Tanzanian-born and London-based singer, songwriter and producer, Tiggs Da Author is one artist you cannot forget about. Developing a unique sound, he blends his soulful energy with his African heritage and London upbringing, interweaving all the different elements on his world: Jazz, Soul, Afrobeats and Rap. popular for his infectious hooks, he delves into his heavy HipHop and Soul influences on his latest project Morefire 2. In this sit-down conversation, we talk about all things music, heritage and inspirations along with talking about potential future collaborations and his motivations.
You are an accomplished artist but, I really want to start with what your life was like growing up. What was your childhood like and where did you grow up?
In the early years of my childhood, I grew up in Tanzania. I was there until I was about 8 years old and then moved with my family to South London. I’ve been living in London ever since but, even though I’ve been living here, I’ve been very in touch with my Tanzanian background. Every year, I’ve been going back there.
So touching on what you said about being in touch with your Tanzanian background, what was your life like in Tanzania and how does that impact who you are today?
Tanzania’s people are very welcoming and generous. I feel like that’s probably taken me a long way- I’ve always managed to just get on with everyone and adapt to the mentality of having good vibes always. In terms of music, that impacted me later because, in my early years, I wasn’t really into music, I was more into football.
You’ve worked with some amazing artists like Wretch 32, Potter Payper, J Hus and Manifest from Ghana. Are there any other artists you would like to work with?
Man, there’s so many! I’d like to do something with Burna Boy for sure, Kwesta from South Africa, and Black Coffee. There’s so many that I can’t name off the top of my head but those are the three main ones that I feel like we’ll really connect you know?
Definitely! So talking about music, I want to ask about your influences because your sound is such a unique blend of many different genres like Jazz, Afrobeats, Rap and Soul. Who inspires your sound?
So much! There’s Soul musicians like James Brown and Bobby Bland who inspire me. Of course Fela Kuti. There’s some old-school Tanzanian Jazz bands as well! There’s one called The Killer Jazz Band and another Tanzanian artist called Remmy Ongala. They’re very old-school- they’re old souls but their music is like a mixture of Afrobeat and Afrojazz which has inspired me quite a lot.
Great! Now we’re going to talk about your music! You released Morefire 2 at the end of 2022 but, before we get into talking about this new project, let’s talk about Morefire – what is this project about and where did the idea come from?
To be honest, I just wanted to connect a few dots at the beginning. At first, it wasn’t like I didn’t want to put a project together, I just wanted to collaborate with different artists, put them in different zones that they probably haven’t tapped into and put them on songs with artists that they haven’t collaborated with to create some sort of playlist for people to just hear and vibe to. Some of my friends were complaining, “Tiggs, you always jump on features but you never do this for your own project!” So initially, it was for them! I knew that when they heard it, they’d leave me alone. That’s literally how Morefire came about. I wanted to do a sequel of that and make it a thing to tap in with different artists from different regions and I really want to expand more on it.
Great! We’re going to talk about the first two singles- OCD Riddem Part 1– how did you go about picking the features for this one and how did it lead to OCD Riddem Part 2 with Wretch 32?
With OCD Part 1, at the time, I was listening to a lot of Rimzee- I really like his energy. I’ve worked with Blade (Brown) before but we’ve never done a song together. I just really wanted to make that happen. Part 2 came around because, for the first one, Rimzee actually gave me two verses and I had to pick between the two verses and I loved both. Wretch (32) is one of the best lyricists in the UK so getting a verse from him was great. It’s not what people would expect from the top of their heads but, when they hear it, it makes sense.
Yeah definitely! Like you said Wretch is definitely one of the best lyricists in the UK. Moving onto Morefire 2, how is this one different to the first project?
So, the first project was heavily influenced by 90s Dancehall whereas Morefire 2 is more raw, more about the lyrics and its got heavy Soul and HipHop influence but its mainly rap. In the first project, I was hardly rapping but in this one I’m doing a lot of rapping just to remind people what time it is!