TAPZ wants to not only bring the world to recognize the rise of Zimbabwe’s music and creative scene, but to shine light on the poverty and corruption taking place. At just 22-years-old, the young Zimbabwean rapper has managed to flee the war-torn country, forging a voice through music that he one day hopes to translate into empowerment of his people. After making waves last year with his hit single “Killa” and gaining notoriety through Zane Lowe’s support, he’s returned today with a hard-hitting follow-up titled “Murder, Murder.” Watch above and check out our conversation below with the ascending rapper/producer from New Zealand by way of Zimbabwe.
Over the past few years, there’s been a wave of successful mainstream artists using African beats and dancehall in their music. Being a native of Zimbabwe, what are you feelings on that, if any?
I grew up on those grooves. It’s about time Africa starts getting shine for how special it is. But let’s not let it stop there though, let’s shine light on the creatives in Africa, let’s shine light on the corruption in Africa, let’s shine light on the poverty levels too. I’ve seen both its beauty and its terror.
What would you say are the advantages/disadvantages of being an artist living in New Zealand?
New Zealand is small and majestic. That’s an advantage, it gave me space to grow as a person and as an artist. They’re disadvantages to be living anywhere in the world if you’re bound by the borders of your territory. I’m not bound by borders. My parents crossed the Zimbabwean border to give me a better future so I’m going to crash through every border and every border you put in front of me, it’s in my blood.
You worked on tracks with 6lack, tell us about that?
It was cool! The opportunity presented itself, we met at a studio in Los Angeles. I really like the things they’re doing at LVRN, their ability to execute their vision is cool. It’s good to see other young artists use innovation and creative freedom in a world and time that says otherwise.
There’s a lot of new energy in Africa in terms of the music scene, have you ever considered going back to build your own movement in Zimbabwe?
I want to go back to Zimbabwe to build more than just a movement. I wasn’t raised in the city like most Zimbabweans that migrated. I was a rural kid raised in Wedza, Google that place, you gon’ see. There weren’t any computers or nothing like that there. I want to build schools and help the people there. Music is just the start for me, it’s my voice and as I get bigger it’s gonna get louder. I will shout everything they denied to listen to, they will hear us, this is bigger than me. Just make sure you’re ready before the storm comes. It’s coming.
Check out more of TAPZ on his official SoundCloud page here.