1. Greetings Mr. Oxygen, First of all an obvious question to start with: Who is the person behind Taz Aka Oxygen? How was your youth?
T: Well i mean, easy going youth yeah, free flowing somebody that just live for music, basically. Life for me was fun, we had good times, we had bad times, we faced a lot of challenges but we overcome.
2. You started off in the Reggae/Dancehall business at a very young age, how did u get involved in this business and were did you get your love for the music?
T: Well, i was exposed, being around my dad, Mr. Irving, a strong lover of music that used to have a soundsystem basically. He used to play a ole lot of tapes, stage show cassettes with ‘Ninjaman’, ‘Shabba’ and some other greats such as ‘Tenor Saw’, which is one of the main influences in my career todate as well as ‘Jimmy Cliff’ …yeah! Great Foundations!
3. How did it feel to appear at ReggaeSumfest at a very young age?
T: I mean the feeling was great, getting the chance to share the stage with so many icons, it was mind-blowing! I mean, the feeling was… i can’t really explain but…awesome!
4. You were very lucky to perform at the age of 13 with a legend like ‘Freddy McGregor’, how did this influence your style?
T: Me performing with a legend like Freddy means a lot to me then and now, the experience that i gathered from the whole encounter helps me to be a more alert Dj performing live, When a legend like Freddy put you on the spot, wheel off some classic and seh “youth find some thing to match up to this” and yuh have to dweet cause I can’t disappoint the 20 add thousand people in the heart of ‘Sam Sharpe Sqare’.
5. You were born and raised in Montego Bay but you also spent a year living in the UK, why did you choose to go back to Jamaica? Was this an artistical choice?
T: Yeah, basically yeah, it was an artistically move, my life out a music i really don’t see it. Yes, an artistically move.
5a. So the UK didn’t bring u what u wanted with your music?
T: No, not really that you know. Me performing in the UK in Dancehall music is like a challenge, when you bust from jamaica you gaine a greater deal of respect than if i should break doing reggae music from any other country. Theres just a few people that survived in the field like that. You can’t make a handful of them. The icons are really deh deh in the heart of the people dem soul and everything, are mostly the ones that are really transport straight from outta yard.
6. You already made some big tunes like, Rockya, HighGrade, New Moment with T.O.K (and co-writing Jail again with Busy Signal), Rest in Peace and Prya. But things seem to really kick off with Candle in the Wind, looks like u are on the right track?
T: Definitely yeah, on the right path. Positive music, message and everything. What im making right now is coming out of my soul, is like a new me, you understand? It’s coming from the heart. Well, ‘Candle in the Wind’ is the engine behind my career at this present moment but professionally my career started from 2008 when i did a song called ‘Rest in Peace’.
7. The Videoclip of ‘Rest in Peace’ is very emotional, how autobiographic is this video?
T: A 100% real (yeah) a mean every clip, every scenery i can relate to. Real life issues, things I went through in Montego Bay, Kingston And in England as well. Whole lota things happen.
8. At a young age u were called ‘Ninja Treez’ and later you became ‘Tazz’ and now ‘Taz Aka Oxygen’, what made u change your names? And what is the right way to really write it?
T: Ha ha ha ‘Taz aka Oxygen’, it’s basically to differentiate. Cause i mean, you don’t really want when people a remember your legacy as an artist, they remember the greatness of another act. Me making the adjustment to the name ‘Ninja Treez’ is just part of that history. But then now ‘Taz’, and then ‘Taz Aka Oxygen’, the whole thing just fuze in to one. It says like there’s greatness basically: ‘Oxygen’ which is the breath of fresh air.
8a . What exactly is ‘Yard Soul’?
T: Yard Soul is a combination of music weather its Jazz, Dance Hall, Alternative, Reggae Souls, it’s just music used in a positive way combined with melody and feelings, some thing sue-ding to the soul. That is Yard-Soul.
9. Your style is in a way different form other dancehall artists, can u explain to me what this difference is that im sensing? Is that the Yard-Soul u Talk about?
T: Greatness, Comfort, Expercience, Perfectionist, that is basically me. My music is influenced by all different genres of music, like i said before. Things other people go through, things that me go through, the different walks of life experience.
10. You are very active on New media like Twitter, do u think these new media helps artists in their career?
T: Yeah, Jah man! It helps, I mean, People can reach out to you from all different parts of the globe by just one click. The Facebook, The Myspace, The Twitter, all of dem, name dem! The are all of help, Youtube, everything it boosts artists career and boosts other business careers. Not artists only, but it helps generally. Things move faster these days.
11. When can we expect an Oxygen album coming out, we are ready here to see u perform.?
T: Currently working on it right now, me and Askhelle from Vision House, my blind bredren. We in the studio doing a whole lot of work. He is one of the main persons as well behind ‘Candle in the Wind’ Instruments. And ‘Prya’ (produce by Brawd Yaad Ent), ‘Rest in Peace’ all done by ‘Birchill Records’ that work with Shaggy on most of his hits & the ‘Big Yard’ camp azwell. So the album… hopefully some times next year. In terms of performance, Mr. Danny, from the booking is right I’ll make my self available (laughs).
12. What else would you like to share with the Dutch reggae/Dancehall scene? Anything goes…
T: Let me play a likkle clip, this one of the thing I am currently working on, it is called ‘One Pants’ (produced by Madd Squadd), cause I mean, a whole lot of people can relate to this. Where they come from the Garrissons, the Ghetto, the worse part of poverty, they can relate to this. And even when man is more fortunate u can have a situation that u have that ‘one pants’ a favorite thing that you really like, out of anything. Cut arguments short, this is it. (Taz plays new song ‘One Pants’).
Thank you for the interview and hope to see u in Holland soon.
T: Give thanks for every bit of energy, every strength, appreciate everything to the fullest, you understand Danny! Thank you, respect!
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