Article by Charne Graham (@88nae88)
Photo by Steven Reitz and George Mickel
Tecknowledgy is a producer that has worn two hats since his music career started. His first love was rapping and he started in junior high school under the name “Enigma The Great.”. After a name change and being a member of two groups, Tecknowledgy has become a producer with a promising future. He has already worked with artists like Mac Miller, Pill and Huey Mack. Tecknowledgy gives you a smooth and soulful sound that makes you want to kick back and chill while swirling your favorite cognac around in a glass. We had the chance to chat with Teck and here’s the scoop:
You started rapping at 12. So when did you decide to start producing?
I started producing for the most part due to not wanting to rap over industry beats. Over time the raps stopping being written and the beats became more elaborate. I really started making beats in 2003 and it never really became serious until 2009. Because of that, it was really what opened the door to me as a producer; especially since 2010 when Mac Miller’s “K.I.D.S” dropped.
Which do you prefer more?
As much as I love lyricism and have dabbled in my glorious return to the microphone, I enjoy the production aspect more. Just digging and finding different samples to flip while learning about various different types of music brings a different aspect to the musicianship behind it. But I never said that I wouldn't come back to rapping someday haha.
Who and what inspires your sound?
My main inspirations have to be 9th Wonder, Dilla, Symbolic 1, Just Blaze, Illmind. I even take what I can from producers like Cardo and Harry Fraud. I have to say the thing that inspires me the most is being around other producers and getting and giving feedback. I know a lot of up and coming producers as well as some producers with some credits under their belts. Knowing them and listening to their sounds, as well as receiving and giving feedback on each other’s work, makes me want to step my game up even more.
Do you feel more creatively free now that you are no longer a part of the production team Xtraordinary Gentlemen?
It is important to be with a team these days in music. I made a lot of great music while being a part of that team and am thankful for all the experiences that being on that team taught me. We all have our creative differences at the end of the day. I wouldn't say that I was NOT creatively free while being a part of that team, but I do feel now that I can work with a lot of the people I set out to work with on both the indie and major scene. The networking aspect is much easier for me now also. Since I left a lot of things have changed musically and things are moving forward in the direction I wanted them to.
What has been your favorite project so far?
Right now it is a three-way tie on my favorite projects I am working on currently. Choo Jackson’s “Beer Flavored Pizza” and two separate EP’s that I am producing. The first EP is with Cesar Luciano and the second is with Ess Vee, both due out in 2013. The production on all three projects is completely different and will show not only my growth as a producer but my individual work with all 3 artists has been a learning experience for me.
Who do you hope to work with in the future?
I really would love to produce something for Curren$y. I think Spitta and I could produce a whole EP’s worth of classic material. I would also hope to do something for Slaughterhouse someday. There is a very long list including Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Big KRIT and Smoke DZA. I feel like I am closer to some of these placements than most; I just have to continue to move forward!