The DJ, producer, or beat maker is an important element in hip hop. The beat is the first thing we hear when a song starts, and it is the first clue that our favorite song is about to come on. Hip hop producers usually work with several artists, and some of the more well known producers have their signature styles. In Nigeria, one of those producers is Teck-Zilla, as well as other producers in the Str8buttah camp. Teck-Zilla is a hip hop producer and co-founder of Str8buttah, a hip hop collective that consists of several producers and MCs. In this episode Teck-Zilla talks with us about his own career & influences, the beginnings of Str8buttah, and his approach to beat production.
Teck-Zilla has a distinct style. Listen to his beats on his BandCamp page and you will hear his diverse musical influences, from soul and R&B, to Afrobeat, to hip hop. After DJing a breakdance battle in Nigeria, Teck-Zilla produced an entire mixtape of break beats, B-Boy Zilla (A B-Boy Breaks EP) in 2017. In the EP Teck-Zilla turns Afropop tracks into break beats! His BandCamp page also includes remixes and tributes dedicated to artists like Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, and Nigerian music legends Fela Kuti and Sade. In addition to beats and remix EPs, Teck-Zilla’s work includes production projects with several established and upcoming hip hop artists.
Teck-Zilla moves between Nigeria, Canada, & the UK regularly. We were able to catch him while he’s in Lagos working on some new projects. We start the episode with his beat “Dear Summer”, then “Skelewu B-Boys” from the B-Boy Zilla EP. We end the episode with his beat “Summer Zilla” from his EP of the same name. Teck-Zilla also teamed up with Modenine for the recently release album Esoteric Mellow. All of these are available on his BandCamp page.