Exclusive Interview with Mizz Taj

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Fresh from releasing her debut single, 'Top Girl'  and her debut E.P "The Taj Crown Affair"', Jovan caught up with Mizz Taj for this interview!

Where did the idea for the track and the video for Top Girl come from?

I wrote Top Girl while I was visiting the U.K a couple years ago. I've been writing and recording songs in Toronto for a few years now but this visit inspired me in a way that Top Girl just came to life as I thought of what I've been through as a female artist and only wanted to empower women around the world to pursue their passion in any field - be it medical, law or an artist like me, I touch on this in my lyrics and that is what a 'Top Girl' is, she is a leader a strong and fierce woman who isn't afraid to show some attitude while staying classy of course. I want all the women that relate to Top Girl to feel strong and confident while they jam to my track and never let anyone bring them down, especially boys haha!

I wanted the video to have a simple concept and so we shot all the footage in my Toronto hood - Rexdale, a real day in the life of Mizz Taj. The video takes you through different place in my neighborhood which will all lead you through a hype day with my friends, I actually have this much fun with them on a daily basis. We were styled by grāfiti international, very talented designers from Toronto. There was a lot of talent on my set and I'm so excited and extremely happy with how my very first music video came out which I funded entirely on my own. Shout out to my incredibly supportive team!

Who do you look up to in the Punjabi music industry and also in the hip hop industry?

When it comes to old school Punjabi music I love the classic vocalists like Kuldip Manak, Gurdas Mann, Surinder Kaur, Pammi bhai, and Malkit Singh - the list is endless! I am really appreciating some new artists these days like Diljit Dosanjh, Miss Pooja, the late Kaka Bhaniawala and the Nooran sisters.
When it comes to my hiphop influences, without a doubt it has been Missy Elliot, Tupac Shakur, Sean Paul, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez.

How did you get into the music business?

After winning 3 national dance competitions (Bindiyan Chamke Gi, Toronto Bhangra Youth Festival, Tribute to Bollywood) and having been the lead or back up dancer for many big artists in Bhangra and Hiphop, I started singing and free-styling raps for fun with my friends in my neighborhood. After getting a good response from my friends and family I started writing music endlessly day and night in hopes of becoming a skilled mc.
There's been a lot of ups and downs with a few odds against me, but I'm proud to say I persevered to become a rapper and complete my debut E.P.

You worked with Tigerstyle on this track, how was it working with them in the studio? What were you able to learn or take away from that experience?

Working with Tigerstyle in their hometown of Glasgow was such an amazing learning experience. In just a few days we were able to put together two amazing tracks. They are both such creative and professional individuals and just blew me away as the team they call Tigerstyle. They pushed me out of my comfort zone which led me to sing and rap in different ways using different scales and notes. They also helped me write the hooks of my tracks to make them more catchy and melodic.
I had so much fun jamming with them, they really are my big brothers. In just a few days, I felt myself grow and develop as an artist on a larger scale and that growth and development of crucial skills I need to work with different producers is something I will take with me each time I work in the studio. I'm looking forward to working with Tigerstyle again!

Who is your target market for the song?

Anybody who loves rap music. Anyone who loves to hear something new and has an open mind.

What are the similarities between you and Hard Kaur, what makes you differrent?

I think that some people would find similarities between us because we're both female and both Punjabi rap artists. I think the automatic thing to do these days is compare artists (especially females) to each other. Hard Kaur has had great success in this male dominated industry and I hope she contunues to reach new heights. I have much admiration for for all female artists like M.I.A. - she is a incredible, I just love to see other women do well and I think there's is room for all of us in the industry to bring our unique artistry as I hope to do so with my EP.

What do you have planned for the future?

I plan on working on more music and taking on other artistic projects. I love to dance and at the moment am putting together my stage show. I have performances coming up in 2016 and being on stage is one of my favourite things to do in life. I am looking forward to sharing my music with the world.

Would you like to say something to the Simply Bhangra listeners?

Thank you so much SimplyBhangra for the support. As an aspiring artist, support from your own community is vital and I appreciate each and everyone of you who will take the time to listen and share my music - one love

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