Words by Tom Disalvo //
Further capitalising on the success of his 2019 smash Evenings, Bowraville rapper Tasman Keith has this week released his long-awaited third mixtape To Whom It May Concern. The new project, a trap-heavy collection of catchy hooks and expertly-crafted bars, finds the 24-year-old songwriter even more at one with his braggadocious sound.
The mixtape boasts features from Brisbanian rapper Gamirez and Vallis Alps vocalist Parissa Tosif, and comes at the end of what has been a busy year for the upstart. The past few months has seen the Bowraville OG enjoy sold-out headline dates and as well as garner critical acclaim from triple j and RAGE for ‘Music Video of the Year,’ for his bouncy streaming-smash ‘Billy Bad Again.’
For more of an insight into his latest project, check out Tasman’s own track-by-track account for To Whom It May Concern below.
Hobbes sent me a beat pack a while back, and this one always stuck out to me but I had kind of forgotten about it for a bit while writing a bunch of other demos. I returned to it once I started narrowing down what I wanted the mixtape to sound like. I basically wanted to use this as the opener because I felt it was a statement piece and it touched on a lot of what I’ve been feeling/going through while still keeping hard-hitting. The second verse Is actually two separate verses I had spare, once I tweaked them a bit and noticed it fit perfectly into the flow and narrative it was a wrap, I’m always writing so at any moment in my songs there’s probably something that has been sitting in the back of my mind for any given amount of time.
This one came together super easy – writing-wise, I had the structure and verses well before I had the features. As I was listening to the song and trying to figure out what was missing and what a feature could bring I felt the start needed something to set the tone after 10SPEED, something that formally introduced the mixtape after the first song. This led me to ask Kapital J, who was in Bowraville at the time to record dad doing an intro, I gave them the simple direction of ‘the project is called To Whom It May Concern’ and a few hours later, the Wire MC feature was complete. He let me know the final line on his feature was in relation to the ARIA snub and the whole verse is basically him speaking from my perspective. Shortly after that Gamirez had then sent 2 verses over and I knew It was close to being finished, he just delivered that flow and pocket I think it needed, especially with the verse I ended up leaving on the project.
CONFIDENT is the oldest joint on the whole mixtape, Kapital J & Kuya James started the production on the same night we locked in the Billy Bad Again & Nightmares On 9th. demos. I always knew this was going to be the single but it was just about finishing it, the team and I took it to Papertoy who added extra production, and we both sat and structured the switch up for the third verse, which I ended up re-writing one line seven times. I wanted to use the moment in the song the flex, there’s a deeper meaning to the song but overall it was me sticking out my chest.
I wrote the first verse shortly after my cousin passed, Kapital J played me a really early demo of the production and we just put it down, It was a lot of anger, a lot of reminiscing on what my family and community have gone through and it all came out within 5 minutes of writing. It wasn’t until I got into the studio with my engineer (Matt Fioravanti) that I re-visited and really started to pinpoint what it was I was saying. We had the full song structure way before we had the final production, it was something we were kinda stuck on. Kwame came into the studio and bodied it, which gave me new inspiration for the song. If it wasn’t for the additional production the ‘fucked up’ moment in the chorus wouldn’t be there at all and I’m not even sure if it would’ve made this project.
This joint really sat as a mumble reference for a while, the way you hear the flow now is exactly the way that I recorded it in like 2 takes. It wasn’t until a bit later that I sat down and again figured out exactly what I wanted to say with this song. Where you hear Parissa now is exactly how I envisioned it when I recorded the reference, I was almost tempted to leave my messed up falsetto on the song until Parissa rolled thru and recorded her vocals, It took it to an almost euphoric place that I knew it could go with someone else vocals. It represents a goodbye and basically me letting go of my entire ego which you just heard throughout the whole project.