The melodic Texako is an artist that needs no introduction. Among the talented group of individuals who have innovated and inducted new genres via SoundCloud, not many are as decorated as Texako. From creating a wave as one of the originators of the “PluggnB” sound since 2016, Texako’s signature production style of mixing prototypical plug beats with R&B samples has put him in a lane all his own. In addition, Texako has been a trailblazer and inspiration to the Carolina SoundCloud scene through his legendary collaborations with Ronsocold, Slime Dollaz, and FadedBlackid. From being a former cohort of Neilaworld to creating new genres, Texako’s imprint within the underground has reverberated throughout the scene as he continues to inspire his fellow artists and producers alike. We had the opportunity to have a conversation with the Charlotte legend and discuss his upbringing, inspirations, and musical skill set.

Being one of the trailblazers of the Charlotte SoundCloud scene, could you tell us a little bit about your upbringing there? Did you live anywhere else growing up?

I was born in Newark, New Jersey. Went to school in Roselle for a minute, then moved to Charlotte around 2005. I basically grew up in North Carolina going back to Jersey every summer, so I always had the mixture of my hometown and North Carolina.

Did your dual experiences in NJ and NC play apart in how you formed your unique sound music wise?

Yeah, I would kind of say that because the music scene was very different up north. You can always hear Hip-Hop and R&B classics being played on the daily. Down south, they were always playing the new joints, so I had a mixture of two sounds and multiple genres I could listen and grow into. 

It’s makes so much sense now to see how you originated the iconic “PluggnB” sound. As you were growing up, when did you start to make music?

I started around 7. My older brother used to record me and burn CDs of my music when he was at the crib.

Would you say your brother was a mentor/influence as you began to grow as an artist?

Yeah, I would say that. He put me on artists such as Trey Songz and Lil B.

When did producing become a big part of your musical skill set?

I’d say around 12, but I didn’t pursue it until I was 18. I always had sounds flowing through my head, but I would never let them out.

As you began to seriously pursue producing, is that when your involvement in the SoundCloud scene began?

Tiny, tiny bit. I didn’t want nobody to know I made beats, cause I thought the rapper to producer and vice versa thing was a little corny because everybody was trying to do it. So I tried to be very silent about it.

I think in 2016 when I came across your music, you had your own production credited on the tapes you put out back then. Is that when you would say you began to let the world know you were producing and rapping?

Yes, a little bit. I still didn’t really credit myself on the work, but I did use my production.

You diversify production between yourself and other producers like SoMuchSauce, Niko East, and Dylvinci. What about their production do you like when making a track compared to when you rap on your own beats?

Sauce makes melodies that fit me perfectly; he knows my head space for a song. Dylvinci pushes me to step out of my comfort zone and always be different with every song. Niko always knows how to play the keys I play in my head. I can hum it and he can play it right after.

That’s so great you have collaborators that help you grow/evolve as an artist. Shifting back to the underground scene, Your friendships and collaborations with other artists in the Carolina scene like Slime Dollaz and Ronsocold are well documented as well as other artists in the underground like Xelly and Rewind. How did your relationships with artists in the Carolina and greater underground scene come about?

It just happened really because I started when everybody first did, so it was like an automatic mutual respect between all of us.

As one of the originators of the PlugnB sound, you’ve mentioned in the past that the genre is niche. While the sound is so beloved in the SoundCloud scene, your versatility has no bounds. Your most recent tape “Texx Vol 1” is a big example of this. How do you see yourself evolving as an artist in the future?

I see myself being something bigger than life one day. Also, stepping back from making music and just guiding others. Music isn’t hard for me, but the crowd attraction can be tricky though.

Does that sort of concept correlate to the pub deal you signed? To better reach out to the crowd/masses?

Yeah, and you know to build relationships with people on the inside.

One of your most notable IG lives emphasized artists building their own profiles/brands by themselves versus utilizing the strengths of collectives. I think that’s something that’s really important. Was that a motivating factor for you in leaving Neilaworld and to continue to build your rep as a solo artist?

Yeah like 50/50 cause I fuck with Neilaworld, but I know that at the end of the day we all have our own lives. I didn’t feel too comfortable about being in a group just because sometimes all of your hard work goes to the group instead of the artist who made the song because you’re so busy trying to make the brand big. So, it’s like you’re minimizing yourself for the whole group.

Any shout-outs to wrap it up?

Shout-out to my mom, my label, and my big boss, Trend. Also, big shout-out to all the producers that helped create magic with me.