Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Tiggs Da Author
Tiggs Da Author Tiggs Da Author

A little while back I was asked to go to the Waiting Rooms in Stokey to see a fresh act called Tiggs Da Author. I was reliably informed that I would ‘love’ his music and I would be totally enthralled by his ‘energy on the stage’ - I was told, no lies.

Tiggs Da Author signed to Sony RCA is the South London; rapper, singer, songwriter and producer who can be mentioned as a name to watch with confidence. Bringing a sound that belies his relatively young years, Tiggs stomps with energy into sounds that pay homage to his East African roots (being from Tanzania), elements of jazz, bits of funk and of course Motown.

After brief period mixing in the world of Grime a trip back to Tanzania where his uncle introduced him to the world of East African Jazz, Tiggs was inspired to form his own band and bring his ‘vision’ for music to a wider audience - we can safely say so far it has worked.

His current debut single “Georgia” is quintessential Motown vibes blessed my Tiggs’ infectious vocal delivery that is as unique as a fingerprint. Produced by Show N Prove, (the man behind Stooshe’s hit Black Heart 2012) the single is an addictive, fun filled track that will make the blind see and the infirm stand-up and say ‘praise the Tiggs!’

So Blues & Soul had to get a meeting with the man himself, post an absolutely firing performance on the Jools Holland Show. A trip to North London and Show N Prove’s studio, we discuss; creating a band using a grime demo, working on his debut album and of course his ‘musical vision’ to create the best live band ever.

So the name, Tiggs Da Author - why?

When I was at school I used to wear all this Tigga clothing (at the time it was really cool to wear it). People then just started calling me Tigga (everyone worth their salt at the time had a tag). When I finished school I started writing poetry and I added the ‘author’ bit to it.

Music - can break down your journey?

When I was thirteen my best friend was a DJ (shout out to DJ Fingaz) and he used to go to pirate radio and record shops - I just used to follow him everywhere. I then started to get into Garage and Grime, just because of the stuff he had - as I grew up I liked it more and started writing 8 bars.

How did you go from grime to genres as diverse as Motown and East African Jazz?

After I finished school I started going back and forth to Tanzania to see my family. On my return trips, my uncle would take me to jazz clubs. It was at these venues that my taste in music started to broaden and become really diverse. I started listening to a lot of East African jazz music. The more I kept going back, the more I started to think about starting my own band. I wanted to bring that fusion of South London and my roots colliding together.

Was it difficult to form a fresh band?

Well, it was difficult in many ways. I just started messaging people saying I wanted to start a band ‘are you down’? I used to send some of my grime songs stating, ‘this is not what I want to do’ but I needed to try and explain my vision without really having the music.

An unconventional approach.

It was, but that is all I could do. Thankfully, my guitarist George was down for it from the word go. I think he just had nothing to do really, so that is why he got involved, I guess. Once we met and did a few rehearsals, he saw that I had a singing style…I think it gave him the conviction to become part of my plans, to create this band.

Got to ask about your performance on Jools Holland, that was huge!

Thanks. It was nerve racking at first, particularly when you look in the audience and you have Tom Jones starring at you! I just kept making sure I did not look at him! It was crazy, super crazy experience. Once I got on the stage though I just thought I will do my thing, which is what I did - it was an amazing.

And let’s talk about another major moment…your track “Run” being used for the Rugby World Cup.

It’s also actually being used for Fifa 16 as well. When I heard it was on the advert it was unreal. I basically got a text saying that I should watch ITV at 7.30pm after Emmerdale and in my head I was like, ‘no’ because I knew that the text had to be related to something like that, but it was a moment that I could not at first believe.

Cheesy question, but did you think that “Run” would achieve that type of promotion?

When we [Show N Prove] did “Run”, I did not even know that it would do what it did. It was just the first track that Show N Prove and I had worked on together. I did think the track was absolutely sick, and I think I emailed Show back in 2013 and told him that. I did my verses and emailed Show and was like, ‘yo I think this is big - check it out’. Show got back and was like ’yo this is bananas!’

Let’s talk about how you started working with Show N Prove.

Show and I actually hooked up through Sway. I told Sway what stuff I wanted to do and he just said that I would be sick with a producer called Show N Prove. We hooked up and it’s been one of the best things to happen because we really seem to work well with one another.

Are you working on an album?

Yes definitely. The first song to be released is "Georgia", produced by Show. The concept of the track is a girl who is high maintenance, but the guy still wants her. That is influenced by Motown and East African jazz, where I throw in a little bit of witty lyricism. The truth is, Show and I have a lot of stuff stacked up, that I personally cannot wait to get out to people.

And lastly, what is your vision?

My vision is to have the best live show ever, bigger gigs and touring around the world - I would like to tour for a really long time and let loads of people hear my music!



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Words Semper Azeez-Harris

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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