In November of 2015, Music and Other Drugs was introduced to the sounds of hip hop artist Tapz, with his single “Killa,” which has garnered over 1 million plays via Spotify. More recently the New Zealand artist, by way of Zimbabwe, just released his latest single “Run Don’t Run,” and we were hooked. Music and Other Drugs got the opportunity to interview the multi-talented artists to learn more about his sound, his background, and what he has in store for us, musically. TAPZ provided Music and Other Drugs with an exclusive playlist of songs that inspire him and his music. Check out the playlist and interview below.
Music and Other Drugs: Where did the name TAPZ come from?
Tapz: Growing up I’d always been called Tapz by my aunties and uncles, I guess it kinda stuck.
MaOD: You were raised in New Zealand, can you tell us how the music scene is there? What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
Tapz: To be accurate I was raised in Zimbabwe until I was 10, then moved to New Zealand and my parents continued raising me there. Having moved from one completely different environment to another, you can imagine that the music environment would have been equally such a crazy change. In Zimbabwe, I would listen to Michael Jackson and traditional Zimbabwean music, and in New Zealand, I fell in love with punk rock. And you know, I fell in love with those certain genres because they all aligned with how I was feeling at those specific times.
MaOD: We see that you categorize your music as “noir n b”. Can you tell us what that means for you?
Tapz: It’s raw. My music is like watching a thriller. You never know what’s gonna hit you, by the time you realize what’s around one corner, BAM! another surprise.
MaOD: We see more and more artists taking control of their music. As a writer and producer of your own music, can you tell us how that started and where you learned it from?
Tapz: I wanted my music to sound like my background. I am unique… we all are. I wanted that to bleed out the speakers, like wires are my veins, so that when you hear it you know it’s “Tapz,” and only Tapz. And now having learnt how to produce and write, it means that I can accurately communicate who I am.
MaOD: Outside of yourself, who are some new up-and-coming artists we should look out for in 2017?
Tapz: Mzwètwo and Gallantino
MaOD: Tapz, you’ve worked with two artists on our radar, Vic Mensa & 6Lack. Who are some other artist that you would love the opportunity to work with? What would the song sound like, and just off the top of your head, what would the title of the track be?
Tapz: There are a lot of artists I would love to work with. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories whether you have a catalog or not. I want to create unique, forward-minded, innovative music that connects with this generation and generations to come.
MaOD: What inspired your lead single “Run Don’t Run,” and why did you choose this as the lead?
Tapz: My story and how I wanted to tell it. I want you to know where I’m from before I tell you where I’ve been. The music to come will touch on where I’ve been… the things I’ve seen and more.
MaOD: What was the process of making your debut project? What do you want your listeners to get out of their experience while listening?
Tapz: There’s an important story behind my project, it’s going to change a lot of people’s lives. I just want people to feel something, you know, connect however they wish but most importantly feel something.
MaOD: You said women have inspired your music. What about women has inspired your music and sound?
Tapz: Their complexity and dynamic energy. They’re better and do things better. That inspires me.
MaOD: Your first song “KILLA” has over 1.6 million plays on Spotify and growing. How does Tapz define success?
Tapz: 1.6 million is just a number baby, and the numbers will keep climbing, which is cool. But… success on earth is nothing but perception. I’m not successful until I make it to heaven, if I make it to heaven.