance
Jacy – Trax
Jacques Greene – To Say
DJ Seinfeld – U
Abra – Pull Up
Champion – Motherboard
Kelela – Truth or Dare (Bok Bok Hot Boyz Dub)
Sam Tiba – Deguisement (Jubilee & Burt Fox Remix)
Bok Bok – Island Hopping
Swimful – Bounce
Oliver – Tru$t
Pouya & Ghostemane – 1000 Rounds
YoungQueenz & N.O.L.Y - 龍鎮 II Dragon Town II
Blocboy JB – Look Alive (ft. Drake)
Lil Skies – Nowadays
林憶蓮 - 激情

Words / Helena Yeung
Photography / Carol Tam