Rapper Tah Mac possesses something most artists unfortunately lack: he knows exactly what goes behind making a record. In an age where so many musicians simply lend their voice to an album, the Brooklyn-born songwriter started working in production when he was just 15 and was mentored by some of the biggest names in the industry. He has used that experience to release his first epic album, Welcome to Tahland, in 2009, a fourteen-track amalgamate of dance and rap beats that also proves he knows how to brilliantly surround himself (production credits include Leona Lewis and Ciara). After seducing Europe, Tah is now conquering the US of A with his brand new track, “California.”
Hey Tah, where are you right now?
We are on the set of my new video, “California,” which is about to go global.
Our readers are going to discover the video (directed by fellow BR!NKer Tani Ikeda) at the end of the interview. Before they do so, tell me what this record means to you?
“California” is a feel-good record about love, life, and reality where I talk about so many places I’ve been around the world. I chose “California” in particular because it’s such an international place. The video is about having fun. That’s what I promote. You only get one chance at life, so you take every opportunity and make the best of it.
Your 2009 first solo album, Welcome to Tahland, was a combination of many eclectic sounds. What inspired you?
Welcome to Tahland was created in three different parts of the world: Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Europe. As a musician and producer, I always like to surround myself with people from different walks of life. Music is universal, and everyone can relate to it.
And it did really well, right? The reception was great.
It did. I’m celebrating the success of the record that went Gold in Europe.
How does it feel to know that other people are responding to your work?
I’m enjoying life exceptionally well… just flying on another cloud and accepting everything as it comes.
The song “Lavish Lifestyle” was a big hit. In this economy, wouldn’t you say that such a name could be controversial?
There’s a story behind “Lavish Lifestyle.” It’s really about enjoying your life regardless of whether you have five thousand dollars of five million dollars. As long as you know how to enjoy yourself, that’s a lavish lifestyle for me.
I’m interested in your upbringing. Would you say that you had a “lavish lifestyle” growing up as a kid?
My childhood in Brooklyn was great. But it wasn’t fantastic. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, which allowed me to understand what it was to work hard. Things in life don’t come for free and they certainly don’t come easy. That’s true coming from an environment like Brooklyn, East LA, or Derby, UK.
How did you get into the music industry?
There were various defining steps in my career. I was introduced to the producing world at age fifteen under the tutelage of Erick Sermon. Some of you may know him and some others might not, but he was at the epicenter of what hip-hop music is today, and he is responsible for so many hits around the world. I learned how to program drums, finish a record… Anyone can make a beat, but it’s a lot tougher to deliver a record as a producer.
You had a very successful career as a producer. What made you want to make the switch to songwriting and performing solo?
It’s always been instilled in me. I was in front of 15,000 people at such a young age, so I’ve always had that level of entertainment in me. Being a producer was great but I stepped it up because I felt ready.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations in the world of music today?
My favorite rapper is the same today as it was when I was growing up: Tribe Called Quest. I’m a big fan of Run DMC, Kool G Rap, and Erik B & Rakim. I’m a rock and roller, so I’d also say Bruce Springsteen and Aerosmith.
How can Daily BR!NK readers contribute to your success?
Daily BR!NK can contribute by spreading the word about the Tah Mac movement. You guys will always get all the exclusive updates on my movement, to all exclusive shows, etc… Please support me through my social media sites.