Imagine your record being one
of the most anticipated albums for years even though
it never actually came out. Imagine having an
international fan base in this microwave mcnugget
culture still without an album out, Imagine being
voted best female vocalist on chat rooms and forums
without even a properly promoted single out to date.
Imagine The RZA of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan and one
of Hip-hop's top producers behind your record.
Imagine being Tekitha.
A rare artist among her own
generation, a singer, dancer, poet,
extraordinary songwriter and an
emcee, Tekitha was introduced to
the world via her Wu-Tang affiliation, she appeared
on the double disc classic album Wu-Tang Forever,
where she also had a solo venture titled "Second
Coming", She has proven to be a wealth of
vocal skills and has gone on to fill in for the then
unavailable Mary J. Blige in the song/video for
Ghostface Killah's "All That I Got Is You". Not
being confined to just singing, fans and
critics were equally surprised but impressed when
she dropped a sharp verse on Cappdonna's "Pump your
Fist" off "The Pillage" album.
proceeded to feature on a number of Wu-Tang projects as well as
other artists like the likes of Hip-hop's legendary KRS-One as
well as house/dance heavyweight Armand Van Helden.
Versatility and flexibility seems to be a one of Tekitha's
traits, a random encounter with a stranger on a train lead her
to meet and record with one of the then best kept secret
in house music, Armand Van Helden, recording for such labels as
Strictly Rhythm, Henry St., and Logic. Afterwards, becoming of
one of the top names in dance music altogether. The result of
Almand and Tekitha's union was the club anthem "Mother
Earth" from "2 Future 4 U "
album, which was a #1 hit in the UK sales and dance charts,
following on to more collaborations and the formation of the
group and project Sahara.
After a number of obstacles thrown her way, Tekitha is still
very much around and relevant, a much needed voice today's music
and culture. Wisdom body is a word one will associate with
being the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships;
a synonymous with insight, good sense, and sound judgment
and body could be explained as a
collection of particulars
considered as a system. In her own words,
are wise words spoken and the body representing a temple or
collective parts working as one, Wisdom body is a collective and
While the die hard fans might
still be browsing the net for anything under her name, not
everyone knows what she has been up to, Wu-International had a
chance to delve into the mind of the gorgeous Tekitha and what
she has been up to all this time, Wu-Tang, her dedication to her
community, future works and more. Though she might have featured
on several guest shots and various projects, its time for
that voice to speak out... Enjoy!!
I like to say thanks first and foremost for
taking the time to answer these questions, highly
appreciated, and will also point out that nothing will be
altered, edited or changed when this is published online.
Wu-International: Peace Tekitha, how are you?
Tekitha: I’m very well thank you
Wu-International: Everyone on our site definitely know
who you are, but for people not up on game, can you please
introduce yourself, tell us who you are, where you are from
and currently located?
Tekitha: I am Tekitha mostly known for my
affiliation with Wu Tang Clan, I’m originally from
Sacramento, Cali and currently reside in SF. Although I find
it hard to sit still so I’m between many places, as it keeps
my creative juice flowin.
Wu-International: What was it like growing up in
Sacramento? What is one of your earliest memories?
Tekitha: My childhood was different from most of
my peers in that I had a pretty structured routine by the
time I was 5 years old. I was a competitive gymnast from
that age until I was 17, but I had some similarities when it
came to my home environment in my pre-teen years because my
father was not in the home. My earliest childhood memory is
probably living in Washington State and watching my uncle
accidentally run over my cat in the driveway, haven’t been a
cat person since.
Wu-International: Sorry to hear that, I have heard
you sing, rhyme, kick some spoken words/poetry type songs
etc, I think a lot of people see you more of a singer, what
do you consider yourself to be?
Tekitha: I consider myself to be an all around
artist. My mind, voice, and body are a vessel for artistic
expression. I am a dancer. I am a poet, an mc, a singer, and
a songwriter. I am an actor. I feel to confine myself to one
form of expression would be unfair and would also present
quite a problem for my overall fullness in life.
Wu-International: You got a voice like an angel, When
did you first realize you had a gift and how did you get
Tekitha: I realized myself in 1994. I was
living in Atlanta and had decided one day to turn about 10
pieces of poetry into songs never having written a song
before but always been a fan of music, (my father, mother
and grandmother are credited for my musical taste) I somehow
understood the concept of verses, bars, bridges a chorus and
so on. I then performed the songs accapella for my aunt and
she began to cry. It was then that I realized my gift.
Question: Everyone is influenced by someone or
something somehow, who or what would you say your
Tekitha: My mother mostly influences me. She has
been a pillar of strength for my brother and I.
Providing for us solely, and nurturing our dreams
and desires was always at the top of her to do list.
feel that like many of us my environment influences
me as well. I feel fortunate to have a strong mind
and will so I generally do things that suit my
character although we all have moments do we not? I
think that’s why the work I am doing is important
because most of the young people I know don’t have
many pillars, and as we see the music industry isn’t
providing us with a balanced idea of what life can
look like. To show some equality in this “visual
music” is resting on the shoulders of people who are
convicted to provide an alternative way of life. I
said that to say, I am influenced by the conditions
that young people are growing up in. The great
musicians who have chosen to be a voice for those
who aren’t speaking or not heard influence me.
Wu-International: Thanks, You are mostly known
for your collaboration with the Wu-Tang Clan members
and affiliates, when, by who and how were you
discovered that lead to you working closely within
the Wu circle?
Tekitha: In 1995, a mutual friend of
the clan and I took some work I had completed,
unbeknown to me, and carried it with him to the
million man march. The Clan was driving from D.C to
ATL for some shows. I believe the CD ended up in the
hands of Tarif who was an executive producer. From
then about a week or two later someone from Wu Tang
Productions started calling me at my managements
office. They came out to Chicago for a performance
and the following day I sat and met with Tarif and
we made an agreement then and there. Shortly
thereafter I moved back down to ATL, where I began
recording & making some trips up to New York,
meeting various producers and artists in the family.
One trip I was brought to meet RZA and the rest is
history. We’ve been stuck like glue ever since.
Wu-International: So what is it like working
with the Clan members, and whom would you say you
are closest to?
Tekitha: It has been one of the
greatest joys in my life to work with such
passionate and talented men. They all have provided
me with a multitude of wisdom and forced me early on
to know myself or I could be devoured by this game.
I love each and every one of the clan. They all
provide a different kind of support to me but I
would have to say I am the closest with The RZA.
From the day we met it was like meeting a science
partner or maybe seeing a brother you haven’t seen
in a lifetime but when you see him again you are
well aware of who he is. Sounds crazy right? All I
can say is when I write songs the music I hear in my
head almost always comes out of a board under his
fingertips. His music compliments my style, and my
voice compliments his sound.
Wu-International: True indeed, so since most of
the Wu are based in NY, did it require you
relocating and moving to NY in the beginning, and if
so, what was that like?
Tekitha: I did eventually relocate and
I loved being accessible that made all the
Wu-International: You laced Ghostface’s
“All That I Got Is You” song very nicely, the hook
was initially done by Mary J Blige, were there any
specific reasons why you were used for the single &
Tekitha: I believe that Mary’s label
wouldn’t let her release the song some kind of red
Wu-International: J. Blige is seen as the queen
of hip-hop soul, I heard both versions of that track
and they are equally very good, You did great
justice to that song, were you under pressure to
deliver considering Blige has already done something
similar and your name was still new compared to her
who was already established at that time?
Tekitha: Are you kidding me? I did not
want to do it for that reason alone…not the pressure
of will the vocal sound cool but will people write
me off because I re-cut it. I was so new in the fam
that I felt obligated to do it when I was asked but
also honoured that I was asked because they could’ve
gotten anyone else to do it.
Wu-International: Would you say you have a
specific style or sound? If so how would you
Tekitha: I have been asked that
question many times to me its just soul music. Of
course it has hip hop over and undertones but
overall it is music for the soul feels good to the
soul it connects with the soul.
Wu-International: Ok, so Hip-hop, Soul, you have
even done Club, House and Dance music, if you were
to classify yourself to any or one, what would you
class yourself as?
Tekitha: I don’t know what you classify
me as? Living art I guess! LOL
Wu-International: I have seen surveys on
numerous sites and forums and you always come out as
the favourite female Wu-tang affiliated artist all
the time, no exaggerations, are you aware you have a
strong cult following? Especially within the Wu
fans, even without an album out, how do you feel
Tekitha: Are u serious? I love that!!
There are some die hards out there and man when I do
deliver this project it will be like nothing they
ever expected. I have raised the bar on myself so
high that I can’t stop until I feel the best of
myself will be portrayed. I thought this process
would be easier than it has been but I am committed
to giving something to the people who are still
standing with me. That my friend is REAL TALK!
Wu-International: With that in mind, everyone
wonders why you are yet to drop an album, Wisdom
body LP is still listed in Amazon since 2001 to be
released via Sony records, can you please tell us
more about this album, as in guests appearances and
production, how many tracks, concepts etc and why it
is not yet released to date?
Tekitha: Wisdom Body the LP is
collection of songs that reflect my life experience.
The life I’ve lead, the mistakes I’ve made, the
loves I’ve had, my clarity and slumber. All of it!!
Right now I have 2 albums worth of material some I
love some I like… working with RZA and Stevie J. (BadBoy
Hit men fame) & a new production team called XP.
Wu-International: Wisdom body is an interesting
title, why did you call it wisdom body?
Tekitha: Wisdom Body is the name I
adopted back in 1991- wisdom being wise words spoken
and the body representing a temple or collective
parts working as one. The album is the same idea; I
am speaking from a place of wisdom in a collection
of songs. Wisdom body is a collective and
corporation. You’ll be hearing more about that very
Wu-International: There were rumours online that
this album was released in limited amount in Japan
or overseas, is this true?
Tekitha: Well I know it was bootlegged
many years ago so it could’ve ended up just about
anywhere. Unfortunately, the music that was taken
weren’t even mixed songs so they were just ideas I
was working on that was pretty hurtful to me because
it was some staff person who took the music. Oh
Same thing happened with Royal Fam and Darkim Be
Allah albums, anyway moving on, Sahara is basically
you and Armand Van Helden, I was fortunate enough to
get a promo copy of the Earth’s Rising EP from a
friend some years back, the album was also never
released, Please tell us more about this LP, if it
was completed, how many songs, guest appearances and
reason its not been released if you know?
Tekitha: We ended up licensing singles of
that album it made more sense for us that way.
I am not your usual club, house or dance music fan,
but I really loved that EP, my favourite songs are “I
Fly” and “Wasn’t the Only One”, great vocals and
lyrics, how easy was it for you to make that
transition from say hip-hop/soul to dance/house?
Tekitha: I am glad you appreciated those
songs, very cool of you to get it. Like I said
before, I am an artist, for me there is no
transition from one form to the next. I have some
things I’d like to say so I find an avenue from
which to say them. I’m not a huge house fan myself
but that project was actually easy because Armand is
a B-Boy for real. So he was easy to relate to. I
recorded 21 songs in 2 weeks and I had my daughter
with me while my cousin played the nanny position so
I could work. Wonderful experience I must say.
Wu-International: Wow, 21 songs? that's crazy, So
tell us more about the group Sahara, how did that
project come about and how did you meet Armand Van
Tekitha: I met Armand through a guy named
Duane who I met on a train on my way to Boston. Very
random encounter… we started talking about music he
recognized my name when I introduced myself and said
that his friend is a Wu Tang fan and he’s a producer
would I like to meet him maybe we could collab and
so on. We met and he was working on an album
entitled 2 future for u he asked did I want to get
down…I thought it would be good to exercise my skill
so I did it. A song called mother earth was the
result of our first collab.
Wu-International: Are you still working with
Armand and will there be future projects involving
you and him as Sahara or otherwise?
Tekitha: I intend to do some more work
with Armand preferably on the wisdom body project
because I want people to hear other styles of his
music. We’ll see about doing another Sahara record
it would have to be some next level shit though.
Some ol’ rock meets house meets hip hop.
Still on groups, word was that RZA was putting
together an all star line up female group or project
called “Black Shampoo” or so, to involve yourself,
Blue Raspberry, Makeba Mooncycle, some members of
Deadly Venoms and more, was this true and can you
kindly shed some light to this?
Tekitha: I remember that era…it was an
idea he had but as we all know. RZA is a workaholic
and I don’t think he had the time to nurture that
kind of idea.
That would have been a big project for the fans,
With you being mainly a solo artist, if you
were to form a group with 1 or 2 people, who would
they be, and why?
Tekitha: Ladybug Mecca, Erykah Badu
mainly because they both mc and sing and I have
admired their skill as artists and what they
represent as women. You never know might find that
collab on the record though.
Alright then, looking into the future, how close are
you to completing your album and when do you hope to
Tekitha: I would say I am a few months
from completion and hope to have a summer release
Will you be displaying your different styles on this
album and will we see you rhyming on it or is it
purely just singing?
Tekitha: oh yes many styles will be
represented but there will be a common thread so
people won’t get lost in the mix.
Wu-International: Have you started shopping it
to the labels, or does one already back it up?
I don’t release it independently it will be backed
by RZA’s label thru Universal Music.
Wu-International: The song “Riding” is a 5/5
star rating for me, I also love “No Way To Run” I
still bump both songs to this day, who produced
these songs, and will they be on your upcoming
Tekitha: Ridin' was produced by Armand
Van Helden and this “No Way To Run” I don’t recall
that song… I think I may remember it but you would
have to refresh me to be sure.
Wu-International: Maybe you called it something
else, that’s the title I know it as, will send the
MP3 to you, So any favourite song on your album right
now you might want to tell us about?
Tekitha: I love this record called Wut U
Got produced by XP- and I Don’t Care produced by
Stevie J. Two very different records but I enjoy
listening to them both.
When you write a song, what emotion helps you make
the best song? Anger, sadness, happiness, etc. or do
you separate yourself from your emotions when you
Tekitha: I guess sadness or despair had
been a channel I used to write a lot of my music
from I have evolved over the years to not draw on
only my pain to write my songs, my daughter has
helped me to feel joy and write from that place and
not be afraid of that feeling. I didn’t want to be
that woman that has to be crushed in order to write.
Do you usually write to an instrumental or just
write the lyrics and look for an instrumental that
Tekitha: It really depends on the day.
Sometimes I write in the shower a melody may appear
seemingly out of nowhere and I just role with it
sing the melody over and over and let the lyrics out
and when I get an opportunity to sit and write it I
do so then, or sometimes the beat may come and I
vibe on it and write it on the spot.
Which song or songs would you say are your best work
Tekitha: I have a song called Harlem
high that I also love not sure if its my best work
to date but it sure is a strong creative rep…from
the harmonies to the chord progression I co-produced
that song with some very talented musicians. It’s
hard for me to say what is the best work I’ve done
because I’m not sure if I’ve done it yet. I am very
if you could remake any hip-hop song, which song
would you choose?
Tekitha: I have no idea what a hard
question!!! I’ll think about it, get back to me on
that one. So many I love but wouldn’t want to touch
Surely will, I saw you at a Wu show in Budapest some
years back, a lot of fans would hit me for this, but
without taking anything away from RZA and co, you
definitely the best performance that night, for me
anyways, how do you view Europe in terms of hip-hop
Tekitha: I love the audience out
there they have a way of appreciating music in a way
we seem too full of ourselves to do. I guess you
can’t look cool if you’re showin some love, respect
or appreciation for someone on a stage singing or
rhyming to you huh? Too bad isn’t it?
Wu-International: Yes… An untitled song you sang
during that show goes a little like this “I’ve
watched this music game go up & down, fast & slow,
reducing queens to hoes” other lines includes “Life
imitating art & grows into justified behaviour, not
save or savage at best, until what’s wrong is
corrected, I will not rest as of yet….” Do you
feel the media is justified for viewing hip-hop
music as a negative influence on the youths?
Tekitha: That song is called “Masta
Build”, another record I love. I feel the media is
of course justified but its all pretty tricky ya
know there are other artist out there with a
different perspective on life but the media doesn’t
shine any light on them so between the industry and
the media seems like a very calculated affair to me.
Wu-International: So how do you feel about
hip-hop in 2006, which artists are you currently
feeling or listening to? Since you lived down south
for a while, are you into crunk music?
Tekitha: I think hip-hop is ever
changing as it should be but I surely would want for
more balance. I feel its unfair how we leave these
youngsters with a one sided view of life, and what
it means to be young and black in 2006. There is
such an abundance of the pimpin, trickin, & money
gettin by any means that it doesn’t seem like there
are many options for a young man or woman, if u let
TV tell it. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of
the parents to provide some alternative options from
the ones the world is offering them. But what ever
happened to the village raising the child. Music is
a world in and of itself and we, as the contributors
to this world, should be responsible for how it is
feeding the minds of the people it is producing. We
are producing little pimps and hoes, drug dealers,
and thugs overall savage minded individuals. Sounds
harsh but it is the truth. There really should be
some balance. I listen to all kinds of music, I have
always loved a rowdy club record so crunk music is
fun can’t deny that. I can’t say I’m buying a lot of
music but I’m not burning records either…
Wu-International: True words, thanks. Moving on,
not to put you in any box but most of your songs are
conscious, be it based on social issues, love, or
something to chill or ride to, you always sprinkle
it with some knowledge or truth, What would you say
you were trying to achieve with your music?
Tekitha: Hopefully some insight on myself and my
thinking, and maybe creating a bridge with
likeminded folks. I always felt different growing up
like I didn’t fit ya know but as I have travelled I
have met some men and women who think like I do,
look like I do, and live their lives in a way
similar to mine. My goal is through my music to
group us all together and be recognized as a
movement. That is the next step for me collecting
all the supporters and making them active. Much more
than a fan club my friend. When everything is in
order I’ll tell you how to get the fans down with
Wu-International: Well, count me in :-), the
song we spoke about “No way to run” I heard it on a
mixtape hosted by Wyclef some time back, what are
your thoughts on the mixtape circuits? Are you for
this sort of promotion and is it something you plan
to do as in releasing a full Tekitha mixtape before
or after your album?
Tekitha: Love the mixtape aspect. The
streets talk ya know, and that’s where the mixtape
rules. So that will definitely precede the album.
Wu-International: How has being affiliated with
the Wu affected your career? Name some advantages
and disadvantages that fans may not be aware of if
Tekitha: To be a new artist it
normally very hard to get worldwide recognition
which my affiliation has afforded me. Although I
haven’t released an album to still have a buzz is
pretty incredible and it is because of the Clan
support and love from the fans that the buzz is
still there. One of the main challenges is being
seen independent of the Clan. By that I mean I am
not one of Wu-Tang’s singers, I don’t sing for Wu
Tang, they will forever be my family its that kind
of party, but I am Tekitha. I am singing for my
daughter and my community. I am an artist because
this gift was placed in my heart and mind and I have
given in to it. Took me some time to accept the role
I was to play and step up to it but that time has
Wu-International: Word is Wu-tang clan are
currently working on a new album, will you or have
you been called to contribute to this?
Tekitha: I would love to be a part of
that if time permits and I am asked to be there,
without a doubt I will.
Wu-International: Who has been the most
influential person in your life?
Tekitha: My mother
Wu-International: Is there anybody out there
that you have not worked with that you wish or would
like to work with?
Tekitha: I would really like to work
with Andre 3000 and Rick Rueben
Wu-International: What's the most interesting
un-true rumours you've heard about yourself?
Tekitha: Oh brother don’t even get me
Wu-International: What was the biggest mistake
you have made in your career?
Tekitha: Probably not fine-tuning a
team early in the game to jump out sooner than
later, all for a reason I firmly believe now, so was
it a mistake? Maybe not.
Wu-International: Ok, few final questions, what
do you normally do when not recording or making
music, as in hobbies, general interests, etc?
Tekitha: I love long car trips…and
going to the movies. I’m a big time movie buff.
Films from the 40’s and 50’s are my favourites
spending time with my family, my daughter
especially, is my favourite thing to do by far!!! She
is a breath a fresh air to say the least with quite
a sense of humour I might add.
Wu-International: Please give us a run down on
what’s next for Tekitha for the rest of 2006, 2007
and beyond (as in shows, movies, tours, mix tapes
Tekitha: Well, completing this project
once and for all, releasing a coffee table book
along with the album, various shows worldwide in
coffee houses, small and large venues (should have
an itinerary up by spring 07’) perfecting my craft,
raising my daughter and positively effecting the
communities I am a part of.
Wu-International: You have been doing this for a
while and still doing it, do you have any words of
advice for anyone trying to get into the music
Tekitha: Research what you need in
order to achieve what you want, go the bookstore
read up on publishing, copywriting, business
management and so on. Create a team around you to
help you achieve the goals that you set. All in all,
there are so many aspects of music business to know
and understand in order for you to be successful. I
would suggest learning as much as possible to save
you time, money and energy along your journey.
Wu-International: Thanks very much Tekitha, it’s
been a lot of questions, and believe me there were
more than this initially we had to filter them, we
always get emails enquiring about you all the time,
so you taking the time to answer these questions
means a lot not just to us here at Wu-International
but to mostly to the fans everywhere, thanks again,
highly appreciated, any last words, shout outs,
anything else we missed that you want the fans to
Tekitha: I would like to thank all the people
who have inquired about me over these years. It
makes me feel like this struggle hasn’t been in
vain. I appreciate your continued support
look forward to delivering a masterpiece to each and
everyone who has been waiting so patiently as well
as to those who had no idea I was standing in the
Thanks very much again, good luck with all your
endeavours and we look forward to hearing more from
you in the near future, Peace
Tekitha: Thank you. I enjoyed it, you had a good
group of questions. See you when the pendulum swings
Corrections: Since the interview, the song in question
"No way to run" was emailed to Tekitha who confirmed the
real title was "Ride This Wave" .
Stay up to date with Tekitha at
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