Shirazee is a Benin-born-and-raised singer-songwriter based in New York City. Not too long ago, he recruited South African singer-songwriter and poet Busiswa (Beyoncé’s “Gift”, “Black Is King”) for an epic cross-continental Amapiano collaboration, entitled, “RIGHT THANG”.
Shirazee & Busiswa “RIGHT THANG” music video
“I thought it was key to see it through visually as well. The idea was to make something fun and still dope while bypassing the main issue of not being able to travel to South Africa to shoot it. I shot my parts in NYC with director Modern Day Auteur. And we had a team with Busiswa shoot hers in Johannesburg. We planned it together across continents and added some fun spontaneous shots on the New York side that aligned with the South African side. I’m glad everyone who has seen it so far really enjoys it. Makes me feel like the challenges were all worth it.” – Shirazee stated
“RIGHT THANG” contains a relatable narrative, pleasing vocals, and tuneful melodies. Also, the seductive tune possesses rhythmic instrumentation flavored with afrobeat, afro-dance, and amapiano elements. Furthermore, “RIGHT THANG” will have you grooving from the couch with its irresistible dance beat.
“I was in South Africa in January and connected with the wonderful Busiswa to create this Amapiano song. The genre was just taking off in full effect. We made ‘Right Thang’ in one session. The energy, the authenticity in the studio, and everything all around us was so great. You can hear it in the song. Everything about it makes me happy. From Benin and South Africa linking up on a smooth banger to representing our continent once again proudly. Also, taking our sounds to the world. It’s a beautiful thing, it’s the ‘right thang’.” – Busiswa stated
Shirazee & Busiswa
“I actually found out about Shirazee from DJ Tunez shows in New York. So when we were connected, I knew I had to make space in my schedule for him. Also, I appreciate his songwriting so much and I really wanted to make something happen with the time that he was here. The rest is history. I took him to the hood. I took him to the producers I always work with. And we had a lot of fun collaborating naturally. At this point in our journeys where the world’s eyes are on Africa, it’s really special to me to work with the kind of artist that understands the message, the language, and the legacy we want to leave. Also, we are proud and we got it goin’ on!” – Busiswa stated
“RIGHT THANG” serves as a wonderful presentation to what listeners can expect to hear on Shirazee’s upcoming six-track EP, entitled, “LOST”. The anticipated project is set to be released on October 23, 2020, via Human Re Sources.
“I want Benin to be heard all through my music. Where you feel like you’re hearing the voice of my ancestors. Benin is the main source of a lot of things that it doesn’t get credit for, which even goes back to the slavery days. Also, you can hear a lot of Benin’s influence on Haitian and Brazilian culture because of the enslaved people who went there. It’s all tied to my country. I don’t think people understand that. So I want to make sure that I reconnect those dots.” – Shirazee stated
Shirazee’s life has transported him to places like Ghana, Paris, South Africa, Atlanta, and New York City. His unique nomadic lifestyle (where he learned six languages along the way) is captured in “LOST”. The project channels an explorer’s curious spirit. Also, the EP gives listeners a sonic world tour with its six tracks embracing Shirazee’s passion for fusing unexpected beats from various genres, while also telling a personal story through artful lyricism.
‘LOST’ follows the standalone release, entitled, “Tired“. The emotional ballad pays tribute to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all Black lives that have been lost at the hands of police brutality. The powerful message in both the song and video continued to cross borders and garnered support from celebrities including Mike Tyson, Teddy Riley, and Karl Kani to name a few. The raw, heartfelt track was also featured in Triller’s Black Music Appreciation Month campaign. Proceeds were donated to Color Of Change, NAACPLDF, and the ACLU Campaign Against Racial Profiling.
“‘Tired’ is a three-minute capsule of how my generation feels. I hope this song urges us all to continue to do the right thing and as a result, becomes a melodic beacon of encouragement and hope to keep demanding for what’s right.”– Shirazee stated
“If you touch me you turn into money”
Shirazee’s mission to amplify African and Black voices has been crystal clear across his life’s work. His discography to date totals over 25 million global streams. His smash hits include “MAKE WILD”, “Soweto” with producer Michael Brun, and “Juju” with SAINt JHN. With each release, Shirazee shines a light on the wide array of art and culture thriving across the 55 countries that make up the African continent. So far, his music has landed on him on Spotify’s “New Music Friday”, “African Heat”, “Afropop”, and “Chill Tracks”. Also, Apple Music’s “New Music Daily”, “Afrobeats Hits”, “Global Pop”, and “Africa Rising”.
Shirazee first discovered his love for music through his mother. She played a colorful mix that ranged from the country’s local artists to Motown-era stars like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and James Brown. Also, European artists that she picked up while studying hairdressing in Belgium. Like many children, Shirazee was a major fan of Michael Jackson. But he also admired Benin-born artists who skewed more traditional. Some of those influences include Sagbohan Danialou, Gnonnas Pedro from the group Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, and Angélique Kidjo.
“My heart no be PlayStation, you no fit to play me so.”
“The influence that Angélique Kidjo had was letting me know it was possible to crossover overseas. She was the voice of hope that we had at the time when it came to world and traditional music. I want to be that for the kids coming up now.” – Shirazee stated
So far, Shirazee has written for the likes of Sting, Ty Dolla $ign, K-pop group Girls’ Generation, Kieza, and Twista.
“My strongest suit is my melody. I just go into different spaces in my brain since I’ve worked with and listened to so many genres for so long. That’s what happens when you grow up overseas.”
“RIGHT THANG” single
We recommend adding Shirazee’s and Busiswa’s “RIGHT THANG” single to your personal playlist. Also, let us know how you feel in the comment section below.