JENNINGS: Tedesco Knows Best on building a legacy

Tedesco Knows Best out of Niagara Falls will be headlining a show at The Cave on Military Road in Buffalo this Friday. (Courtesy of Tedesco Knows Best Facebook page)

Niagara Falls own Tedesco Knows Best will be headlining a special show at The Cave on Military Road in Buffalo this Friday. The band’s name is a mashup of the group’s principal members, Thomas Tedesco and Connor Best.

The group recently released a four-song EP of original material entitled “All Around Us.” They also opened for The Tubes at the Riviera Theatre last month.

The young musical duo has known each other for a long time. Tedesco and Best met when they were in elementary school while attending Catholic Academy in Niagara Falls and they started jamming together in middle school.

“We knew right away we had a lot of chemistry together,” Best noted during a recent phone interview with the pair.

They came of age during an era when the video game “Guitar Hero” introduced them to classic rock bands. Connor gravitated toward heavier bands like Motley Crue, Black Sabbath and Rush, and Thomas cited melodic bands like The Eagles as his favorites.

Their influences are evident on the EP, but unlike many artists, they are focusing on creating original material, not relying on cover tunes to land gigs or build a following. And while they are working on capturing the attention of the region, they already have larger aspirations.

“We want to build up our base here in Niagara Falls, but our market is the world. Our primary focus is on writing great songs, not chasing trends. We want to write songs that are timeless and are as good 20 years from now as they are today,” Tedesco said.

As any musician will tell you, it’s a challenge to find an audience for original music in Western New York.

“It’s hard as an independent artist when cover and tribute bands dominate the market, The hardest part is getting people to hear your music,” Tedesco noted while discussing some of the challenges newer musicians face.

Another challenge that songwriters face is getting paid for their work. Many times an act will sign away future royalties in order to land a recording contract. There are hundreds of cautionary tales out there where an artist has had a major hit and never reap the financial rewards.

“When we released our EP we made sure that we retained our publishing rights. That way if someone uses our music in a film or skateboarding video, we get paid,” Best noted.

Those types of royalties are known as “sync royalties,” and even if the song is not a commercial hit for the artist, a smart placement of a song in a film or video can be very lucrative.

“Many artists sign bad deals early on in their careers, so we are fastidious when it comes to our publishing,” Tedesco said.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for these young musicians, but they already have a solid understanding of the music business, and are putting in the hard work it takes to forge a career in music.


Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.

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