Tapz is back. Dropping the ‘Young’ in ‘Young Tapz’ he’s grown up. Evolved. After a whirlwind year of travelling, writing, creating and experiencing, Tapz has just released a new single and video ‘Run Don’t Run’ (featured below), the beginning of a new chapter. There’s an intense urgency in his new music. He’s moving forward, fast, ready to continue and let loose on world domination. The time is now.
Your plan was to take over the world. How is that going?
“Incredible. I have seen more places in the world since we last met. I went to the states a couple of times last year, I fell in love with L.A. and how motivated people were and the level of talent out there is undeniable. It’s always a testament to me and to Gallantino when we see our work being recognised when we’re there. They’re looking out here when there is so much talent there.”
You’re releasing new music this week. It sounds like you’ve grown up.
“You’re not the first one to say that. I feel like as I keep growing as an artist and being open to growing I’m gaining an understanding of how I want to communicate better and that reflects in the songs.”
What are you communicating in your new music?
“‘Run Don’t Run’ is a reminder to myself of everything my parents went through to give us a better life. They left everything to give me everything and in turn I give everything all I can. My life just keeps getting better. I never have to be stuck in one place, I want to keep growing as a person. Next year again the songs will be different and reflect where I’m at then.”
Your message will always evolve with time and experience.
“Exactly. I once saw something that said that people who stay in one place don’t gain as much wisdom as those who travel because travelling exercises both parts of your brain. My music will always progress and grow to be different but it will always have me in it. That’s the unique core of it.”
What are you listening to?
“I find myself going back and still listening to Michael Jackson. When I was growing up in Zimbabwe, even though I didn’t speak English I really connected with his music and so that’s why the melody and beat is so important in my music. I know the power of it. I produce everything myself. It’s an important understanding to have. it helps me communicate exactly what I want to communicate. I need to see the whole picture.”
When you’re writing, producing and doing it all how does it happen for you?
“It’s whatever I feel on that day. It translates into how I dress, too. Today I dressed to make a statement.”
Why’d you drop the Young in Young Tapz?
“It boxes me into a Hip Hop artist. My music is me. It doesn’t fit into a genre.”
You said you have a love/hate relationship with Drake… how do you feel about him now after Views and More Life?
“It’s still love hate. (Laughs). The reason I had a love hate relationship with him at that time was my tone. We have a similar vocal range and since then I’ve progressed my range and got in touch with my falsetto. Now I have a more dynamic range. At that time when I was listening to Drake, I’d go into the studio I’d sound like Drake. Now I go into the studio and sound like Tapz. I’ve always wanted to sing since I was a little kid. I’ve always done it throughout my songs and now I’ve gained that better understanding of my range I can do certain things I couldn’t before.”
Why have you waited to release new music?
“I know when things feel right. I can feel it in my heart. Now it feels right.”
“That’s a good question. Jesus.”
How would you collaborate with Jesus?
“I say Jesus because I love what Jesus did. I just want to create music that gives back, that enriches people’s lives and makes these crowds feel something.”
When you’re on stage how do you feel?
“Every part of this is so important to me. From what I’m learning to the shoes I’m wearing to who’s interviewing me. I embrace how I feel in that certain moment. Tapz is for the people. I say I want to take over the world because I’m a global artist. Having that perspective allows me to connect with a larger amount of people. Whoever they are, whichever race or gender they are. I know what it’s like to be different, I want to make people feel okay with being different.”
Like a celebration of diversity. What does 2017 mean to you? Do you have motto for this year?
“My motto is Gallantino every year. “Bravery in the name of.” I want to be brave and take risks in everything that I do.”
by Roxy Lola
Photographs by Samuel Hodge
Tapz wears Tommy Hilfiger menswear.