The Teklife crew closes out 2014.
Teklife, the Chicago crew founded by Rashad, Spinn, Traxman et al as Ghettoteknitianz, has become synonymous with footwork itself. It only takes one listen to the group's recent Next Life compilation to see the musical and geographical reach they have now. Even as they make waves globally, however, Teklife's core remains in Chicago, where they're inspiring a younger generation of artists who are practically growing up on footwork. Dante Sanders, AKA DJ Taye, proudly calls himself Teklife's "youngest member." He's been producing and playing out since he was a preteen, and with a remarkably graceful mixing style and quality tracks under his belt, he's among the most exciting prospects of Teklife's new breed.
Taye's RA podcast makes it pretty obvious why. He focuses on the genre's soulful side, overflowing with melody, bright synths and hooky basslines. The hour-long mix fully showcases Teklife's extensive roster—including other hotly tipped artists like DJ Earl and DJ Paypal—making Taye's mix feel celebratory. Like Next Life, it's a document of footwork's continued evolution and a reminder of the late DJ Rashad's towering influence over the genre.
What have you been up to recently?
Recently I've been collaborating with Manny and Earl heavily, playing local shows and I did a Europe tour in October along with Earl.
How and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded live at T.O.G. practice, a footwork group from Chicago's south suburbs. I recorded it live while they practiced.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
Throughout the mix I just wanted to make listeners hear the Next Life compilation in a different form, mixed with new and old tunes from myself and the rest of the Teklife crew.
You're touted as the youngest member of the Teklife crew. How and when did you get into footwork?
I got into footwork in 2007, when I was 13, when my friends would bring Rashad, Spinn, Manny and Earl tracks around me and practice footworking everyday. I just got into it heavily after that because I was already making rap beats two years before that. The stuff I was hearing from the guys back then really inspired me.
What do you think it is about Teklife that breeds a sense of community and collaboration?
Teklife breeds community and collaboration so much because even though we're artists and DJs, we love to interact with the people who like our music. It keeps us going, keeps us wanting to do better.
What are you up to next?
For the future, I'll be working with my Teklife family on our forthcoming releases, focusing on touring more and collaborating with a few rap artists as well.