19 year-old Tapz was born in Zimbabwe and at 8 years old relocated to New Zealand. Growing up in post-colonial Wedza, a rural district of Zimbabwe, was, a ‘beautiful nightmare’ he describes.
“I don’t remember sitting down playing video games because there was so much to do,” says Tapz. There wasn’t much access to music, either. On rare occasion, he would gather around the family TV set and see Michael Jackson. “He made me feel like a super hero!”
Moving to New Zealand was a whole other experience. “It was so different. I remember, I fell in love with this US punk rock band when I was 10 – Green Day. The freedom of speech in their songs, I was like, ‘damn, you are allowed to say that about your own government? That’s what I want to do!’”
“Being the black kid in high school you automatically have to freestyle and rap. I was 14 or 15 and we were on the bus and everyone was freestyling so I went home and wrote a couple of freestyles and everyone was like “Woah, so cool!”
Soon word started to spread and Tapz was invited to feature on two singles by the Australian group ‘Hermitude’ – “The Buzz” (certified platinum) and “Through the Roof”. Touring with the likes of G-Eazy, Lunice, ASAP Ferg, Danny Brown, Jeremih and Hermitutde allowed Tapz to learn his craft – owning the stage at the 2015 Australian ARIA music awards.
US Platinum record producer Ricky Reed has put his magic touches on Tapz’s debut single KILLA.
KILLA (Ft. Ricky Reed) premiered on Zane Lowes’ Beats 1 show Tuesday, 12 July 2016.