A Conversation With Tapiwa: Talking EDM In Zimbabwe, Career Dreams & His Latest Collaboration Playlisted By Martin Garrix

Warner Case & Tapiwa
Image: Instagram/tapiwazw

EDM is without a doubt a global phenomenon, although it still hasn't yet fully caught on in Zimbabwe. They have been a lot of bright sparks though and even in the mid 2010s the country had a bit of EDM fever. This was fueled by one of most famous names in Zimbabwean EDM circles, Jason Le Roux. He was the presenter for one of the most popular EDM radio shows and through his Hidden Culture events company, he started one of the biggest EDM festivals in the country in Neverland music festival.


The EDM fever that gripped the country pushed a lot of Djs/producers into prominence like the likes of Zyon Black, Reverb 7, Rob Macson, Samwell Cosmic, Chris Taylor and Nic Fourie among others. That momentum wasn't fully maintained until the end of the decade but still new stars in the genre are being born. Tapiwa is one such name on a steady rise to prominence.


He's had several EDM remixes of popular tracks that have captured people's attention and his recent collaboration is making waves internationally. Tapiwa came together with New York based artist Warner Case for the track "you're like a dream" and the song has already been Spotify playlisted & added by Martin Garrix to Martin Garrix Radio. We caught up with the up & coming producer for a short chat:



So how did the collaboration with Warner come about?


Warner Case contacted me on SoundCloud to thank me for some love I gave me on his tunes, and we started talking... I sent him some demos, and this one immediately stuck out to him. We'd never met before, but we clicked creatively right away. It's a surreal and exciting experience to work on music with someone whose face you've never seen except online, and sometimes you come up with something really good. So glad that this one turned out pretty great.


What inspired the song?


The lyrics are about meeting someone who shakes up your world; everything before meeting them no longer makes sense, and you can’t believe that you survived this long without them.


How did it feel being playlisted by Martin Garrix?


Still can't believe it honestly. The support on it so far has been amazing and to have it liked by someone who inspires me and is one of the reasons I do what I do is even crazier.


How do you feel about the current state of the EDM space in Zimbabwe?


It's not a massive industry like it is globally i.e. the States, Europe or even in South Africa but I do appreciate the growth it's experienced in the last few years (even in the middle of a pandemic). There are a lot of talented producers across different genres of dance and electronic music coming now and I count myself really lucky to call some of them my friends. You’re definitely in for a treat in the next few years. One thing I’d love to see though is an increase in the number of spaces that are willing to give said producers/DJs a chance. It’s the only way you can really cut your teeth and get stuck in within the industry.


Who would be your dream collaboration locally & internationally?


My dream collab locally would be with Poptain/Nutty O, I rate. Really can’t choose between the both of them. They are such outstanding talents. I always joke about what a garage record with Poptain would sound like, so I have every intention of finding that out.  Internationally, it would have to be Calvin Harris. He's the sole reason I make dance music in the first place and a big inspiration on my sound, so to work with him in any wave or form would be monumental.


What inspires your art?


Everything really *laughs*. I pride myself for being someone that listens to a lot of genres, from RnB to Kwaito, hyperpop to trap. So I really want that to show in my music. I don't want to be restricted by genre though I have favorites of course. I’m a multi-genre illusionist as I always love to say hahaha.


How has your career journey been so far?


I've been making dance music for 3 odd years now and it's been quite the ride so far. It’s been filled with a lot of grinding, late nights, learning and frustration, which is natural when navigating such an industry. But I’ve been extremely lucky enough to get a few opportunities and meet some great people who’ve helped get to where I am now as well. The goal is always to get better at my craft, so I hope to see that happening in the coming years.


What's the one EDM song locally made that you would say is your favourite?


It would have to be Nitefreak's remix of Premier Gaou, which is a legendary Zouglou song by Magic System who are from the Ivory Coast I think. It's more afro-tech than EDM but definitely a big tune. A fantastic rework of a truly African classic.


What is the dream for your career in music?


I know it sounds funny but to make a living solely off of music. It's really hard for people in the creative industry to really earn enough money to sustain themselves from just their creative pursuits esp. with the current economy in Zim. I just want to live comfortably doing the one thing I love you know. There are others dreams like winning a Grammy, playing Coachella, headline tours all over the world, scoring a movie, etc but I’m sure every musician has those.


You can find Tapiwa on the social media links below:

Twitter

Instagram

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