Music7 min

Your Favourite Rappers Favourite Rapper – Shiraz x Dirty

When Dirty asked Shiraz to feature on a Red Bull 64 bars it was an opportunity that Brandn had been waiting on for a long time.
Written by Daniel SmithPublished on
Even at 20-years-old Brandn Shiraz has been on the come up for a long time, but that is understandable when you’ve been making music since you were nine-years-old.
The memory of a young Shiraz with a passion for music is one that’s stuck with his long-time collaborator, LSJ.
“That dude started making music [young],so by the time I met him when he was eleven he was already producing music at a crazy level.
“Every time we got a chance to be on a computer Brandn would be off making remixes of pop songs.”
Shiraz also has fond memories of buying records and making beats with LSJ as kids.
“We were different to other kids. It felt like we were on the same journey,” he says.
At 16 Shiraz and LSJ became intertwined with K-Road’s, ‘The Grow Room’, which was at the time an inner-city focal point for New Zealand rap and beat-making, this gave them a platform to start performing and make a name for themselves.
Shiraz features on Red Bull 64 Bars
Shiraz features on Red Bull 64 Bars
One of the people who took note of the talented young duo was Dirty, one half of hip-hop duo Eno x Dirty.
“When I see Shiraz and LSJ, I know that it is going to be a collaboration. Not just a rapper, rapping on a beat. With those two it is what I would call a true collaboration,” he says.
When Dirty asked Shiraz to feature on a Red Bull 64 bars it was an opportunity that Brandn had been waiting on for a long time.
“Ever since the first 64 bars came out I have been thinking [that] if I got an opportunity to do it, it would sound like this, or it would sound like that. But when I finally got the call up I wanted something that represented where I am at now,” Shiraz says.
Shiraz features on Red Bull 64 Bars
Shiraz features on Red Bull 64 Bars
Shiraz threw away the hundreds of bars he had prepared for this moment and started again from scratch. A big part of that decision came from working with Ranuimarz on his own 64 bars. Shiraz, LSJ and Ranuimarz make music together in their group Risera, and the chance for both Shiraz and Ranuimarz to do Red Bull 64 Bars was huge for their group.
Shiraz says that an opportunity for one of them is an opportunity for the group. “That’s why both me and Marz got LSJ on the beat.”
When Dirty heard that Shiraz was turning down some seriously bad beats to do his 64 bars with his long-time collaborator LSJ he was surprised but stoked. “This wasn’t just a case of them just giving an opportunity to their mates, they were making the best decision for themselves and their music. I respect that a lot.”
Speaking to Shiraz you get a sense that he approaches music like a scientist dealing with a radioactive substance. He takes care and time, paying attention to the details, and ultimately maximising the explosive power in each sentence.
Shiraz features on Reb Bull 64 Bars
Shiraz features on Reb Bull 64 Bars
“I go over every little part to make each second of what I am doing exactly how I want it. The lyrics are one thing, but I’m also looking at the energy and the cadence of each word. I will spend five minutes focusing on one line to make sure I am saying it in the way that I want,” Shiraz says.
Communication hasn’t come easy to Shiraz, and he says he uses every opportunity he gets to step up to the microphone to get his views across.
“I’ve never been one to explain everything, so it’s hard for people to get what I am about until you see me performing. Music is the best way for me to express myself. That’s who I am.”
The journey that Shiraz and LSJ have been on since they were eleven years old is now entering a new chapter and at the end of 2020 Risera released an E.P. The Old Testament.
Behind the music is the kaupapa that Risera have set for themselves, LSJ explains that the group is motivated to represent and be a voice for their people.
“Brandn is an Islander, Marz is Maori and an islander, and I’m Maori. We want to promote Polynesian solidarity, between islanders and Maori.
“There hasn’t been anything like this before and we are only just getting started.”
Shiraz features on Red Bull 64 Bars
Shiraz features on Red Bull 64 Bars
Follow Shiraz’s journey on Instagram and check out his work on Spotify.
Check out Dirty on Spotify or follow his Instagram to stay up to date.