Tigarah is a Japanese rapper whose music contains elements of various musical genres, including Grime, Crunk, Miami Bass, Hip-Hop and Pop.
She discovered Baile Funk while attending Keio University and began writing and recording her music shortly after. That led to a move to Brazil to start her music career, where she met Mr. D, a DJ/Producer whose home base is in Los Angeles. Their collaboration eventually generated some buzz via Myspace and several music publications, which led to her signing with Universal Japan in 2007.
In addition, her music has been licensed to TV dramas in the U.S. (The L Word, Numb3rs), and she has collaborated with video game powerhouse EA Sports to feature on Need For Speed: Carbon, FIFA 07, FIFA 08 and Breakers.
She released 1 EP (TIGARAH!) in April 2009 and 1 album (The Funkeira goes BANG!) in August 2009. Her current release (This World Is My Playground) is under a new alter ego Tigarah e Laura, a project that expresses her twin personalities.
Selective Hearing had the opportunity to chat with Tigarah about her background, new album and music.
Please introduce yourself to the readers of Selective Hearing and tell us one thing (a hobby, special talent, interesting fact, etc.) about yourself that our readers may not know.
Tigarah: Hi, my name is Tigarah. I’m a rapper/singer/DJ/producer. I had a couple of Internet hits years ago, the songs are called “Girl Fight!”, ”Japanese Queen” and ”Color, Culture, Money, Beauty” were in the video games for FIFA EA sports. So, some of you might remember me from those tracks.
I was born and raised in Tokyo, but I lived in Sao Paulo, L.A, Paris and London, and I speak Japanese, English, French and a little Portuguese. I’m kinda international. I love what I do, so my job is like my hobby 🙂 I’m back in Tokyo and starting some new projects for music and fashion next year. Pretty excited!
Your sound is an eclectic blend of many different genres of music. How would you describe your music to those unfamiliar with your work? Is there a particular song you feel would be a great introductory piece?
Tigarah: Well, I would say it’s dance pop. It’s genreless but danceable and catchy. And nowadays, most music styles are mixed with different genres, so this is dance pop.
The first track, “Spunky Afro Tiger Jet,” is a mixture of many different sounds and has a crazy anime clip. Please go check it out on YouTube!
I wrote this song for Michael Jackson when he died. I wanted to express how amazing he was as an entertainer like “Spunky Afro Tiger Jet”; nobody can ever be like him, you know?
This World Is My Playground concept has a demonic and angelic approach to music. What was the inspiration for this idea?
Tigarah: I always thought that everybody has kinda an angel side and a devil side, like those 2 different personalities that fight inside us. haha. Do you know what I’m saying? Maybe it’s almost like an “alter ego,” but I wanted to express it as twin sisters in the video and music. Because I really have a twin sister! So, I thought its funny:)
Which of the two sides do you relate to on the album the most? Or are they both an equal representation of who you are as an artist?
Tigarah: The demonic side is called Tigarah, and the angelic side is called Laura. I’ve been doing music for years as Tigarah, so maybe I’m more on Tigarah’s side. hehe. I always did tempo hip-hop/electro dancey tracks, but I like rock, electro and some cute pop too. I wanted to have more diversity in my music, so each song is Tigarah or Laura on my new album. I had more Tigarah songs this time, but next album, I want to represent Tigarah and Laura equally from both sides.
You have collaborated with various artists, including Keane, Missill, and Lazyflow. Are there any particular artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Tigarah: Yes! Missy Elliott and Gwen Stefani. They’re my idols:) Or, Azealia Banks, M.I.A, Madonna.
You have worked extensively in Brazil, America, France and Japan. Are there other countries or places you would like to perform in?
Tigarah: I performed in Australia too, and It was great. I love seeing different cultures, so I’m ready to perform anywhere! 🙂
What type of music and/or which artists are you currently listening to?
Tigarah: I used to not like J-Pop very much, but I do listen now. I like Capsule and QT. And Peaches, Major Lazer, Tropkillaz, but Weezer too. And of course, Britney Spears anytime! haha:)
Thank you for your time. Do you have any closing comments for your overseas fans?
Tigarah: Hey, everyone! Thanks for listening to my music. I hope to see you guys soon, and I can perform for you guys!
Tigarah’s “This World Is My Playground” is available on iTunes.
We would like to thank Tigarah and Manafest Vision Media for this interview.