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By pursuing his dreams at an early age, DJ Taye’s efforts have really paid off.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

That is one question that many children answer jokingly.

Let’s face it, no child really knows what they want to be.

DJ Taye knew what he wanted to be from the age of 12 years old. That’s when he began making his own beats. That just makes the rest of us look like we are unprepared for life. The reality is that some people just know what to do with their lives when they are younger but most of us find out later in high school or college. DJ Taye has been coming up with his own content. Trying not to be like everyone else but also allowing himself to be influenced by the greatest.

Get to know DJ Taye below and what is next for him.


“In October 2010 they held a tryout session and I brought my tracks on a flash drive. I was so new to it, I never had any 1200s around me at the time, so I just let Spinn play my tracks. The footworkers dancing and all the guys who were there, Spinn, Rashad, Earl, and Manny all approved of my tracks, it was my first time meeting them. I was 16.”

Considering he was 12 when he started making beats, to be initiated into a family such as Teklife so relatively young, and immediately have his music entrusted to a dance floor was huge for DJ Taye (aka Chicago native Dante Sanders). Accelerating his development, it created the spark alongside other team members of a similar age while providing a sought after environment where the relationships are tightly knit, which organically seeps through in their collaborations: “We all feed off each other, so our style is always fluctuating. There’s always something new, [we] try to keep a fresh collaborative effort going on.”


Footwork’s sampling pool of the past few decades resuscitates songs by “being original, raw content and not just what they already know.” Taye inparticular has a penchant for diving into 90’s hip-hop and R&B. “I’m highly influenced by the 70s, 80s, and even jazz from before that era as well. “The ‘90s hiphop and R&B is what I grew up hearing, like the stuff my mom would listen to, and the stuff she grew up on. I feel like if I use stuff I grew up on to play out, my generation can relate.” Sampling soul music is a staple in modern footwork, seeing a breathtaking apex with ‘Double Cup’ by the late DJ Rashad, who Taye is eternally influenced by day to day, citing It’s Not Right and Love U Found as two of his favourite tracks. A bulk of ‘90s hiphop and R&B tracks also heavily sampled soul and in making footwork using ‘90s era Jay-Z songs (his dad was a big fan), he also is devoted to this tradition, increasing the chance of multiple generations appreciating his, and therefore Teklife’s craft. At age 20, the imprint’s youngest member is keen to revisit a lot of the music he was making as a teen (such as Sunrise 2×15, originally made in his high school senior year), with the tools, aptitude and inspiration he’s accumulated up until this point. The first two tracks are a real joy to listen to, a flurry of Yeezy-chipmunk vocals blissfully trying to overtake each other on Go Away featuring DJ Paypal.


StreeXB extends special thanks to Dummy for the article. Click here to read the rest of the story.

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