Canadian hip-hop artist Alborz Mohtashami a.k.a Death By Tapioca swerves right back into the Canadian indie hip-hop scene with the release of his latest track Out Like Trout.
The rapper and lyricist returns to the scene following his well-received 2020 track Defund The Police. Taking a break from urgent songwriting laden with the political cypher, into a more laid-back, humorous and groovy rap camaraderie, Death by Tapioca is on route making an incredibly diverse discography. Characteristically, Out Like Trout appears inspired by some of hip-hop’s finest formulas: the 808-style trap beats, the funky humorous lyricism, and the ability to string together verses thoroughly infectious to get the whole crowd swaying.
The track reminds us of some of the nostalgic early 2015 nostalgia of hip-hop like Silento’s Watch Me, combined with the latest trends of cultural shifts in the hip-hop style. Death by Tapioca is able to strike a firm balance between work and play, especially with his abilities to differentiate what the room warrants. A track made for the sunny outdoors, Out Like Trout should find its way into all of our Fall playlists.
We reached out to the artist for his views on the track, his music and more! Here is how that went:
Congratulations on your latest track! How would you describe Out Like Trout to someone getting into your music fresh?
Out Like Trout is a carefree positivity anthem. I want it to bring out the swaggiest, I’m-doing-my-dance-and-I-don’t-care-who’s-watching, *good vibes only* version of yourself. It pairs well with road trips, picnics, and hangouts with the crew. I personally use it as a mantra when I’m feeling stressed out and experience drama in my own life, as a way to get out of it. I hope this song can at least brighten up someone’s day – if I’ve done that, then mission accomplished!
How would you say your music switched themes or style from your earlier single ‘Defund The Police’?
With Defund, my main goal was to contribute to the more immediate cause of addressing and eliminating police brutality, and standing in solidarity with historically marginalized communities in combatting injustice. The song is actually a non-profit endeavour – 100% of profits are donated to the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC), which provides low- and no-income Black Ontarians with legal support.
Out Like Trout also reflects my beliefs, but it’s more laid-back, less urgent – it encourages change in a different way. The theme of the song is to kick back, chill, and enjoy good vibes. In the end, both songs are about reaching a better place; in a way, they’re two sides of the same coin.
Would you consider your hip-hop to be of the new wave of hip-hop: a bit thoughtful, funkier and containing surrealist humour elements. What would you say your process of crafting a track looks like?
Evolving as a person, I’ve embraced my true self more. Being a fan of music has also been key in retaining an element of innocence to my lyricism, which I think shines through on Out Like Trout. I strive to represent my most honest self, and I think that description is pretty apt. It’s not the style I chose, but the style that chose me.
My writing process usually starts with the lyrics. I also write poetry and always pay attention to lyricists. I love wittiness and puns, and I’ve always got a beat playing in my head to write to. But I also enjoy collaborating with others and writing to beats. I’ve built a chemistry with my go-to producer, JU$TUNLTD, over the years, and sometimes I’ll switch my creative process up by flowing off his beats, starting with the melody, finding the atmosphere that speaks to the best, and letting the words come after that.
Who would you say are your greatest musical influences? How do these influences impact your discography and your own process?
The Roots, System of a Down, TWICE, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Deftones, The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies, Mobb Deep, Lauryn Hill… there are far too many to count, but these artists have all left an imprint in my life and the resulting music.
I think one thing most of them have in common is lyricism with a message. I really gravitated to that earlier in my life and it’s remained a constant. Some use passion and aggression, others emotion and distress, but they all convey a deeper meaning. A K-pop group like TWICE stands out in this mix, but they’ve inspired me to incorporate an all-around approach to my music, considering more than just straight-up lyricism.
Two singles underway, how does the discography of Death by Tapioca look like in the near future?
I have a few more singles in the works that I’m really excited for the world to hear! Stay tuned and follow me on Spotify and Instagram, or wherever you get your music and music news – and find out!