Recent trips back to Pakistan turned into a journey of self-discovery for rapper, music producer and songwriter TaZzZ. Apart from working with local talent, the British-Pakistani formed a spiritual connection with the country and used that inspiration to create hit songs, including his most recent release ‘Teardrops’. His journey to the homeland also inspired him to give back. In addition to making plans to teach students the art of music, he joined top British-Asian music acts for the I AM ME – Live concert at The Drum Theatre in Birmingham on June 17.
The unique collaboration between Welsh National Opera (WNO) and Maimonides Interfaith Foundation, an international charity that connects people through art, culture and education, I AM ME – Live aims to inspire youth and promote the message of unity. The long-term goal is to take the initiative to places like Pakistan. TaZzZ spoke about connecting to Pakistan, his music, I AM ME – Live, the importance of inspiring young people and how Pakistan changed his life.
Instep: How do you look back on the last few years of your music career?
TaZzZ: The last few years have literally just flown by. It’s been incredibly hectic at times, an unbelievable journey so far and a huge learning curve for me. I try not to look back as I’m very excited about what the future holds for me; right now, it’s all about moving forward.
Instep: Do you think variety has been the key to your success?
TaZzZ: I believe there isn’t any key or formula to success. I’ve just been persistent with my craft, and will continue to do so. I’ve always had variety in my sound, regardless of genre; I really enjoy fusing sounds together. When making a song, I make an effort that it doesn’t sound like my previous work, but at the same time I make sure that it has the trademark ‘TaZzZ’ stamp on it.
Instep: How proud are you of your most recent release ‘Teardrops’?
TaZzZ: I’m extremely proud of ‘Teardrops’ as it is my first single off of my forthcoming debut album. It has received very positive feedback from the industry and the public. It went straight to number one on the iTunes World chart as soon as it was released. It made a debut in the Top 10 BBC Asian Network Official chart and received considerable airplay in Pakistan. It’s been very overwhelming. I’m just glad that the hard work is starting to pay off.
Instep: You have made a lot of trips to Pakistan recently. How has that changed you as a person?
TaZzZ: Pakistan has changed my life and my worldview completely. It’s made a massive impact on my music, it has reconnected me with my roots and my soul feels much more at peace now.
Instep: How much did you enjoy recording material in Pakistan?
TaZzZ: Pakistan is an ocean of raw natural talent; it felt amazing to work with some truly remarkable artists. I felt really privileged (to have met them) and I learnt so much while working in studios and talking to people I met. I respect the work ethic and craft out there. Music is in their blood; the sound is so rich. I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve created. It’s an innovative journey that I’ve embarked on and wish it never ends.
Instep: What have been the most memorable aspects of your recent Pakistan trips?
TaZzZ: Well, apart from all the music, the most memorable aspect has been the beauty of the country that has captured my heart and soul. I love everything that some people may dislike about Pakistan. I felt safe there. It’s home for me. I feel incomplete without Pakistan.
Instep: Can you see yourself moving to Pakistan?
Most definitely! That is the plan!
Instep: What made you get involved with I AM ME – Live?
TaZzZ: When I was first approached by Asjad Nazir, who was producing I AM ME – LIVE, he briefed me on what it’s about. His passion and enthusiasm for the event excited me as we both share the same vision. So it was a natural decision for me and I’m grateful to be a part of it.
Instep: What can we expect from your performance?
TaZzZ: As always, I will give my full energy. It will be electrifying. I will be performing a lot of exclusive new music for the first time from my forthcoming debut album.
Instep: What are the key messages of the event?
TaZzZ: The main message that we are trying to convey is unity. We want to inspire young people all over the world. Togetherness is the key, no matter which part of the world you live in.
Instep: How important is it for people to give something back?
TaZzZ: It is extremely important! One should never forget their roots and generations keep changing with time, so I believe it is one’s duty to unconditionally help out wherever they possibly can.
Instep: How can we inspire the new generation of Pakistanis?
TaZzZ: By not forgetting our roots and culture, not trying to become something we may not be, just for the sake of fitting in with society, and always giving out positive vibes. Most importantly, we should stick together and remain grounded.
Instep: Musically, what can we expect from you next?
TaZzZ: My highly anticipated debut album, which should be released by the end of the year. I’m also involved in many collaborations.
Instep: One of your biggest discoveries has been British-Pakistani Immi. What can you tell us about him?
TaZzZ: Immi is my protégé who I have had under my wings for a couple of years now. He is a rapper with a very distinctive voice and flow. He has featured on projects such as ‘Jhoom’, ‘Shutdown’, ‘Fire’ and many more. I’m very excited about what the future holds for him. Currently, we have just completed his first commercial Asian single, which is going to be a game changer for him. It will be releasing this summer; look out for it.
Instep: Which of your unreleased songs are you most excited about?
TaZzZ: It’s very hard to choose one as I’m equally excited about them all, but I must say I am looking forward to releasing all the music that I have made in Pakistan.
Instep: Do you have a final message?
TaZzZ: I just want to say thank you to everyone for their continued support. I appreciate it a lot. Without your blessings and unconditional love, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am looking forward to making many more trips to Pakistan.