Tiger talks his career, experimenting with new sounds and more

What is your first memory of hip-hop? 

 

My first memory of hip-hop came from back home in Angola. I used to dress like an American rapper and 50 Cent was one of the biggest artists at the time and so I dressed like him. Due to the way I dressed, people would always ask me to freestyle *laughs*. 

 

What was the culture shock that came with you moving to America? 

 

Moving to America from Angola was a crazy experience because everything was so different in comparison to back home. When I arrived, I had to graduate from English school before I went to college and completing my studies. Following that, my father found out about my passion for music and he wasn’t impressed at all. This was mainly due to the fact that being a rapper came with so many bad connotations like drugs and violence and my father didn’t want me to go down that path but it was up to me to show him that I wouldn’t go down that path. 

 

I was listening to your tape and you are quite a versatile rapper. How would you describe your sound? 

 

My sound is really diverse. I choose to do this because I don’t want to become synonymous with one type of sound. In all honesty, I don’t view myself as just a rapper; I see myself as an artist. I have songs in genres like Afrobeat and La Rumba just to flex my versatility.

 

 Which sound would you say was the most difficult for you to execute ans which sound comes the most natural to you?

I’m not sure… I didn’t struggle with any sound. I just feel the beat and I vibe with it. If I’m feeling the beat, I’m just going to hop on it. My manager keeps telling me how Amapiano is big out here and when I listened to it, I thought to myself, “I could rap on this”. So it all falls down to whether or not I am vibing with the production. 

 

What is your creative process? 

 

I really like to listen to the beat and the vibe with it and then I vibe on it. 

 

Can you tell me about the mental state you were in when you conceptualised your album To The Top? 

I have been grinding in this music thing from 2015 and i just felt as though it is time to take this music thing

 

Would you describe yourself as a pan-African artist because you have so many sonic influences?

 

I love to mix it up and play with different sounds to make something completely new and authentic. I don’t want to be the type of rapper who wants to be known for having one type of sound.

 

Your music carries a level of introspection. Can you tell me some of the struggles you have had to overcome in pursuing music?

 

I have had to take a lot of losses in the pursuit of my career. I have had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with people who take part in shady practices. That is honestly the biggest thing I have had to overcome as an independent artist. 

 

If someone were to ask me to put them onto Tiger, which song should I play them first?

 

That just depends on how I am feeling that day. You can really play anything. With me, it doesn’t really matter because my music is so versatile. 

 

Would you say the main purpose of your music is to make people feel good and have fun?

 

Yes, because life is too short to be too serious. I like to smile and be happy and that’s the way I want to live my life. 

 

After listening to To The Top, what do you want South African audiences to take away from Tiger as an artist?

I would say that I want people to see Tiger as cool, calm and collected individual who wants to have fun and enjoy life. 

 

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