Max and Raiza: Caged Lion EP

Caged Lion is a hip-hop meets reggae/dancehall collaboration between New Zealand based musicians Raiza Biza (from Rwanda) and Max (Zimbabwe). Raiza Biza is a Hamilton based rapper and Max is a member of prominent dancehall/hip-hop crew, ‘Yung Shottaz’.

The EP sees the duo doing what they do best over a backdrop of reggae/dancehall riddims, and
original hip-hop beats. The release covers different themes, from deep social issues, to good old fashioned feel good music. Themes are mainly drawn from the pairs experiences, in a way making it a very personal project.

Project Background

Max and Raiza first linked up musically in 2009 when Raiza featured on a couple of Shottaz tunes,

 most notably “Fly Away” which was later included on one of the crew’s mixtapes. Raiza and the Shottaz would subsequently link up at various gigs, where they would invite each other on stage to perform their collaborated songs. Whilst looking to release a new mixtape, Raiza decided to record the project at S.O.A studio where he enlisted Max to record and mix the entire project. A few studio sessions into the project “Caged Lion” was born when Max voiced the chorus for “Said and Done”, meant for Raiza Biza’s mixtape, which resonated with both artists. This prompted them to record another song together, then another etc. The duo have performed songs from the project, on several occasions, to garner awareness for the release.

Raiza and Max Background

Raiza has been making music since 2005, having released a string of independent mixtapes. He raised the bar, in 2010, with the release of his first official single “Mirror” which was play-listed on various commercial radio stations, with the video getting regular rotation on the major music channels, across New Zealand. He continued to release music with his brand of ‘personal and often uplifting’ music including a viral Youtube tribute song titled ‘State of Emergency’ for the victims of the 22 February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch. Since then Raiza Biza has been growing from strength to strength and has recently embarked on a soundcloud campaign, releasing a string of stand alone promotional singles to top reviews and blog coverage.

Max, formerly know as Amazin, is one quarter of the Shottaz, a crew which has been going strong since the release of their debut EP “Game Plan: The Inauguration EP” in 2007. The Shottaz then gained the attention of New Zealand’s best dancehall/reggae production outfit High Stakes Records, which led to the release of the acclaimed single “Pon di Way” in 2008. In 2009, the crew released their second EP titled “The Premiere” which was produced by High Stakes Records and DJ Grafta (then based in Auckland) of Canada based label Force Productions. In 2012, Max and fellow crew member Hlats have been releasing promotional singles regularly through reverbnation and soundcloud, for their upcoming album.

Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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