It's been a long, weary rise up the rungs of the R&B scene for singer TeeFLii, even if it might seem like his ascent happened in "24 Hours," as suggested by the title of his 2 Chainz-assisted breakout single. Yet the L.A. native might be on the brink of his most high-profile collaboration: a credit on Rihanna's upcoming eighth LP.
"I’m actually about to write a song for Rihanna," says TeeFLii, VIBE's BIG Cosign artist for July. "That’s a blessing."
The 27-year-old vocalist was brought into the mix after Ri Ri and DJ Mustard got in the studio together and she took a liking to his tracks.
"He let her hear a few songs that I had came up with," TeeFLii says of his "big bro" Mustard's session with Rihanna. "She loved my sound and [said] she wanted to get down with me. Big ups to Rihanna. Hopefully we can cook up some Grammy nominations."
While details on Rihanna's as-yet-untitled new album are scarce, word is that she worked with Yung Berg on a record called "All Night." Emeli Sandé and Stargate have also been writing for the Bajan icon, while she's been spotted in the studio with Kanye West and Big Sean.
"She has grown as a vocalist," Tor Erik of Stargate told VIBE of Rihanna's growth, in May. "Now when she sings a song she enhances it immensely. I think we are digging even deeper when it comes to songwriting. We are still keeping it fresh and sexy because that's who she is. That's Rihanna's personality. But as a vocalist she can handle more things."
There's not yet any word on the release date of Rihanna's next project. As for TeeFLii, the Epic artist is aiming for a January 2014 release of his major label debut album, STARR. —John Kennedy, with additional reporting by Tanay Hudson