Teezee’s new single “Stamina” captures the effervescence of Brazil

"I want to create ambience music that’s like the soundtrack to your enjoyment"

Teezee knows the potential of culture. Striking out the scene in the 2000s with DRB Lasgidi, the artist has occupied many roles and worn many hats throughout the industry. Right now, Teezee is acclaimed in popular culture for his leadership role at the Def Jam-affiliated Native Records, whose flagship act ODUMODUBLVCK has been making memorable incursions into the mainstream domain, while courting a niche dedication in their fanbase, much like Teezee did all those years ago. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by TEEZINHO (@teezee)

Despite how far he’s come in the game, music remains a prime activity for Teezee. He’s an intentional creator, matching his vast sonic palette with narrative choices that brings his ideas to colourful light. Last year’s ‘ARRESTED BY LOVE’ was attended with an Old Nollywood-esque dramatism, placing the motions of his life under consideration on wax. 

“Stamina” is the rapper and singer’s latest release. It’s a fun drop with exquisite polishes, right from the sound and down to the visuals. As he tells us in this exclusive, it’s a summery bop intended to settle the listener into a chill vibe and paint a picture of his time in Brazil.

Ahead of the official release of the visuals for “Stamina”, Teezee tells The NATIVE about how the record came together, its relationship with the beautiful game of football, visiting Brazil, and the ongoing experimentation going behind his sound.

NATIVE: You worked with frequent collaborator Sholz on this one. Did that play a role in how intimate and relaxed this song sounds?

Teezee: Yeah, Sholz is one of my oldest friends. We actually started making music together, like back in JSS1. He’s a co-founder of Native Records; working with him is always seamless and easy. We’re just in a search to create a new sound and really tap into this Afro-Dance element which kind of retracts elements of Amapiano, Afrobeats, Afrofusion, some pop, some Garage. Elements that we’ve kind of discovered and explored around the world. You know, this Afro-Dance is not a new idea to us; it’s something we’ve been trying to create since, with the inception of Native Sound System and the ‘NATIVEWORLD’ album—so we’re just developing on that sound to take it further. 

The song is titled “Stamina” (which is a popular word to football fans) and you’re wearing a Brazil football jersey on set. Was that a coincidence or is there some narrative behind that choice?

Teezee: Wearing a Brazil jersey is very intentional. I think I probably have the most in-depth jersey collection in Nigeria. I don’t want to say Africa because some guys might have it more than me. You know, football is near and dear to my heart. Like that’s something that I use as an anecdote to many things in life. And especially Brazilian football—you know Brazilian footballers are really good, but people say they’re playful because they’re fun with it. They dribble a lot; they’re about having fun but they also win and I think that’s what we at Native Records represent. Like, we take this very seriously but it’s also fun. It’s also what we love doing. We love to dance, we love to score goals, we love to create assists. 

You can check the track record, I’ve always worn classic football jerseys in most of my historic music videos. DRB Lasgidi “Necessary”, wore the Nigeria; one of 23 kits that came out in 1994; Odumodu’s “Declan Rice”, I wore the Zinedine Zidane jersey from Euro 2000. And for “Stamina” I’m wearing Ronaldinho, one of my icon’s Brazil jerseys from the 2002 World Cup. It’s really special for me. 

“Stamina” is a feel-good song which sounds perfect for summer. How do seasons and moods contribute to the music you make?

Teezee: Seasons and moods completely contribute to that. I’m a summer baby, and I’m a water sign. So those two things really collaborate into making the type of music I want to hear when I’m outside, when I’m having fun, when I’m travelling with my friends, when I’m at the beach, when I’m swimming, when we’re about to go to the party, when I’m dressing about to get lit. You know, that’s the kind of music I want to create; I want to create ambience music that’s like the soundtrack to your enjoyment. And I think that’s the vibe I try to give to “Stamina.”

What was the most memorable experience from your trip to Brazil?

Teezee: My memorable experience from Brazil was definitely the carnival. That was a mind blowing experience. Just seeing the richness in cultures, how all those favelas are the ones that actually build up those mannequins that kind of walk through the whole stadium and you get to watch and just see a rich celebration of culture. Brazil also being a place where the culture is really immersed in diversity. It’s one of the most diverse places in the world; in fact, I read that Brazil has the most afro-diverse community outside of Africa in the world. So you understand when us as Africans go to Brazil, you feel an instant connection with the people and cultures. 

The visuals are quite colourful and striking in a cinematic way. How did those scenes come together? 

Teezee: I just work with a beautiful creative team. Shoutout to Sawa, Rafa, Mowa, the whole crew. Just some young, dope, I’ll call them—you know, just people pushing subgenres out in Brazil. There’s people like us around the world and we found them and just made a masterpiece and I just really took stems from seeing what Brazil looks like when it was represented to us back in the day—from watching movies like ‘City of God’ or also watching what Pharell and Snoop Dogg did in “Beautiful”. I just wanted to recreate that, but in my own way, and in a very Teezee, natural, alte kind of version of that. 

If you could play this song anywhere in the world, where would you play it? 

Teezee: I’ll play this song…at the beach. When you’re meditating and you’re just trying to free your mind, just enjoying yourself. So I think the beach; Tarkwa Bay preferably.