If you’re a rising Aotearoa-based rapper and you’re impressing the one and only Melodownz, you’re on the right track. Meet Brandn Shiraz.
“If I could bet all my money on anyone, it’s Shiraz,” the LONE WOLF himself previously said, showing some love for an up-and-coming star of the Tāmaki Makaurau hip hop pack.
It feels like a safe bet. Boasting a high energy, high intensity approach, Shiraz spits with verve and confidence. He also seamlessly fits into this increasingly boundary-less era of music, flitting between genres with laidback ease, whether it’s hip hop, reggae, or even afrobeats.
And underneath it all, Shiraz remains fully authentic, proudly and honestly portraying his Cook Island heritage in his music.
Shiraz dropped the music video for his latest single, “outside outside”, today, a fiery collaboration with a legend of the local scene, Diggy Dupé. You can watch the full video, directed by Bryce Tobin (and made with the support of NZ On Air), above.
“Game Day,” Shiraz declared on Instagram before his video dropped, which feels encapsulating of the focused mindset the pair bring to this link-up. No line is wasted, no verse missing the mark; Shiraz and Dupé interchange energetically and effortlessly, their flows complementary.
“outside outside” is the lead single from Shiraz’s highly-anticipated debut EP, set for release next month. As Shiraz wrote on Instagram earlier this month, “aight playtimes over.”
As for Dupé, the Central Auckland favourite enjoyed a huge year in 2022, cracking one million streams on Spotify for the very first time.
Last year also saw the MC win Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa/Best Hip Hop Artist at the Aotearoa Music Awards 2022 thanks to his acclaimed soundtrack to TV series The Panthers, a six-part drama about the rise of the activist group Polynesian Panthers in the ’70s.
Brandn Shiraz’s “outside outside” ft. Diggy Dupé is out now.