\\Interview with Tanzanian soul singer Topher Jaxx
Topher Jaxx speaks to Afroway on his music, art, inspirations and why making music is the best therapy for him
Out of Tanzania comes a talented young artist; spirited, goofy with convivial sense of humor and brazenness. He’s among artists from the east African nation who have taken it upon themselves to be the ‘soul-jas’ of the great soul music. Topher Jaxx who is currently based in London shares some insights into his music, inspirations and personality in an exclusive interview with |Afroway about how it is to be A Guy Like Him.
“The art of being true to self, that’s what I want people to take from my music.” Topher Jaxx
Afroway: How have you been?
Jaxx: Surviving. Been a busy month for me chasing this Grammy, you know!
Afroway: Tell us about Topher Jaxx the man
Jaxx: Haha, Topher Jaxx the man huh? Well, Topher the man is here to stay first of all; I love doing what makes me happy, I’m passionate about music and making music is therapy to me. I don’t really have much to say about Topher Jaxx the man, I guess my forthcoming music projects will talk about him more.
Afroway: Where are you currently based?
Jaxx: I’m currently based in London.
Afroway: How did you get into the amazing world of music?
Jaxx: I have always loved music and everything about it. As I said before making music is therapy to me. And not just therapy, I just love doing it. Brings me the ultimate joy. I was born to do it and be it. Coming from Tanzania born and raised, I pretty much have a lot to share to the world. That’s what gave me the drive of getting into the music industry, to tell my story through my music, inspire people and well of course…make money haha….
Afroway: What’s your first musical memory, any artists that inspired you?
Jaxx: My first memory would be a Tanzanian dance music duo Mwinjuma Muumini and Ally Choki in the early 2000’s when I was about 5 or 6. As a kid, I remember seeing my mom watching these guys on television and I would go stand in front of the television blocking her view and mimic them. These guys straight to my heart gave me a reason to love music and inspired me a lot. If it wasn’t for these guys I’d def be in college right now doing some boring medicine course, haha!
Afroway: Haha… Are you strictly a Soul, Jazz and R&B artist or you kind of diversify at some point?
Jaxx: I’m a singer/songwriter, so yeah I’m diverse. But my main focus would be Soul, Jazz.
Afroway: Where do you mostly perform?
Jaxx: For the past year it’s been mostly Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam.
Afroway: Walk us through “A Guy Like Me” and Erykah Badu inspired “Puff Puff”. What drove these compositions?
Jaxx: A Guy Like Me was inspired by today’s perception of love. And well Puff Puff, haha I Looooooooooooove Kaya.
Afroway: Haha… Oh my!, Well…If you were an instrument which one would you be?
Jaxx:I’d def be a saxophone so someone with a good mouth could blow me. I know right?
Afroway: What projects should we be looking out for from you?
Jaxx: I’m all about timeless music, that’s what people should be looking out from me.
Afroway: What do you want people to take from your music?
Jaxx: The art of being true to self, that’s what I want people to take from my music.
Afroway: Alright…what is your view of Jazz, soul and R&B scene in Bongo land?
Jaxx: I think we have so many Jazz, Soul and R&B talents, there is so much going on in the country right now that is very promising, open mic events that support such talents who don’t get much support from radio, media etc, other music events like Red Monkey’s Crazy….Monday Jam Session, Lyricist Lounge, Alternative Nights, Unplugged By Chi etc that all support these talents to be heard and I think soon enough they’ll take it mainstream.
Afroway:How do you see the Tanzanian music industry changing in the next 10 years?
Jaxx: shouts to Tema Yai Nation movement, these people are going to change the Tanzanian music industry in so many ways, 10 years is a lot, I would say 5. They are that good and dedicated.
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