For those that grew up on 90's Hip Hop, and in particular the New York scene (focusing on the likes of the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas etc.) Tekitha is a well known artist. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, she was first noticed on the second Wu-Tang album, "Wu-Tang Forever." Since then, she has had an eager following of fans wanting a solo album which until now (11 years later) has seemed like just a hope.
However, through this interview Tekitha has assured us that the album is done, with RZA production (amongst other notables) and we should be seeing it shortly. Plus that's not all we have to look forward to from her...
MVRemix: How did you first ally yourself with the Wu-Tang Clan? How did you meet them etc.
Tekitha: I was living in Chicago and I had just started embarking on a music career. A friend of mine visiting from Cali heard the music, liked it, and by the time he was gone the CD was nowhere to be found. He cuffed it. [laughs] About a week later I started getting calls from an executive from Wu Tang Productions about my work ,and what I was doing with it etc. The funny thing is I thought my brother was playing games on the phone when the calls started. Come to find out my friend was with The Clan at the Million Man March and had passed the CD off to Tarif Supreme and Howard Edwards, executives of the Clan at the time, once they heard the CD my introduction to Power, Divine, and RZA came shortly thereafter. The rest is history.
MVRemix: Describe a day during the Wu-Tang Forever era.
Tekitha: When that album was being recorded I still felt relatively green to The Clan as a unit and to the industry itself. So many of those days that were spent in the studio, at the mansion, at the Razor Sharp office or just general interacting, and were filled with constant analyzing, observing their creative process and learning about myself and the kind of person and artist I desired to represent. Now, that is separate from watching Ol’ Dirty[Bastarrd] and his larger than life persona or sitting nearby as RZA and Masta Killa take in a game of chess. There are so many experiences in a day during that era to talk about. I’d be here forever trying to pick one.
MVRemix: Now contrast that with your life today.
Tekitha: That’s easy. I am a mother of an eight year old girl. The days of writing all day, up all night are long gone. A great deal of my attention is focused on her, her development and well being. I have had to create a balancing act between my craft and my life before there was no separation. They were one and the same.
MVRemix: As a songwriter, who has influenced you?
Tekitha: I have been influenced by so many writers. At the top I would have to say Slick Rick. The way he can put a story together, melodies, flow and all is unlike any other and genius in my eyes.
MVRemix: How did you first get into singing? Who was your biggest personal influence?
Tekitha: I have always been a writer. I literally woke up one day and decided to turn my short stories and poetry into songs. I met the [Wu-Tang] Clan three months after that decision and got my deal with epic shortly after that.
My biggest personal influence is my mother. She is everything I strive to be as a mother and human being.
MVRemix: How does living in California, in both Sacramento and San Francisco shape your attitude towards music, art and culture in general?
Tekitha: Being a Californian, especially a northern Cali girl, is an honor to me. I have been fortunate to have lived in many places and have visited many countries around the world. But nothing compares to home. I have a very tight knit family and they have greatly shaped my attitude and sense of self. Now, Sacramento being a conservative majority right winged environment also forced me to think outside the box. I could from an early age see the difference between my life experience and that of other children in my peer group and the problems therein. The bay area on the other hand allowed me to see music and art from a broader perspective. There are so many character filled people from the east bay to Daly City that have provided me with a wide range of experiences and influence.
MVRemix: Tell me about your new album.
Tekitha: This album is a true representation of my personality and life. A bit philosophical, a little heartbreak. I’m a woman who loves a good party so I had to have a club banger in there and a whole lot of soul. The production is mostly from RZA, Stevie J. and a new hot producer, DUB the Director.
MVRemix: How long has this album taken to record in total and how many songs were left off the album?
Tekitha: As many people know it has been a long time coming! Instead of how long it has taken I’d rather say I’m glad that I finally feel it’s ready to be heard.
MVRemix: How did you hook up with Armand Van Helden?
Tekitha: I was introduced to Armand through a mutual friend. When we met he said he had heard a few things I did with the Clan and was down to put me on a project he was working on. I thought, “What a blessing.” Even though it was what people would consider out of my genre, anyone who knows me knows I don’t really believe in genres. Music is music and shouldn’t be confined to any box. Needless to say I did a few songs on his project and then we created a group together called Sahara and did a full length album. We are working on another Sahara record right now hopefully to be released through the Starbucks Corporation.
MVRemix: As a mother, what's your view on today's rap scene and how do you feel about what your daughter is exposed to through popular culture?
Tekitha: I am a firm believer in influences coming from the home first. It is my job to regulate what my child is exposed to. I think the key word here is first. We may not be listening to songs with sexual over and undertones or watching explicit videos but I know one thing I didn’t teach her the “Superman”and she knows how to do that little dance. I said that to say the children are going to be influenced, by the radio, TV, their friends and family. I feel it is unjust to not have a balance in the rap music we hear mainstream. Hell, if my daughter wanted to become an emceec, besides myself as her direct influence of one, who could she turn on the TV to see. The bigger question is, “Is that who I would want her to emulate?”
MVRemix: Have fun with this one, a la "Fight Club" - "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight"?
Tekitha: D-Bo from the movie “Friday.”
MVRemix: Would you win?
Tekitha: Hell yeah! I might be 5’5 but that’s my bike punk!
MVRemix: Do you have any non musical aspirations?
Tekitha: It would be a dream fulfilled if I could open a gymnastics academy and dance studio.
MVRemix: What was the last book you read?
Tekitha: “The Coldest Winter Ever.”
MVRemix: In a sentence or less, what do you do to relax?
Tekitha: Have a glass of wine and simply sit still.
MVRemix: Finish this sentence: 'In a perfect world...'
Tekitha: Each of us would be devoid of inner conflict and live our life’s passions to fullest.
MVRemix: What next do we have to look forward to from you?
Tekitha: The tour, the after parties, the Grammies, the book.
MVRemix: Now this is a tough one, but please choose the first answer that comes into your heard. Which is your favorite Wu-Tang song not featuring yourself?
Tekitha: "Raw Hide" Ol' Dirty Bastard LP.
MVRemix: Any last words?
Tekitha: Thank you for showing interest in me and my career and I look forward to seeing you at my live show in a packed theater near you. Be well and wise.