When Hamilton based Rwandan rapper Raiza Biza’s smooth baritone and contemplative storytelling blurs into the jazz/soul tinged beats he favours, it’s hard to not be swept away.
Quickly, you're drawn into the story of a young immigrant who made New Zealand his home, while simultaneously reaching out to a global audience, and all through music. Shades of the emotional delivery of Tupac Shakur rub against the reflective storytelling of Mos Def and Talib Kweli, beautifully underscored by nostalgic-yet-futuristic instrumentals.
Yet while the aesthetic references within Raiza Biza’s music speak to the African-American hip-hop, soul, jazz, and beats experiences, his meticulously placed rhymes tackle the experiences of growing up in Zambia and South Africa, before coming of age in New Zealand.
Of late, Raiza has been hitting the festival circuit, often bringing along his Ammo Nation collective for the ride as well as travelling the globe performing across Europe and Asia. In the process, he’s seen his music reach commercial radio and joined the Red Bull Sound Select platform. With momentum building, taking things to the next level feels inevitable.