Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Tae Zu, an independent hip hop artist and producer hailing from El Paso, Texas. The performer has a new single out, ‘Def Tones And Beautiful Smellz,’ and it was released with an accompanying music video as well. Thus, let’s delve into it and discern whether or not this entry in Tae Zu’s catalog is one you’ll want in your indie music collection!
I’ve said this before on the Independent Spotlight, but it bears repeating - I get an immense amount of hip hop across my desk, and the vast majority of that is a sea of monotony and derivative styles. It’s arguably the hardest music community to break out of because of this. There is a lot of noise. Fortunately, Tae Zu has a sound that’s not only fairly unique, but versatile, too.
The entirety of ‘Def Tones And Beautiful Smellz’ is centralized around a vocal sample that’s repeated within the main beat. It’s a compelling production, and it does well to separate Tae Zu from his counterparts churning out Garageband presets. Lyrically, ‘Def Tones And Beautiful Smellz’ is quite strong; it’s an anthem of self-determination and drive that manages to not stray into cliche territory.
‘Deft Tones And Beautiful Smellz’ was released with a music video as well, and surprisingly, it’s an excellent video. (We’ll embed it above.) It’s well shot, the black and white is color corrected beautifully, and it far surpasses most indie music videos that get sent to the Independent Spotlight. It’s well worth a watch.
‘Deft Tones And Beautiful Smellz’ is available on all major digital music platforms now, and it’s an early insight into Tae Zu’s album ‘P.L.A.N.’ due out February 23. He’s also planning to announce a tour next month, so keep tabs on his social media below. If this single is indicative of the quality of the rest of the album, it's going to be a record worth spinning.