'After the album’s release I want to go and swim with the turtles!'
Harrison Smith
12:02 10th March 2021

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Tiggs Da Author is fired up and ready to go. Having already locked in the majority of his debut album Blame It On The Youts pre-Covid, Tiggs was raring for the promotional circuit and subsequent tour to get underway. Now, after a year of Government-enforced limbo and a suitable amount of time to add a few tweaks to make certain tracks sparkle, Tiggs’ ambition is once again gaining momentum. 

Speaking virtually with Gigwise on a strikingly mild March evening Tiggs Da Author, real name Adam Muhabwa, sounds rather zen with such a bounty of free time. “With everything that’s going on - I've just tried to remain with a positive mindset, just trying to stay focused on what I’m trying to do!” Keeping oneself busy has been a real necessity this past year and much like a hefty proportion of the planet, Tiggs’ day-to-day has regularly consisted of “taking walks and watching documentaries.” But not just that, he’s also taken on some responsibility: “I even bought some plants! I don’t know what they’re called, but I just went into the plant shop and asked ‘can I get some plants I don’t need to water that often.” 

With a lot more time to mull over songs and consider the musical decisions he's made, 2020 allowed Tiggs some space to breathe and pragmatically see if certain tracks would still hold up months after recording them. “I’ve been making changes as I go on, but I started writing [the album] in 2016. So it’s been a very slow but steady process and I wanted to make sure that it was exactly what I wanted it to sound like.” But would that cause him to overthink things a little? “It does, but in a way, it’s been good for me because I can see which songs have lasted the test of time. There are songs that I wrote and recorded last year as well but most I wrote a few years ago and never recorded."

Blame It On The Youts is a real assortment of genre and styles, and its influences are aplenty. Tiggs states that he jumps from one style to the next dependent on where his mood takes him. “My sound is project by project! I never stick to one thing in terms of Tiggs Da Author. So like with Blame It On The Youts, there are influences from the early Afro music that was influenced by jazz. But to be honest, this isn’t an afro-soul album, it's a contemporary afro-soul album. So It’s got influences from soul music also. I’m coming with a left approach in terms of the lyrics - and it’s not conventionally written.” 

When asking Tiggs what he’d been listening to throughout the recording and writing process he responds with a cheery and enthusiastic “man, I was listening to everything!” And upon seeing if anything particular had stood out in the past year..."J Hus’ latest album ‘Big Conspiracy’, I love that album and I was just playing it back to back. I feel like it’s an incredible piece of music.”

Hip-hop is also in the DNA of Tiggs Da Author and never more so than when he collaborates with other artists. Having already worked with Sway and KSI, we discussed his current duet with Nines on the brand-new single ‘Fly Em High’. “It’s been so good. I’ve been working with him since 2015 and we can see each other grow as musicians and people as times go on. It’s been a really good journey from there to the point we’re both at now. He just makes it easy to work with because we both get on and he always comes with his ‘A’ game so that means I have to come with mine all the time. We complement each other and the result is the songs that come out! The single just came so quickly. We just went into the studio and were having normal conversations about music and he was playing beats in the background. Then that beat came on, and we just loved it! The ideas just started flowing from there.” 

With live music temporarily on hold and the cautious hope of some summer shows going ahead, Gigwise asks Tiggs what tracks on the album he is most excited to play live. “Man, I'm excited to play the whole album live if I’m honest! I feel like I’m going to put an amazing live show together and once people hear it live it’s going to be a whole different beast!” With gigging such a key part of establishing your career, we inquire into what he considers to be some of the most pressing issues musicians are facing during the pandemic. “Performing's a major part of it, especially if you are a musician who makes music specifically for clubs, I can imagine the frustration that you could be going through right now. Hopefully, by the second half of the year, people are going to get back to performing again. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Taking things away from music for the moment to ask a question that can tell you a lot about an artist and a person....if Tiggs could have four dream dinner guests, dead or alive, who would he go for? It only takes a few seconds of mulling before he answers. “The first one would be Fela Kuti: I feel like he’s very outspoken, and he would be great for the debates on the table. Bob Marley would be the second one because he had an amazing perspective to life. The third one would be Sir Alex Ferguson; it would be rude not for me to invite him. The fourth and final one would have to be Beyoncé. How could you not have her there?” 

Having chosen music over a footballing career it’s clear that Tiggs has found his calling. We ask what advice he’d give to an upcoming musician, especially when breaking into such a vast and bustling industry. “To stay inspired. I was given that advice and I feel like it’s helped me the most throughout everything. When you’re creating new music you’re going to go through ups and downs but as long as you stay inspired everything will sort itself out. The second when you feel like you’re not inspired to make music anymore that’s when you can start making the wrong decisions. So find whatever keeps you inspired and just keep looking for it. If travelling is what inspires you then make sure you’re constantly travelling. If reading books is what inspires you then keep reading books! All these things will help you create music.” 

Just before we wrap things up, we ask what’s next for him. “After the album’s release I want to go and swim on a beach! I wanna go and swim with the turtles! And then see what comes to mind!" An inspired way to celebrate your debut album, we say.

Tiggs Da Author’s debut album ‘Blame It On the Youts’ arrives 12 March via Alacran Records.

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Photo: Seye Isikalu