2019 has been a year where showcasing a strong sense of versatility has been the aim for almost every artist in the UK. Looking back at the UK’s charting tracks, we’ve witnessed iconic fusions of UK rap and grime with the sounds of afrobeats, pop, US rap and much more. Combinations have been explored and boundaries have been overruled. Tiggs Da Author evidently adopted this approach way before its time with a discography that transitions through an endless list of genres.
Without a doubt, Tiggs Da Author has featured on some of the best bodies of work to come out of the UK in the past years including Nines’s ‘One Foot Out’ and ‘Crop Circle’, J Hus’s ‘Common Sense’ and LD’s ‘The Masked One’. He has proven to be an artist who remains unbound by genre as his afrocentric and soulful vocals bring each track to life, encasing each hook. The recent release of his mixtape ‘MOREFIRE’ continues to champion the collaborative nature of the UK music scene as well as his own musical inspirations.
Having proven the possibility of transitioning through as many genres as Tiggs Da Author has so far, questioning his science behind it was essential. With an authentic vocalisation that takes more to a soulful vibe, his seamless projection against any sound uncovers a natural openness. It’s this very attitude that forms his persona as an artist which he expresses as second nature. “I’m always trying new things because that’s what I like to do. I like to experiment and push myself and see what the outcome is; that’s the same approach I take with my music.”
Inspired by his Tanzanian heritage, gravitation towards a more jazz-inspired sound was inevitable. Nonetheless, incorporating present British sounds has always remained a key foundation to a majority of his tracks. “At the same time, I always had the British element in me as a fan of a lot of rappers as I was coming up. Nines, Blade Brown, Kano, Skepta, just everyone. I’m always going to be working with them and collaborating with them, no matter what point I’m at in my career with whatever British talent is coming up at the time as well.” With his prominent feature on a number of top UK projects, it was time to reverse the roles and form his own body of work.
A lot of the songs have a lot of what’s going now but also a lot of Jamaican influences in the music.
Leading up to the release of ‘MOREFIRE’, Tiggs Da Author worked to release his own tracks with singles including the mixtape’s ‘Kinshasa Riddim’ in collaboration with Blade Brown after his return to the music scene, and ‘Nasti Riddim’ alongside Not3s. The highly anticipated release of his mixtape brings together and celebrates his releases throughout the year with a number of new additions to the track list. As a Londoner, his inspiration for the project mirrors modern slang. “The inspiration behind ‘MOREFIRE’ is that I always wanted to do something that takes inspiration from the Jamaican sound system era. When I was working, I had the artwork done before the music, I know I wanted everything to be vinyl and the tracks to be called [something] riddim. A lot of the songs have a lot of what’s going now but also a lot of Jamaican influences in the music.”
With appearances from Skrapz, Nafe Smallz, Not3s, NSG and more on ‘MOREFIRE’, Tiggs pioneers a blend of the Jamaican sound system era and the UK’s homegrown genres throughout his mixtape. With a selection of rap, drill and afro-bashment’s very best, he masters a combination of sounds that also places his very own strengths at the forefront. Breaking down the formation of the mixtape, Tiggs reveals the processes behind each track; “It’s just organic vibes. Someone might send me a beat or I might start a beat myself and if a hook idea comes to mind, I’ll record it. Most of the time if I’m in the studio with an artist, we just keep bouncing ideas off of each other until something comes up.”
Kicking off the mixtape with a short yet climatic intro-like track featuring Skrapz on ‘ROLLING RIDDIM’, the track’s feel-good sound is carried into the bashment-influenced track ‘BATTY RYDA RIDDIM’ featuring Nafe Smallz, with a melodic flow that is adapted from US influences. A personal favourite; Nasti Riddim with Not3s is set apart from many tracks in the mixtape, showcasing Tiggs Da Author’s vocal ability beyond his usual arrangement of a single hook. A smooth collaboration is formed as he comes together with NSG for ‘OPERATOR RIDDIM’, released just before the release of his mixtape. The last track captures Asco vocalising an unexpected yet exceptional melody that draws the mixtape to an end. Other tracks include features from K-Trap on the previously released ‘PLAZA RIDDIM’, SL (‘TRAFFIC JAM RIDDIM’), and Ghanaian rapper M.anifest.
A genuine sense of excitement was present as the conversation shifted towards ‘MOREFIRE’s individual features. “I’m a fan of all of them. SL, I think he’s one of my favourite young rappers coming up period. I think he’s going to be so sick. Of course, I’m already a fan of Blade Brown and K-Trap, that’s just natural. There’s still a lot of people that I’m a fan of that I didn’t get to include in the project so hopefully I’ll do something with them in the future.”
Tiggs’s appreciation for all types of UK artists forms the basis of his collaboration project as he pays homage to the current UK music scene. “I felt like at this particular time, there’s not really a lot of collaboration projects going around in the UK and it’s just nice to hear people from different vibes.” Immediately startled by the idea of having to select a personal favourite from the mixtape, he expresses that his love for each and every track. “I don’t know, my mind has been changing every week on what my favourite track is. It depends on what mood I’m in.”
All in all, Tiggs Da Author skilfully takes the role of both artist and producer as he removes each artist from their original elements of comfort and relays his unique versatility to all those featuring. Drawing to the end of the conversation, we speak about his plans after the release of ‘MOREFIRE’ and for the remaining weeks of 2019; “For the rest of the year, I’m probably going to work on some other people’s projects. I’m going to have a month out, go Tanzania, come back and release some more music.”
MOREFIRE is available now on all major digital streaming services.