Singer and songwriter Tekitha Wisdom first entered the public eye as the in-house female vocalist for the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Making several appearances on their classic 1997 LP Wu-Tang Forever, and even landing a solo track on the album (“Second Coming”), Tekitha went on to sign to group leader RZA’s Razor Sharp Records to embark on her journey as a full fledged solo artist..
Tekitha’s raw soul powerful vocals quickly led to a number of high-profile collaborations on Wu-Tang solo projects and those of other prominent artists. She featured on Raekwon’s album, The Lex Diamonds Story, Ghostface Killah’s heartfelt single, “All I Got Is You“; and even got the chance to collaborate with the modern hip-hop architect, KRS-One. Though mostly known as a songstress, she’s even been known to have rap bars and trade verses with elite emcees like she did on Cappadona’s “Pump Your Fist” or RZA’s “Mantis.”
Thanks to a chance meeting on a train, Tekitha was able to parlay those notable collaborations into a No. 1 U.K. dance record (“Mother Earth”) with acclaimed producer Armand Van Helden before forming a musical partnership with Van Helden called Sahara, which produced limited releases for worldwide distribution.
2009 saw the release of Wisdom’s debut EP, The Prelude, on her own Wisdom Body Entertainment. With production from a variety of standouts, including The RZA, Van Helden, and Chicago’s own Jeff “Joneszilla” Jones, the seven-track release featured her original songs and showcased her diverse musicality and vocal fusion across a mix of vibrant soul, rap, rock and pop arrangements.
Rolling out recently caught up with Wisdom to talk past, present and future endeavors, her latest single, “Labor of Love,” and the newly formed creative entity, Tekitha & The Collective.
Who inspired you musically?
I am inspired by so many people but my main inspirations include Chaka Khan, Fleetwood Mac, Grace Jones, Lenny Kraviz, Madonna, Slick Rick, and Stevie Wonder.
What was the experience like working with Wu-Tang Clan in the capacity that you did?
It was amazing and humbling. Of course, at the time we were making it, none of us knew what the magnitude of the Wu-Tang Forever album would be. But looking back on it, I feel blessed. I mean “Impossible” alone is regarded as a classic hip-hop song. People still talk about that song, that I’m on, almost 20 years later — it’s mind-blowing. And I learned so much from the guys as far as making music and the business itself.
What’s the best and worst part of being an indie artist?
The best part would be the creative freedom and following your artistic instinct in regards to what and when to release projects. I guess the “wearing of many hats” would be the worst part of being independent. As an artist I know it is key that I am able to focus on conjuring and creating the work but, often I am focused on how I can get it to the people. Challenging to say the least.
Tell us about the new single, “Labor of Love” featuring The Boy Illinois.
“Labor of Love” is a song written about and for my husband. It is a testament to our partnership, what he brings out of me and how he represents himself in our unit. My producer and business partner Jeff “Joneszilla” Jones, who also produced the song, put me up on The Boy Illinois last year and I love his approach to music. I thought he would contribute something fresh to the song and in my opinion he nailed it.
What’s next for Tekitha & The Collective?
I’m so excited to be releasing follow up singles to “Labor of Love.” I am also headed to Morocco this month to finish up an EP with talented singer/producer, Ahmed Soultan, titled Week of the Phoenix. I’m looking forward to performing all of the new material live. I’ve collaborated with visual artist, Lichiban, to deliver a non-traditional approach to experiencing my music. It’s more of an art installation than your run of the mill performance. There’s so much in store for Tekitha & The Collective, I believe both old and new fans will be pleasantly surprised.
Check out Tekitha & The Collective’s “Labor of Love” featuring The Boy Illinois via Souncloud.
For more information on Tekitha please connect with her on the following social media outlets:
Facebook – Tekitha Wisdom
Instagram – Tekitha
Twitter – @Tekitha1