Worldwide Beatmakers: Teck-Zilla
Weare very happy to be premiering **Teck-Zilla’**s new project, entitled “B-Boy Zilla (B-Boy Breaks EP)” exclusively here on NINETOFIVE!
Teck-Zilla is a Nigerian born Producer/DJ and a founding member of the HipHop collective known as Str8Buttah which has members in Nigeria and the UK. Since late 2013, Teck-Zilla shuttles between Lagos, London and Montreal, producing music and deejaying along the way.
Inspired by being selected as the official deejay for this year’s Red Bull-sponsored “Battle of the Year” competition in Nigeria for breakdancers, beat maker Teck-Zilla brings us an exclusive taste of the neck-snapping and straight-up addictive new release. The african beat maker showcases a plethora of dope sounds, blending Afro and EDM elements and, suffice to say, it makes you move.
B-boy, producer or just hip hop-head, you will feel the good vibes emanating from these seven tracks. We also had a chance to talk to man himself about beats, breaks and
life, check it out!
To start off things, could you tell our readers who Teck-Zilla is and what he’s about?
Teck-Zilla is a Producer/DJ/Sound Engineer/Blogger. I’m all about the music and pushing the culture forward in any way that I can. I’m also a huge anime fan.
You are a producer/deejay heavy involved in B-boy culture. Could you please tell us more about your musical background and your very first musical influences?
To be honest, I grew up on Rock, Pop, Soul and some Hip-Hop (Run DMC, LL, The Fat Boys) and didn’t really get heavy into Hip-Hop till much later. I think my first taste of the B-boy culture came after my dad got us Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo—It’s weird cause I saw it before the first one, and that completely blew my mind. As for early musical influences, it had to be Pete Rock. I rocked to a lot of his songs growing up thanks to my older siblings, so yeah consciously that was the first Hip-Hop producer I was familiar with well until I got into DJ Premier. Pete Rock and Preemo truly shaped my early musical direction, and helped me lay the foundation.
You are a vital part of Nigeria’s Hip-Hop scene, but you also live part of the year in Montreal and London. How does the places differ from each other regarding music and culture? What is unique with each place?
Nigerian Hip-Hop (Lagos to be precise) is still blossoming, although there is a huge underground Hip-Hop scene where left field acts thrive. These artists are really pushing the art forward; blending Afrocentric elements with the traditional forms of Hip-Hop—from music to dance—so it’s definitely something different. It’s pretty fast paced, energetic and freaking unpredictable. All I can say is we got so much untapped talents here.
Montreal is definitely Canada’s cultural capital. It’s uber diverse to say the least. It may not be as fast paced as London or Lagos (an attribute I really love as I can actually take time out, sit and clear my thoughts). The winter can be a bit of a super downer, but once summer time hits, its festivals after festivals after social events. Montreal really broadened my horizons and pushed me into deejaying. This happened unexpectedly one day when the resident deejay at the lounge where I worked as a sound man went on a long vacation to Australia, and they needed a replacement real fast, so I just went in and did my thing. I wasn’t so good to begin with [laughs], but hey you live and you learn.
London is a hustle town for real. Pretty diverse too—very upbeat and most likely the most energetic compared to Lagos and Montreal. I aways feel like I’m at home when I’m there, and the scene is incredibly mixed…even within Hip-Hop. The underground scene is still thriving, and there’s tons of platforms for emerging acts, such as the lyrically challenged event that blends spoken word and Hip-Hop.
When did you start to make beats, and what was your very first production setup?
I started in the early aughts, pretty simple everything was in the box. All digital.
What’s your current production setup and what are you looking to get next for your studio?
I use two laptops (MacBook, Windows), APC40 midi controller, Mbox keyboards, KRKs, the trusty Focusrite Scarlet 2i2, and tons of samples, plugins and vinyl records. As for studio upgrades, nothing for now—I’m trying to keep things as simple as possible for the time being.
The new EP, B-Boy Zilla just came out. Tell us more about this project. How did it come about, how was the creative process with the beat making?
This project is basically me blending classic Hip-Hop break beats against something different than the usual, in this case Afropop samples. I also flipped the classic Double Dragon II sample in there. It was a spur of the moment thing. The red bull sponsored event was a three day affair with the popular BCOne; one one one challenges taking place the first day, while the the remaining two days were for the annual Battle Of The Year event. On the first day, I had the chance to share the stage with South African break beat deejay DJ Azuhl (y’all should look him up) and he shared some gems with me which was really inspiring. On another note, the discussion just came up that maybe the official deejays (those that could produce anyway) for the event should actually incorporate their own production into the mix so I ran with the concept.
Luckily for me I already had a vast catalogue of Breakbeats waiting to be chopped, so it was a no brainer and I went to work straight away. The majority of the beats I made came easy, but I had to go back and make edits, so actually the beats I played during the event most definitely sounded slightly different from the finished work.
To be honest, I don’t recall if I followed a process or not, I just went with my gut feeling. I tried different samples, Breakbeats and then proceeded to chip away the elements that I felt weren’t needed until I got exactly what I wanted.
Please name a one producer, one deejay and one B-Boy that have inspired your music and tell us why?
• Producer has to be DJ Premier — he is the g.o.a.t., no question. Being able to adapt to the times is a feat, and he has been able to stay relevant since the ‘80s. Need I say more?
• DJ? it would be cheating if I said Preem again so it has to be Jazzy Jeff. I feel he is criminally underrated. His blends are out of this world. • B-Boy? Hong 10, I dig his fluid clean style…he got that Samurai Champlon type technique.
You are a break beat connoisseur, heavily into vinyl, samples and rare records. Please name some of your favorite breaks and tell us your favorite places to dig in the crates?
• Melvin Bliss- “Synthetic Substitution”
• Coke Escovedo - “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing”
• Dennis Coffey- “Ride Sally Ride”
I really don’t have a specific place to dig. I still have a huge stash of records gifted to me by my dad so I’m still trying to sort that out [laughs].
What other projects will we be hearing from you during 2018? Any shows or releases you really look forward to?
Well, I plan on releasing multiple conceptual beat tapes throughout next year. These are projects that I’ve been working on for more than three to four years now, and I feel this is the right time to get them out. As usual I got some material with soul singer, Maka and rapper, Phlow in the pipeline. Definitely more shows depending on where I am…Lagos, London or Montreal! I got you!
- Basterd B-Boy
- Mtoto B-Boy
- Personal B-Boy
- Skelewu B-Boy
- Jimmy & Billy the B-Boys
- Nothing But JB B-Boys
- Sound of the Beast
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeckZilla108
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teckzilla108
• Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Teckzilla
• SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/teck-zilla
• Mixcloud : http://www.mixcloud.com/teck-zilla