Explain your background and getting to where you are today?
Jody Bigfoot is an anomaly and a renegade in life and in art. His debut solo project Duszt challenges tropes and preconceptions of contemporary hip hop whilst building on the political roots of the genre with a refreshing addition of spiritual esotericism and eastern philosophy. Duszt the album is accompanied and complemented by a feature-length music video filmed in Japan where Bigfoot previously lived for a year (2011-2012) honing his video editing craft. The movie itself is funded, directed, edited and produced by himself with the assistance of one cameraman as well as being brought to life by the music production skills and instrumental talent of German prodigy Tandaro.
Born at home to a pair of socialist vegetarians, Jody Bigfoot has always stood out from the crowd, standing at two meters tall with size 15 shoes, this is both literal and figurative! After playing a leading role in the local anti Iraq war movement and attending the largest protest in history to no avail, he became disillusioned with conventional forms of protest. Equally fed up with mainstream education and English hedonism he spent most of his twenties traveling and working in any country he could get a visa, doing anything from packing cow hides in Australia to climbing and dismantling 250 foot trees in ancient Canadian rainforest.
Tandaro is a multi-instrumentalist and prodigious producer that defies genres and is set to carve a new path for contemporary trap music. He has already collaborated with some of Jamaica’s Oldest and Youngest notable talent, such as Lone Ranger, Big Youth, Carlton Livingstone, Eesah and Damas. Tandaro has also recently finished producing the debut Reggae-trap fusion LP for the Lineage Family – Aza Roots, Nu Erra (aka beatbox), Smilez and the late France Nooks RIP who was stabbed in the heart for not paying an illegitimate double Taxi fare in 2018. Getting hooked on music at an early age, starting to collect records by the time he turned eight and picking up the guitar by the age of ten, Tandaro always knew there wasn’t anything quite as magical to him as sounds, melodies and rhythm. His Father, the owner of a local reggae sound system and a music enthusiast himself, introduced him to a lot of different styles and bands that existed before Tandaro’s time (60s – early 90s), giving him an extensive background in the history of modern pop and alternative music.
Tandaro’s early experimentation saw him explore different genres with effortless freedom, from heavy metal through hip hop to dubstep and many different rave styles. At the age of 21 he had already collaborated with Jamaican Dancehall veteran Lone Ranger. From here he focused on making a name for himself as a producer in the European reggae underground. What set him apart from most of his peers was the fact that he quickly developed a network of Jamaican artists, aided by a trip to Jamaica with his father in 2016.
Tell us about your collaboration with German producer Tandaro?
This whole experience has been an absolute pleasure. I have made many music friends online – producing albums and singles with producers and vocalist from Italy, Australia, Norway, Japan, France, Scotland, Canada, USA and Jamaica but none of these collaborations have led to anything near the deep and meaningful friendship I now share with Tandaro. We are like brothers now, and even if we never worked on a song again I am sure we would be in touch for the rest of our lives. I hope this connection and its strength have woven their way into the seams of Duszt.
What is your greatest inspiration for your music?
Tandaro – I always loved all sorts of different genres and sounds. My biggest inspiration is the amount of different music styles I was exposed to in my formative years and still to this day. Hard Rock, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Death Metal Dubstep. I love it all.
Jody – I wouldn’t have much to say if it wasn’t for the dysfunctional nature of humans and our societies, or the beauty that I see through the fog of this war. And I wouldn’t know about the power music can have on a soul if it wasn’t for the albums of Trinity Roots, a Maori roots, reggae and rock band that truly touched me and made me a better person.
How did the concept for the album ‘Duszt’ come about?
Jody – Listening to the latest trap and hip hop sounds coming out of America, yet being dissapointed with the lyrical content.
Tandaro – I had a similar experience as Jody did, but I have a constant urge to dig deeper and find more ways of artistic expression. I was convinced we could create something within that realm of contemporary rap that would achieve the lyrical standards we set ourselves, as well as being cutting edge.
Was it difficult working with a cameraman filming in Japan?
Jody – No, Jj (@hoggphotography) has collaborated with me on my music videos since my very first release when I was working under the name “Trinity Lo FI” with Zico MC and other guest vocalists – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbSLCSS19Jk – I have known him since primary school. But sharing a tiny room with two futons and working some of the most ridiculous shifts, sometimes out the house with no sleep for more than 30 hours, it had its intense moments. We almost had a physical fight in a burger joint after Jj was trying to put ketchup in my face, with my super pro conflict resolution tactics I went full counselling mode and uncovered the fact Jj resented the way I cycled around the city like a lunatic. I was once t-boned by a sumo wrestler sized man on my bike, the same day the city council confiscated them. Honestly, I am probably a slightly intense person to be working one on one with more than full time for two months and you should probably ask Jj if it was difficult working with me!
What is the hardest subject you’ve ever written about?
Jody – Childhood sexual abuse
Tandaro – I have released my first songs under the solo alias Rabensohn (Raven’s Son) and I cover topics like personality disorders, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and substance abuse.
What are the challenges of being an artist?
Jody – Exactly the same challenges as being a human. Learning to let go and be your true self whilst not holding onto feelings of pain, regret, disappointment or other peoples opinions.
Tandaro – Apart from the industry itself and it’s capitalist modus operandi, it’s really challenging to always outdo yourself, raising the bar with each project and making sure your not getting to comfy with everything you already achieved.
Are you planning on releasing new music soon?
Jody – Yes always. I constantly have a handful of projects moving, and work with the philosophy that it doesn’t matter how fast you are moving, as long as you are moving. Every day I chip away at something. Mastered and ready for release is the Debut LP from my new rap group “Lucid Giants”, me and a lifelong friend Nobull have teamed up with Scottish producer Konchis to put out another bassy and spacey hip hop album called “Artificial Ignorance”. This album deals with technocracy and surveillance capitalism as well as a few spiritual issues. I have already started work on the foundation songs for its sequel. I am recording an album on a variety of digital reggae and steppaz beats, then handing the stems over to Tandaro who I am giving free reign to manipulate into anything he sees fit. Judging by his latest obsessions I expect a mix of Vapourwave Dub and Hyperpop being the final product. I am recording my first Grime releases with Canadian producer M4XW311 and have a HUGE single and music video release with the Notorious French digi reggae producer Atili and his friend Lil Slow. I have also bought 150 extra beats recently, to start my experiments with streaming “An album in 24 hours”.
Tandaro – I’m palnning on dropping a number of projects with vocalists from Jamaica, I got more solo material in the works too and Jody and I will most likely start working on the follow up project to Duszt soon.