Selected by: James Keith

Name: Taze

Where He’s From: South East London

When He Started: “I started in 2014 but started taking it very serious in 2018, because I knew my dreams could be reality. This year has been crazy already, with the success of the ‘Gun Lean’ remix and my own single ‘Head Shoulders’.”

Genre: UK drill/Rap/Bashment

File Next To: Russ, LD, Digga D, Skengdo X AM

Sounds Like: “My style is called ‘Crashment’, a mix of bashment and drill. As you’ll see when I’m on a track, I have very high energy; that’s what makes me stand out on the tracks I jump on.”

First Music That Inspired Him: “It has to be Giggs’ Walk In The Park—that was my favourite because it was the start of real road music getting big in the UK. I remember when it first came out, it was sick to hear someone talking about London and our lives the way he did. It was inspiring.”

Former SMG member Taze has had a huge year in the wake of the “Gun Lean” remix and drill anthem “Head Shoulders”. With a flow quicker than most and a rare playfulness, his brand of drill has already set him apart from the crowd and the more he explores this unique lane, the more long-term success he’ll enjoy. UK drill itself is maturing in a way that’s seeing artists and producers alike bringing new influences and new takes to the table, and Taze is the best example of that.

The rapper tells TRENCH that growing up, he was raised on a diet of “soca music and old reggae music every Sunday. It was old-school records, which definitely played a part in me wanting to make music growing up. It was always rave time inside my kitchen!” That energy is definitely audible in his music; from the rapid-fire hooks and punchlines to his boundless energy, Taze’s heritage and personality are shining through and keeping him at the forefront of the scene. His journey began in 2016 when he created his first real track alongside Russ, “Trap Not Carni”. It was the first taste of him injecting bashment into the drill sound and even came with a video. Undeniably raw, that opening salvo was refreshing and new—Taze’s gruff delivery was bursting with a power seldom heard anywhere else. Most importantly, though, it laid the foundations for the pair’s future takeover. Even back then, their chemistry together was unmatched, making their eventual success inevitable.

It wouldn’t be long before the pair would strike gold with the “Gun Lean” remix and then everything changed. A subsequent underground hit with “Head Shoulders” cemented his destiny and his star shot up. This year saw Taze sign with Ministry Of Sound, something he cites as his biggest achievement to date, and just last month he found himself on tour with Russ and Stefflon Don. “Their tour bus was constantly hype,” he told us. “Six hour drives, full on singing and weed smoke—Steff knows how to set a vibe!” Next year, however, it’ll be Taze’s name on the side of that bus. As he sets his sights on his next goals (“breaking the UK charts and putting myself at the front of the UK scene”), it’s past time you got familiar with the South East Londoner who is well on his way to the top.

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on May 22, 2019