After years of humbly impressing Australian audiences as a member of Thundamentals, Rumpunch and Sketch The Rhyme, it’s now time for emcee Tuka to step to the fore and distinguish himself as one of the country’s most exciting lyrical talents. As comfortable rocking over a stomping Gypsy horn line as he is over Dub-Reggae or a driving Boom Bap rhythm. Tuka’s debut LP Will Rap For Tuka is the culmination of years honing his craft, both in written form and performance and delivers one of 2010’s most diverse efforts right before the buzzer sounds.
With only two guests on the entire album (Tenth Dan and Radical Son), Tuka really has wholeheartedly taken on the ‘solo’ mantle, with even the cover art being hand drawn by the Sydney emcee. Production comes from Mike Silk, Marz1, DJ Morgs, Brokn, Caustic and Tuka himself.
Your next favourite Emcee-Producer, Tuka’s debut solo set eschews easy comparison and overtly big singles (with the exception of Pro), instead opting for cerebral Jazz and Dub influenced head nodders that tip their hat to producers and projects like early RJD2, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Soul Assasins Volume 1 or Nightmares On Wax.
A veteran of the scene, Tuka has played everywhere from Woodford Festival and Sydney Festival’s First Night, to iconic venues The Hordern, The Metro and The Palace Theatre. His approach is both highly melodic and rhythmic in nature, and freestyle comes as naturally as composition – he regularly performs entirely improvised sets, and as a host of triple J’s National Open Mic and guest on FBi’s Stolen Records, he has showcased that ability over national radio more than once or twice. When not on stage or making music, Tuka is a teacher for the NSW TAFE Outreach Program, teaching hip-hop to disadvantaged youth to improve their literacy by encouraging them to express themselves creatively as individuals.
His work with Thundamentals has lead to critical acclaim, from Sydney Morning Herald dubbing them “one of the Top 10 live acts to watch in 2010“, to triple J’s Dom Alessio hailing them “one of the more exciting Aussie hip hop outfits to emerge in the past few years”, Rolling Stone and MTV labeling them one of the top up and coming Aussie acts and iTunes after naming The Mash iTunes Single of the Week, Thundamentals were invited to record an exclusive live EP for fans and competition winners at Sydney’s iTunes store.
Tuka has had the privilege of playing alongside some of the finest local and international acts – to give you a taste, think A Tribe Called Quest (USA), Lyrics Born (USA), Kool Herc (USA), Q-bert (USA), Braintax (UK), Mystro (UK), DJ MK (UK), Supernatural, The Herd, The Red Eyes, Rastawookie, Bliss n Eso, Muph & Plutonic, Chasm, Urthboy, Koolism, Astronomy Class, Pegz, Spit Syndicate, Delta and many more. A collaborator of the highest order, he has worked and recorded with Dialectrix, Two Toes, Chasm and The Tongue.
Tuka’s Will Tap For Tuka is out now through Big Village Records.
You can also catch Tuka in the upcoming Rappertag.