TEN QUESTIONS WITH TASMAN KEITH
With a flow reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar's, Kanye West-esque layered production and thoughtful, poignant bars, Tasman Keith has shot to the top of the rap game in Australia. On his debut album A Colour Undone, which bends other genres including soul, jazz and funk, the artist chronicles his experience as an Indigenous man in this country. With roaring, rolling beats and poignant topics, A Colour Undone is a thought-provoking feat, touching on self-reflection, ego death and reaching peace. It's one of the best albums we've heard out of Australia this year. We spoke to Tamsan about the creation of A Colour Undone:
Wow, your album is so refreshing. Congratulations. What did you hope to achieve on this project when you began creating it? How do you feel that it’s out in the world?"
“I just wanted to create a sonic piece of art that I could be my complete self in & have people see so many different sides of me. My addressing trauma and working inward allowed me to do that, now I hope it can help others do the same. It feels unbelievable, I still don’t necessarily believe it because it is such a big thing to process. All of the stories in the record are so vulnerable so right now it’s a mix of relief, joy, excitement and I’m still processing everything else with it.”
You worked with some brilliant artists on this album. Why did you choose these specific artists?
“All of the artists on the record are first and foremost people I respect, the fact that I am able to have an organic friendship with everyone on this record is what made choosing these artists such an easy process.”
Who did you work with production-wise?
“Production wise it was Kwame, Nikos, Kapital J, Swindail and 18YOMAN & LEN20.”
What do you think the making of A Colour Undone has taught you? What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt?
“That I am human, that I’m imperfect and that I have a lot to address within myself before I try to address everything else externally.”
There are some smooth R&B moments on this album as well as adrenaline-inducing rap. Who inspires you sonically?
“For this album in particular there were a lot of inspiration, from Michael Jackson & Broadway musicals to 2pac & Kanye and everything else you can possibly fit in between.”
“This is always a tough one, it really just depends on what I feel like making right now. But I’ve always said a verse from Andre 3000 would be the one.”
Great choice. For those listening to you for the first time, what do you want them to know about you before diving into this project?
“I want people to go into the record expecting nothing and discovering everything about me.”
What do you hope listeners take away from the album?
“A sense of somebody who is learning how to work internally for the betterment of himself and others, and if they gravitate towards that and look to my story as something they can interpret for themselves, that's a beautiful thing.”
What’s something that you’re passionate about, something that you stand for?
"Lately it is health - in all aspects. Having seen many deaths in my community from health issues, it is something I want to put my knowledge towards and lead by example to help change.”
What’s next? Tour?
“Yup! Touring throughout September in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and my hometown of Bowraville. All info is at www.tasmankeith.com."
Listen to A Colour Undone HERE.