Raiza Biza is a New Zealand Rapper I talked to him a few months back…
Where are you currently based?
The great city of Hamilton, the best place to live in the world.
What’s your regular day?
Wake up, plan my day. Reply to emails. Get in the studio and try make something good. Talk to my team and share ideas and strategies.
How did growing up as a teen in New Zealand influence your music?
In NZ, I grew up listening to Scribe, Deceptikonz, R.E.S, David Dallas, Homebrew etc. So that style of music was embedded deeply in my psyche. Those were the guys I looked up to. A lot of that everyday person type of storytelling is something that is still prevalent in my music to this day.
What keeps you creating? Do you ever struggle to find the motivation to keep creating work/what’s your creative process like?
As weird as it sounds, constantly creating is what keeps me creating. I have to make sure that I am always making music, otherwise, I lose my momentum and drive. As far as my creative process, I am always thinking about concepts and song ideas so when I hear a beat that matches that mood, I start writing the lyrics and putting the song together. Then the producer and I work on the beat and shape it around the lyrics and such.
Would you ever branch into a creative outlet outside of music?
I am really into film, I would love to do something with that. I enjoy writing, I enjoy literature, so that would be cool too. I am also part of the AmmoNation Collective and we are creating a record label to showcase some of the amazing local talent we have. I feel like I will always be involved in music, whether it’s behind the scenes or not, music is my first love.
How did you find touring Europe at the end of last year? Do the crowds differ from NZ?
Europe was amazing. It’s easy to forget how big the world is when you’ve been in NZ for so long, so it was a real eye opener. The crowds were def different. They treated me like an international act, which I guess I was, in that context. They are also very open minded and not afraid to show interest if they enjoy something. It was a great process and I learnt allot.
Describe your ‘Colors Berlin’ experience? Did you notice a lot of new listeners once that was released?
Sidenote: ‘Colors Berlin’ is a contemporary platform which recognises that music is an artform that binds the world together. ‘Colors Berlin’ gives artists the chance to represent themselves and their work on a contemporary platform.
‘Colors Berlin’ reached out to me once I announced my European tour. At that point, I had not heard of them, but when I checked them out, I realised that they had had some real legends feature in the past so was a real honour to be invited. Yeah, I did notice allot of new listeners, and I also feel like people back home took me more seriously after seeing me on a big European platform.
What is your dream collaboration?
Damn, where do I start? Erykah Badu, Andre 3000, Jay Electronica, DJ Premier, Nas, Common, Kanye West, Sampa the Great, I could go on all day. There are so many.
Who should be listening to in 2017?
Keep an ear out for Auckland kid NXVA, as well as Jane Deezy, NASH, & Blaze the Emperor. I’m a little biased but I think these guys will have a great year.
Check out some of these artists in the just released AmmoNation EP, listen here
What are we going to see from you in 2017?
The rise of AmmoNation. Two new projects from me. A European tour, and hopefully some US shows.
This conversation was led by artist/photographer Dexter Murray, Dexter, 20, resides in Wellington.
With thanks to Jim Beam Homegrown.