It seems like there are almost more producers than MCs in this day of age. Hell, if I had any talent in my body, I’d much rather make beats than rhyme any day. Maybe that’s why if I have heard one producer shopping beats, I’ve heard at least 500 just this year alone. Every now and then, one catches my ear and I have to dig deeper to figure out who they are and what else they have done. That was the case earlier this year, when I heard “Watch How It Go Down”, by producer Tecknowledgy and featured Beat Garden affiliated 2ew Gun Cinz, Justus League affiliated Chaundon and Web. I’ve heard him on other projects, such as a Nico The Beast track, which will be showing up on a WYDU project in the not to far future.
Needless to say, I didn’t know much about the cat Tecknowledgy, so what better way to learn about him than to do a feature of him on a New Artist Spotlight…..
I’m Your Man Tonight
WYDU: What’s good man, it’s about time we got done to business. Why don’t you drop the 411 for those that don’t know…
Tecknowledgy: Yessir, The names Tecknowledgy a.k.a Your producers favorite producer a.k.a Teckzilla. Producer/Engineer/Song writer/ Radio production manager (90.7 WXIN FM) out of Providence, Rhode Island.
W: I’m going to be honest, I don’t know a lot about you and there isn’t a lot about you out there, but you always seem to be working with dope people. From Chaundon, to WYDU favs, Clean Guns and everyone else in between. What’s your secret to laying low, yet still getting the big projects?
T: Man to be honest, I have been making music heavily since about 02, but it has mostly been on a very small local following. I used to make beats for Spiritz Records, small label a few friends and I started. After a while I left that venture, and moved on to start producing on the low, saving up the chances for approaching artists. I hit up Chaundon back in like 07, late 08 and sent a whole bunch of beats. We finally got the chance to do a track when I sent him the beat for “That’s how it goes down,” and we took it from there.
Currently I landed 2 spots on a mixtape for jacquesmorel.com and I am currently working on my solo venture featuring D Julien, Chaundon, XV, Zilla Rocca, Donny Goines, Fresh Daily and a few more acts I have yet to name! Honestly how I have managed to stay so low key for this long surprises me. I thank Twitter!!(http://www.twitter.com/tecknowledgy) Pretty much it is just about having the right beat for the right artist at the right time.
W: Your production sound (that I’ve heard) is one of power and strength, meaning it’s usually a beat someone like Nico the Beast, can get on and just come with a lot of energy. Is that something you shoot for?
T: Ha, its funny you ask that. My production style varies a great deal from what people normally hear from me. A lot of my production on the Nico project was dark and the first song I leaked off “Modern Tecknowledgy” is very dark as well. But to be honest, I have always been a soul producer. I look up to 9th Wonder and Khrysis a lot, as well as Kanye and Premier. I make a LOT of R&B as well. A lot of people are going to be surprised with the overall vision of my project.
W: Coming out of Providence, RI, it’s a city that I’ve featured numerous artists and groups from in the past, how would you describe the scene itself? Is it something that folks should be on the look out for in the future?
T: The Rhode Island music scene is kind of large actually. There are a lot would be rappers out here and a few that are actually doing something with it. Such acts such as Jon Hope, Mista Mista and Theo have paved the way for underground MC’s in Rhode Island and have mainstream MTV play. To be from Rhode Island and make it there is an accomplishment in itself. I think a lot of people underestimate Rhode Island and the music scene and should honestly look a little closer. From what I have heard, a lot of people are surprised with the music they hear coming out of this state!
W: What is your approach to making a beat? Do you sit down with a particular artist in mind? Do you start with a drum beat first, or a bassline or does it matter?
T: Usually I go digging first. I do a lot of E-Digging so I spend a majority of my time just listening to soul songs or old jazz records. After I hear the particular part of the sample I want to flip, I just chop it up, search through my thousands of drums and sounds and poof, masterpiece. Then I just shop them around to artists that I believe can destroy them!
W: Of course everyone wants to know what kind of tools of the trade that you use….
T: Hahaha its terrible to admit it. I use FL Studio 7. I know its easy to say that now since every new producer is going out and using software, but I was taught on FL and that’s how I will know. Until someone puts an MPC2500 in front of me, I’m good!!!
W: I always seem to ask this of any producer I talk to, what is your take on the hardware vs Software issue?
T: Its not the tools of the trade that
make the man, it’s the man himself. A lot of people ask me, how do you get that sound out of your computer that makes it sound like its from an MP. At the same time, I want to know how people get the MP sound. So honestly, if no one can tell, who cares? ha
W: You have seem to be doing a lot of work with the Beat Garden/Clean Guns cats, how did that partnership occur?
T: Well one of my best friends Dave (shouts to Dave!!!) is Nico’s cousin. When I started making beats, Dave always wanted to hear what Nico and Zilla sounded like on my beats. So when they came here to Rhode Island, we messed around a bit (pause) and got down to business. I did the one Zilla joint and the three Nico joints right there that night and it was history every since. You can kinda sort of say I’m the unofficial member of Beat Garden’s production team.
W: I read that you working on an album, what and who can we expect on that project?
T: Man Trav, I have been working on Modern Tecknowledgy since AT LEAST 2003. I had so many visions of how I wanted it to sound, who I wanted on it. So basically when I hear a beat I make, I want it on the album BADLY haha. So far, I have Chaundon, 2ew Gunn Ciz, Web, Young Scolla, D Julien, XV, Fresh Daily, Convinced, El Prez, Donny Goines, Hi Clas, Zilla Rocca, Chachi, Marvwon, Kel Spencer, Mista Mista, Fame, and my artist Mike Fonz. I am trying to build up a good cast to create this masterpiece and get it everywhere so people can be like, “This dudes a nut!!!” There are also a few surprise guests that I can not reveal yet, but best believe it is going to be monumental. What you can expect, well, you can expect hip-hop. Hip-hop in its pure and most provocative form. BANG!!
W: What should people know about you before we finish this little talk?
T: What you should know is that I am a force to be reckoned with. There are a lot of things that are in the works for me right now, and basically if you aren’t on the train, then you are not getting on! I am working on a R&B venture also, but that’s really on the down low, and I am working on a few more mixtapes with a few blogs and such, but we will address that when the time comes.
W: Any last words for the potential haters and fans?
T: Yea, shouts to all the people who have been supporting my music over the years. Shouts to all the assholes out there, because one day you’ll get yours. Look out for my production team I.D.e.A, we have a project with Web due out very soon, its in the “lets go get features” stage right now, so be on the look out. Modern Tecknowledgy drops the week of my birthday, August 10th, so be on the lookout!!! Shouts to all the artists I mentioned above, shouts to Figga Da Deal, shouts to Urban Jones, shouts to Jacques and shouts to you Trav for holding me down on the early notice!! haha
W: Aight man, thanks!
T: Hey man appreciate the love and support. Stay UP!!!(VIAGRA!!!)