MEAWW's Basement Tapes: Singer Tiggs Da Author is an Afrobeat, Afrojazz and Afrosoul extraordinaire
He has already captured the attention of fellow artists in the industry, having collaborated with Sway, Paigey Cakey, TZZ, Jess Glynne and Lady Leshurr
Tanzanian-born and London-based singer, songwriter and producer Tiggs Da Author has dropped his spirited new single 'We Ain't Scared', the first taste of his debut record due later this year. Born Adam Muhabwa, Tiggs is an artist who has slowly gained recognition for blending his rapping with jazz and soul, particularly on singles like 'Georgia' and 'Run'. Even before he found fame, Tiggs was proving himself to be a musical force — teaching himself to write, produce and compose music and releasing music as part of the Rebellife crew, working with artists like Paigey Cakey and TZZ on tracks like 'Bassline and Cars'.
In 2013, he featured on British-Ghanian rapper Sway's track 'Still Sway and Kane', a remix of the track 'Still D.R.E.' by Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. Tiggs also featured on another release for Sway called 'No Sleep' off his EP 'Wake Up'. Not long after, Tiggs was signed to Sway's label, DCypha, and he put out his politically-charged debut EP 'Evilution'. In 2015, the ambitious young artist later declared in an interview with Newsbeat that his goal was to win a Grammy, adding, "I'm just going to keep making music until I get one, somehow."
A year later, he was the opening act for Jess Glynne on the UK leg of her 2016 tour and was featured on Lady Leshurr's 2016 single 'Run'. The end of last year saw the release of Tiggs' 11-track mixtape 'MOREFIRE' featuring guest appearances from Skrapz, M.anifest, Kida Kudz, SL and ASCO. He also featured on and co-wrote the Nines track 'Oh My', which landed a coveted slot on the soundtrack to the huge Netflix show 'Top Boy'. Additionally, Tiggs produced, co-wrote and featured on Stefflon Don’s single 'Pretty Girl' and contributed to J Hus' gold-selling debut album 'Common Sense'. All-in-all, Tiggs has proven he is well on his way to achieving his goals.
What set Tiggs apart was his unique musical style. The artist's early influences included the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, but his exposure to jazz music at the age of 18 opened him up to his own cultural roots. Soon, his music saw Tanzanian influences seeping in, and it is this element that makes the artist's music unique and fresh. When combined with his bold lyrical themes, Tiggs' music is easily set apart from his contemporaries. Speaking about the track, Tiggs states, "I like the idea of a beat doing one thing and you’re saying the complete opposite. For me, what's important is making songs with a message that gets through, whether immediately or eventually. This song is literally me explaining me moving from Tanzania, then growing up in south London with no father figure. You have to learn from your mistakes and teach yourself how to be a man." While revolving around his own experiences as its central theme, 'We Ain't Scared' layers in a nuanced exploration of sociopolitical issues that affect how artists like Tiggs find their own voices.
'We Ain't Scared' was, in actuality, written months ago, but its political message rings alarmingly true amid the ongoing protests against police brutality set in the middle of a global pandemic. Tiggs' emotionally-charged verses are filled with lyrics like, "You don’t want us to feel alright / You don’t want us to read or write", and it is abundantly clear that he is not afraid to tell it exactly the way it is. A track that resonates in this emotionally charged current climate, 'We Ain't Scared' is driven by a pumped-up, irrepressible beat that perfectly backdrops the message it is trying to convey.
Tiggs' debut album is on its way, and 'We Ain’t Scared’ is the perfect glimpse inside of what is sure to be a big year for the upcoming Afrobeat, Afrojazz and Afrosoul extraordinaire.