Diazz Grimm's next album influenced by Māori heritage

By Talisa Kupenga

New Zealand hip hop artist Diaz Grimm has been working with some of the world's best international song writers through APRA's Songhubs programme this week, including Mike Elizondo who co-wrote Eminem's The Real Slim Shady. The Ngāpuhi descendant aims to draw inspiration from his cultural roots for his next album.

Rising hip-hop star Diaz Grimm says his Māori heritage will be the influence for his next album.

"My next album I plan on calling 'Māui and the Sons' and it will be set in the past in Pre-European New Zealand. That's kind of all I have to tell you about that album in the meantime, but involving Māoridom into what I'm doing is really important for me because I'm really proud of my culture."

Grimm and a handful of other New Zealand artists have been mentored this week through the Songhubs programme. He's been writing alongside creators who helped start his musical journey.

"The first rap song I ever taped on the radio and learnt every rap song to was The Real Slim Shady, which was [written by] Mike [Elizondo]. Then I tried to illegally download 'How We Do' by 50cent and The Game when I was younger and I accidentally downloaded just an instrumental version. I ended up writing my first attempt at a rap [to it] when I was 15.

World renowned songwriter Mike Elizondo says "For the music to resonate with someone like him and inspire him to create, it's a reminder that you're doing work that potentially be a part of people's lives forever. "I felt like it was a bit of a full circle moment.

Elionzo says he resonated most with the song he and Grimm wrote, which features Grimm's own cultural spin.
"I think it's super important for artists to own their heritage, shine a light on where they're from and share those types of cultures I think it makes the world a better place."

Grimm will complete Māui and the Sons between a number of other projects. A release date is to be decided.