It says a huge amount about the meteoric rise of London’s grime genre that many of its artists who championed it are tagged with the word ‘legend.’ And it's also positive that not only the mic-wielding emcees get the plaudits, such as Skepta and Dizzee Rascal, but also the producers behind the scenes. One name that is really emerging from the dark corners of the studio are the masked and acclaimed duo, The HeavyTrackerz.
After the UK Top 20 success of their beat for Meridian Dan on German Whip, The HeavyTrackerz’s credits became a who’s who of the genre with the likes of Skepta, Dizzee Rascal, Stormzy and many more. As they further pursued their own artistic path with the release of their new album, Trkrz Fm, Headliner grabbed a chat with Teedot about their journey from making music on an old Playstation, to the place they sit today.
The roots of grime are mostly traced to such London locations as Newham, Tower Hamlets and Tottenham, but The HeavyTrackerz and a certain Lethal Bizzle’s upbringing in Walthamstow mean this north-eastern area of the capital is certainly worth its salt also.
“These places like Bow, Hackney, Stratford, they’re all within 10 to 15 minutes of each other,” Teedot tells me. “And it was the youth centres where everyone would end up going. So as a kid, you could catch a glimpse of Dizzee Rascal or Wiley.”
With their names appearing on their tracks and their incredibly distinctive masks made from lego, I ask Teedot if the plan was always to go from behind the scenes producers to artists at the forefront.
“It was always part of the plan,” he says. “I think with our background [Teedot and his musical partner G Tank moved to the UK from Congo at a young age], we were always fond of people like Daft Punk, Deadmau5, that sort of thing. We didn't want to be people just behind the keyboard. I can only think of a few acts that have done it – Rudimental, Calvin Harris.
"One of our major influences were people like Basement Jaxx, but we didn't know who was in the group! So the idea was to make sure that eventually, our name would be at the forefront. The Americans do it all the time, so we wanted to bring that over here as well.”