Introducing the hypnotic hip-hop of Tariq Disu, one of the UK's most uniquely original and talented new-age rappers hailing from London.
Featuring original photography by @elwoodphotography
Currently residing in Streatham (South London), the 24-year-old rapper and producer Tariq Disu has gained an underground following as one of the most original musicians in the contemporary UK rap genre. It's hard to exactly pin down his sound, which is what makes him so unique and refreshing in a time where it's become easier than ever to follow trends and proven formulas.
Tariq Disu brings substance, style and elegance to his projects, with each song an artistic statement. Somewhat of an auteur, his music is instantly recognisable from his monotone spoken-word delivery blended with spaced-out vocals layered over experimental trap rhythms and richly crafted beats.
His debut album BTY in 2019 remains one of our favourite contemporary UK projects and his new album GW is a welcome and timely follow up which stands alone. We were excited to chat with the young prodigy about the creation of the new project and his ideas about life and music...
Read on below for our new interview with Tariq Disu...
Tell us about how you first got into making music ?
I used to do a lot of poetry back in the day, I wrote a lot of stuff that turned into bars and then I needed to be able to able to produce, to be able to do both, now here we are. Apart from that I started to produce for people. Artists I knew at the time, they used to come around to mine and I'd make them beats. That's what built the lil buzz around me, that's what got people to know who I was, that was back in the Soundcloud days.
We loved GW! what was the concept behind the project and how was the process of creating it ?
G.W = Generational Wealth. Definitely inspired by Nipsey Hussle and the stuff he was doing at the time, the longevity. I was so inspired by that. I still have a long way to go in terms of knowing what I want out of that (longevity). But yea I tried to build the sound around that mode which I was in. I made the tracks over the course of a few months. With 'Cleanse' I'd gone through some shit, I came back and made the beat and just wrote and recorded. It just flowed. I just wrote that shit and put it down.
What musicians inspired you growing up ?
D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, J Dilla, Flying Lotus, MF DOOM, Nas, Biggie. The Blueprint 3 was one of my first albums I bought and it had an impact on me even though I was the biggest Jay Z fan. I used to like B2K for some reason a lot LOL. Rage Against the Machine. Defo Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon, KRS ONE, Big L ... shit I could go keep going... Miles Davis... I was one of the children on the internet looking for samples. I ended up getting into Gil Scott Heron, so many... an array of artists... Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross... too many artists.
What are your personal views on spirituality ?
I'm constantly learning. I feel like I have a lot to give, and I try to do it effortlessly. At times I feel like I just need to shut my mouth, or just observe. Even my first name is a religious name, both Islam and Christianity I explored, and then I decided to identify as someone who is spiritually inclined. But I feel like spirituality comes first, without the spirit there is no true you.
Outside of music where else do you find inspiration ?
I dance, I draw, I paint; all of that comes back into play. Even when I first started making beats, I had to learn to get the oomph that I get when I move my body, when I dance, when I'm just sliding... either way I can push myself with literally just movement, and wanting to feel that on the beat. All of those outlets come back to the music regardless.
Nature has a big part to play. Sometimes I just observe nature. Shit, I can watch the Nat Geo channel and maybe learn about an animal or a species I've never heard of or a place where things happen that I've never seen and it just sparks something. It'll be the simplest things, and I like the simplest things as well.
How important is it to stay true to yourself ?
I don't follow the trends. You know I might notice them and see what's going on, but I just stay myself, be myself, all the way, always. As long as you are just focusing on you, you should know your worth, know what your sound is. So yea I just stay what I'm doing and stay open regardless.
Be sure to follow Tariq Disu on the following platforms...
- PSYCHIC GARDEN