Tawanda: ‘I wrote the song during lockdown and it’s the reason I’ve gotten through’

Tawanda: ‘I wrote the song during lockdown and it’s the reason I’ve gotten through’


Sydney producer Tawanda goes bar for bar in new single ‘Trying’, shining a light on mental health. The new single places Tawanda's skills for songwriting and production front and centre.

Sydney-side producer Tawanda lets his emotions flow on a new empowering single, ‘Trying’, acknowledging his mental health struggles while exploring social connections and the distressing nature of lockdowns.

The follow up to ‘Wait’, this new release solidifies Tawanda’s place in the music scene as a solo artist, building on the swathe of songwriting credits he has for the likes of triple j unearthed artists like Yawdoesitall and Syns.

Keep up with the latest music interviews, news and reviews here.

Garnering attention for his earnest lyricism amongst these ranks and finally tightening his grip around the mic, ‘Trying’ is a marriage of hip hop beats, RnB flavours and raps with strong melodic hooks, highlighting the artist’s penchant for pretty and flowery chords with a build of hard drums.

With nods to the likes of Kendrick, J. Cole, Saba, and Brent Faiyaz, hip hop and RnB influences surge and flourish throughout the three-minute track. Combining lavish production, punchy beats, unwaveringly honest but clever lyricism and tight and melodic delivery, he switches between assertive rap and a delicate croon in an impressive technical singing display.

Compelling from the very first note, sentimental instrumentals and a lush soundscape introduce the single, serving as a sombre gesture toward the deeper, real subject matter to come.

With effortless melodic flow, Tawanda’s emotive delivery is truly the centrepiece of the track, rapping circles around us as he shows off his pen in a distinct narrative about mental health and a plea for a brighter future, written during the state’s first lockdown.

“I wrote the song during the first lockdown and it’s been the reason I’ve gotten through the current lockdown,” he explains.

“It’s my take on the role social media has played in making people more connected and disconnected. As people stood together to stand up for others, it left a lot of people drained and depressed at their situations or current problems which led some to unfortunately taking their lives (especially in the current lockdown).

“This song was my way of expressing what I advocate for (mental health and BLM).

“Being one of the people that was left drained in the first lockdown, I never wanted to let my mind end up in such a state. It was my way of releasing all the thoughts that were in my mind and also a way to try to rebuild and move forward.”

Oozing with confidence, Tawanda’s narrative rhymes and confessional delivery is intelligent and self-aware, and you can feel the artist opening up and leaving more of a mark in the process.

Through this added depth and complexity to his second single, Tawanda’s skills for songwriting and production are placed entirely front and centre, precisely where they should be. While the artist thrives when he’s collaborating (and he’s damn good at it), his debut single ‘Wait’ proved his only direction as a soloist was up, and ‘Trying’ sees the trajectory continue along that path.

Creating a fresh listening experience and filled with lines that linger long after the song is over, Tawanda is the type of storyteller who could get you to pull up a chair and listen, and honestly, you probably should.

Check out ‘I’m Trying’ below.