TEN QUESTIONS WITH TAPZ GALLANTINO
Welcome to the wonderful, wicked world of TAPZ GALLANTINO. The Zimbabwean artist by-way-of New Zealand, and now based in Los Angeles, has been doing what he does best: creating, crafting, writing, producing, performing and connecting. The result is the SOCIAL CRUCIFIXION TRILOGY, a project that was released into the world earlier this month, ahead of the artist's highly anticipated debut album (hopefully to come in 2024). The trilogy combines three EPs, featuring the lauded tracks LOUIS V and PISTOL and 10 Magazine Australia favourites METAL ON MY TEETH and REAPER. It's a journey into understanding the ever-evolving sound and style of TAPZ GALLANTINO, who prides himself on creating his own genre: Punk R&B. We spoke to the 10 Men Australia cover star about the project and what's to come:
The SOCIAL CRUCIFIXION TRILOGY has finally arrived. We’re so excited for you and for everyone to hear it. How does it feel to have it out in the world? Why was now the right time to release it?
This project is not the project I imagined. There’s an album I’ve been working on for a few years now. The songs on the SOCIAL CRUCIFIXION TRILOGY were originally conceived as part of that larger narrative. Along the way I kept getting better at speaking my mind in real time and telling my origin story. This happened to be the project that chose me. The decision to release it now was intuitive. The debut album is under construction, it's breathing and growing, it’s gonna shake some sh*t up and further challenge expectations. Consider this answer a receipt for what's to come.
What do you hope people take from it?
Great question. What do I hope people take from it ? Simple… I hope people take a look in the mirror.
Tell us about creating these songs. What was your intention? Where did you work on them? What was inspiring you?
I worked on these songs between the pulse of London to the allure of Paris, the landscapes of New Zealand, the electrifying atmosphere of Los Angeles, and the relentless spirit of New York. My intention was to write about real life, sing like we gotta take this R&B genre further than it is right now — underwhelming, and produce like I’m Ye in the 2000s -- like rent is due. The lyrics are philosophy. When I learned English at 10 I learnt that it’s a paintbrush and a tool. It makes me feel the same way I feel when I paint. The picture you paint should reflect the truth — the truth makes you feel, that’s why you can’t hide from it. On that note my inspiration was the concept of ‘the truth’ and not ‘your truth’. Something about the truth, unfiltered, is visceral, even in the face of propaganda.
Is there a song you’re most proud of?
Yea, each one of them at some point were the soundtrack to an era.
You haven’t featured any other artists on this project - who would be on your bucket list of collaborators?
It just happened like that to be honest. People don't know me like that yet, even though I'm shaking sht up in the underground. I'm just telling my story for now you know, owning my narrative... if you're an artist I'm telling you, start by owning your narrative, then your data. Anyway, by the time I was done talking my sht, the songs were already 3 minutes long. With that said, I do have collaborations on the way, maybe some names you might recognize -- no spoilers. On my bucket list right now? Hmm... Brandy, Skepta, Natanya, Smino, Odunsi The Engine, Amaarae and Lancey Foux.
What have you learnt about yourself from beginning the SOCIAL CRUCIFIXION TRILOGY to now releasing it?
I learned that things are in your life for a reason, for a season and some for a lifetime, you don't gotta wait until the end to find out. And TAPZ GALLANTINO is here to stay -- this is more than lifestyle music, this is lifetime music.
We’ve been watching you evolve since 2015. It’s been so great to watch you grown and evolve. How do you personally feel like you have evolved?
I remember 2015 like it was yesterday. We got to witness one another evolve and see a lot of each other’s firsts — I mean from Australasia to America to Europe, look at us, who would have thought... I’m proud of you Roxy. Y’all were my first global magazine cover and I was your first 10 article. Y’all are the first publication where I spoke on what happened in New Zealand 2020 when I went back for COVID. On top of that, The origins of SOCIAL CRUCIFIXION and why I care so much about building a world where artists have ownership over their narrative. To more! But to answer your question I've evolved to not really giving a f*** and feeling how I feel, I guess that’s why the album sounds how it sounds.
We know how much you love fashion as well so we have to ask - what have you been wearing? Which designers have been a part of the TAPZ GALLANTINO universe?
My top 2 will always remain the same until everyone owns a piece. Davounte Williams and YRAM Studios. As for the rest, Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter at Botter, Pearled Ivory-- I like their new leather jackets a lot, KIITF+ for essentials, Marine Serre, Underthesign, BORDOR for the head top, and K.O. Asante -- I'm enjoying witnessing what he's building with POTENT. In terms of footwear, my friends got me Tabis for my birthday, I wear them to sleep, you can blame my star sign. Last one is the Gucci by Tom Ford SS 1999 leather jacket -- elite.
What’s been inspiring you recently - aside from music? Something you’re passionate about?
Curating events. I like to connect the dots so I’ve been throwing parties in LA and everyone comes and leaves with a new friend, I’m passionate about my community out here for sure, it's breathing and growing.
Listen to the SOCIAL CRUCIFIXION TRILOGY here.