Biog - tiggs da author

Tiggs Da Author - Biog
Born and raised in Tanzania before moving to London at the age of eight, Tiggs Da Author is a particularly
individual proposition. As influenced by obscure 60s documentaries as he is by east African Jazz, Grime MC
Dizzee Rascal and classic Motown acts, the 25 year-old multi-faceted rapper, singer, songwriter and
producer is truly one of a kind.
Tiggs’ entire artistry is deeply personal, often political and infused with a sharp sense of humour. His
intuitive sound manages to be both throwback and futuristic, nodding towards the old school, yet very
much forward thinking in both sentiment and execution. From sweet soft skanks to yearning lullabies via
rapidfire narratives and the occasional African inflection, his unconventional artistry is a refreshing, unique
addition to the ever growing wealth of young British talent.
Debut single ‘Georgia’ is the perfect introduction to Tigg’s autonomous eclectic soul. Produced by Show N
Prove (Wretch 32), this effervescent single is bright, bold and brilliantly executed, stuffed full of snappy
instrumentation, cheeky one-liners and a hugely captivating chorus. “I don’t need your love but I’m addicted
like you are to designer clothes/ I don’t need your touch, but I’m fiending, hoping I don’t overdose.” ‘Georgia’
has echoes of Ray Charles, Finley Quaye and Andre 3000, yet is somehow quite unlike anything you’ve
heard before. “I hope people will see that I’m definitely doing something a little unusual,” Tiggs decides of
his debut. “I love music and I think that comes across when you listen to my songs. I’m not a pop act that’s
been put together. This is very much my vision, my execution.”
Born Adam Simon in, Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, Tigger remembers a “baking hot, beach based,” childhood in
east Africa. “We weren’t well off, I went to public school in Zanzibar and it was a little bit different to
education in England. People were still getting hit by the teachers, it was proper strict,” he remembers. He
and his friends used to cut school and head to the nearby beach. “They had a wall with barbed wire over
the top – I’d throw my school bag on it and climb over. The education system was so rubbish there was no
point in being there. It was pointless. I wasn’t learning anything.”
Everything changed when his father, a part-time bass player and singer, passed away when Tiggs was eight
years-old. His mother decided to move to the UK to be both closer to family and to also ensure a better
education for Tiggs and his two sisters. Relocating to Lewisham required a huge adjustment on Tiggs’ part.
Possessing only a few words of English, the Swahili speaker was thrown straight into south London school
life, having to learn not only a new language, but adjust to an entirely different culture. “Everything was
different,” he recalls. “The way people ate, dressed, talked. I remember thinking ‘How the hell am I going to
communicate with these guys?’ But eventually, if you play enough football you’re going to learn a few
swearwords! By the time I got to Year 6, I knew how to speak English properly.” It was also where he picked
up his pseudonym; Adam was always seen wearing his Tigger backpack and matching hat, bought in
Bluewater. “It was the colours more than the book really; grey and black, it looked sick. The nickname just
stuck and I added ‘da author’ because I tell stories with my songs.”
Like many kids in South London, Tiggs was bought up on a diet of So Solid Crew and pirate radio. He was
initially reluctant to perform, keeping his poetry private. Eventually though, he gained enough confidence
to join his school friends rapping in the playground. “It was what everyone did and besides, the girls
seemed to like it,” he grins.
At the age of 16, Tiggs’ mum returned to Tanzania. Though she gave her children the choice to return with
her, they decided to remain in London. Where other kids may have taken the opportunity to run wild, Tiggs
moved in with his older sister and threw himself headfirst into teaching himself to produce and write. ”I
thought freedom, freedom, freedom – but not in terms of partying and girls. I just wanted to make music.
That was a way of me getting out everything on my mind. At that point, I didn’t live with my mum, I’d lost
my dad, I’d moved from Tanzania to England. What would be next in my life? It was a tough position to be
in, but it can surprise you how you’re able to deal with things. It made me very mature and helped me to
find myself, who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do.”
In between rent-paying jobs at call centres, he wrote and produced for other aspiring rappers and singers in
South London. One day, after pulling a sickie from work, Tiggs happened to be at the same studio as UK
rapper Sway. After Tiggs played him a selection of his own music, Sway asked him to jump on a track. “A
few weeks later he called me and said he had added Kano to ‘Still Sway’, they were shooting a video and
they wanted me to be in it. That was the point where I decided I needed to push myself further as a solo
Tiggs returned to Tanzania to reflect on his next move. Though he’d grown up with the sounds of African
Jazz, it wasn’t until he experienced it live that the musicianship really hit him. “It blew me away. It really hit
me, how incredible this music was. It was so upbeat and energetic, yet the things they were singing about
were really emotional and political. I loved that you could dance to something but there was still something
being said.”
Reinvigorated, he returned to London and set about putting a band together. It took time, but eventually
he had a 9-piece Jazz band and his own night at Dalston’s Servants Jazz Quarters. Word spread of this
consciously minded, infinitely likeable Jazz tinged Soul boy, who sometimes rapped, sometimes sang. He hit
100k plays on YouTube and A&R’s started to swarm around; Tiggs signed to Sony last November. “I want
my message to get across to the masses. The message is about appreciating what you have, however small,
and making the most of opportunities that you get. Whatever happens to me in life, I’m always seeking out
the positives, no matter how small they might seem.”
Currently working with Show N Prove, Futurecut (Rihanna, Lily Allen) and Tonino (Ella Eyre), Tiggs is putting
together his debut album. A conceptual effort, the as-yet-untitled offering is influenced in part by a
documentary on the Dapper Rebels of Los Angeles, a sharply dressed crew who were involved in the
infamous Watts riots of 1966. “I don’t want to say too much about it yet, it’s early days, but this isn’t a runof-the-mill record. I want to be brave and daring in everything I do, while making sure the music, the
melodies, the beats are really well executed,” he says. “I’m creating a movie with each track, it’s all a slice
of my life, an insight into my thoughts and feelings. It might seem straightforward - moving from London to
Tanzania, learning to speak English, learning to make music - but the chapters are still being written. My
story is only really just beginning.”
For more information contact Warren at [email protected] or on 020 8281 0989