Nigerian alté rockstar Teezee joins LootLove to talk about his latest collab track with Knucks, “DO ME JEJE.” He also discusses the voyage of self-discovery that led to his new album, ‘Arrested by Love,’ his links to the UK and how it influences his art, and how love has become a driving force in his life.
Teezee explains Nollywood influence on ‘Arrested By Love’ title
I feel like I saw the title in like my dream? I’m a big daydreamer, and I was thinking the whole time “What am I gonna call this?” I was seeing symbols like chains, and I knew it had to do with love so I was thinking “arrested by love,” “prisoner of love,” but Sade had done “Prisoner of Love.”
Then I was watching Nollywood movies during lockdown. I was binging - I’m a heavy early 2000s Nollywood fan - and I stumbled on one called ‘Arrested By Love,’ and it was like that light bulb moment. The movie was just portraying a range of emotions, it was funny, there was action, it was dramatic, just typical Naija Nollywood style, and it kind of encompassed everything about the EP so this was the perfect title for me.
Teezee on “New Government”
Manifestation is so real, like speaking what you believe. People want you to be shy to say it, but I know. I know there’s a new government in town. Things are changing, the guards are changing through all the things that have happened.
The rise of the alté movement that we started back in the day has kind of like got [to the] forefront of culture in afro-pop, it’s now borderline mainstream culture as well. It’s just more proof that there’s really a change in guard, there’s really a new government in town. It’s emblematic in many ways - politically, culturally, even just for a good party vibe as well.
Teezee on his close connection to the UK
Growing up, I spent a lot of time between [London and Lagos], those are my homes. Through that I just really wanted to connect with the communities from there, the Afro-British community. Over the last 10 years, the pride of being African-British has really risen because of afrobeats and stuff. Now more than ever, all those guys [on the project], from Lancey Foux to Pa Salieu, they are on the same wave, those are my friends even outside of music.
We’ve done shows where I’ve brought some of these guys to Nigeria, and we’ve done stuff where we’ve gone to the UK to connect with them on shows as well, so it was a really special moment and I felt like bringing everyone into Teezee’s universe was a way to connect both worlds wholeheartedly and that’s something that’s super organic to my own being.