New Year Tings – Let’s Talk Resolutions

Greetings to all! If you’re reading this post, I trust you made it safely through the festive period and are geared up for a colossal 2019 like me. I can’t start this post without acknowledging the monster year that was 2018. For the Shottaz, last year was significant because we made some significant strides and […]

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Wrapping Up – Twenty Eighteen

As the year that is 2018 comes to a close, I personally have a lot to reflect on. From starting a new chapter in a different environment, to continuing on a musical path that was set 2 years prior, it has been an action packed year to say the least. Like any other year, it […]

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Building Connections – The Power Of Networking

Growing up, my mother used to always use the well known phrase “No man is an island” and from early on I grasped the essence of this statement. In life, we sometimes fall into a trap of trying to take on too much without seeking assistance. Unfortunately for me, I am not an exception when […]

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Grind Life (part 2) – Best Foot Forward

Last week I posted about what it takes to be considered as being elite at whatever you do. My case study was a bunch of NZ/Aus artists that are currently operating at a very high level. One of these artists is a really good friend of mine who just started a high profile trans-tasman tour […]

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Grind Life – Operating At An Elite Level

If you have been following this blog over the last few weeks you’ll have read about our busy schedule recently. I have really enjoyed pushing the music to new listeners, and it’s been a blast gigging every week. Most importantly, I have learned a lot of crucial lessons which place me and my compadre in […]

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Coming Up For Air – The Art of Breath Control

Recently I had the pleasure of catching up with a bunch of kiwis at a mate’s birthday party. It’s crazy how simple things like using certain slang words and phrases without having to explain yourself can be quite gratifying. Needless to say, it was an enjoyable evening. What made it more interesting was the fact […]

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Lessons Learned – Gig Vibes

Last weekend kicked off a busy little period for the Shottaz. We have a few gigs lined up every weekend for the next month, and we have a big double release just around the corner. What this means is that we have been working hard for the last 2 months to ensure we are well […]

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Meeting Expectations – Doing it for the people that Count

Since I started working 9-5 in the corporate world, one thing has resonated with me from the very beginning. In my role, I have always had multiple stakeholders that rely on me for information and they always want it immediately. At first I got bogged down trying to impress my masters by pushing myself to […]

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The TrainWreck – What happens when preparation is lacking

Early this year I wrote a post about the importance of preparation, highlighting that rehearsing should be the cornerstone of any self respecting performer’s routine. I shared some scenarios that happened in the Yung Shottaz days which informed us of the need to make sure we are always ready for every show we book. Prior […]

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A Long Winding Road – Staying the Course

I recently finished a series of posts about the necessary steps for achieving, and defining, success. These posts were informed by the last 2 years of my career in music, which have been quite illuminating. In this short period, we have made progress in leaps and bounds, ticking off boxes like it’s going out of […]

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Artist Spotlight – Triplelan

Artist Spotlight returns with an interview with yet another African artist making waves in the New Zealand music scene. Triplelan has been making waves for a couple of years with his unique afrobeat/afropop sound. With an ear for catch melodies, and an excellently produced sound, the Uganda raised Congolese artist is a breath of fresh […]

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Stay in your own lane – Defining Success

I started a series of posts earlier this year about the ingredients of success, and before I could tie off the series life happened. Check out the previous posts about preparation, patience, and hard work to add more context to this article. I was having a conversation with a fellow musician the other day and […]

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Enter the Dub Den – SB Shottaz Mixtape Vol 1

Many years ago, when we still flew under the Yung Shottaz banner, we caught wind of a crew that was making serious noise on the Auckland dancehall scene. These guys were supposed to be the baddest selectas on the scene, riding with the toughest MC running the mic at the time. At first I didn’t […]

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Teamwork – It certainly makes the dream work

Sometime last year I was blessed with the opportunity to be interviewed on a platform called Foxii Network. I jumped at it without hesitation because I realised that I could share the Shottaz story with a unique audience. What was meant to be a concise discussion spawned into a 30 minute video of pure insight. […]

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Spotify Playlist: TEN OF THE BEST – Week 6

This week’s TEN OF THE BEST playlist has dropped and yet again it’s a banger. A fe selections from left field but a good listen all the same. Have a listen and decide for yourself. Enjoy!!!   (Scroll down to the bottom of this post for he spotify playlist) Winner – Kardinal Offishal X Joey […]

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Spotify Playlist: TEN OF THE BEST – Week 5

TEN OF THE BEST is back with yet another installment for your listening pleasure. This playlist is a mixed bag as usual, but I’m sure you will enjoy it all the same. Have a listen to this week’s playlist and let us know what you think.   (Scroll down to the bottom of this post […]

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Spotify Playlist: TEN OF THE BEST – Week 4

Another week, another TEN OF THE BEST. Staying true to form, this week we bring you another dope spotify playlist to keep you entertained. As usual, we bring you a mixed bag so strap in for another wild ride. Hope you enjoy this edition of TEN OF THE BEST. Check it out! (scroll down to […]

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Spotify Playlist: TEN OF THE BEST – Week 3

Now that we are back on track, it’s time to keep the ball rolling. This week we bring you another edition of TEN OF THE BEST, and hopefully soon this will become one of your bread and butter spotify playlists. Another mixed back for the masses, I hope you enjoy this one. Check it out! […]

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Artist Spotlight: Unchained XL

Welcome to the first ever Artist Spotlight, Shottaz stylee. The idea is to introduce you to artist’s we see working hard and are worth checking out. We hope to help you discover new artists, giving you an insight into who they are in the process.   To kick things off, we are honoured to have […]

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Hard Work, Dedication – The Money Philosophy

Last week I wrote about patience and highlighted how it contributes to success. Another key component to achieving success is hard work. In order to achieve your goals, it’s important to ensure that you work hard throughout your process. Floyd Mayweather Jr, a great athlete of our time, immortalised the phrase “Hard Work, Dedication”. This is a […]

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Spotify Playlist: TEN OF THE BEST – Week 2

TEN OF THE BEST has returned in 2018 after a significant hiatus. A lot has been happening in the background, which has meant that our content has suffered. We’re back though, and to make it more interesting the bro Hlats has committed to contributing to this spotify playlist moving forward, hence last week’s post having […]

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Patience – An important key to getting the job done

“Some of the smartest dummies, can’t read the language of Egyptian mummies, and ah fly go a moon, and can’t find food for the starving tummies”  — Damian “Jr Gong” Marley (patience)   Growing up I used to hear the phrase “Patience is a virtue” thrown around with reckless abandon. As time passed, I found myself […]

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The Importance Of Preparation 2 – Ironing Out The Kinks

Last year I wrote a post about the importance of being prepared in the context of recording sessions. To jog your memory, I talked about session musicians, which are essentially hired guns. I pointed out the importance of preparation so that a session engineer’s time is not wasted. This post is a natural extension to […]

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Family Matters – Keeping The Real Ones Close

Nhasi ndirikuFARA and only the real ones know. I won’t even bother translating the shona phrase because the importance of the statement will be lost in translation. That said, I would like to say that over the last few months I have realised the importance of a strong family nucleus, and this is not limited […]

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New Year – Fresh Beginnings

2017 was a great year for the Shottaz on many different fronts, we released our first project in 5 years, got this website off the ground, started a merch line with 2 initial designs, and managed to score a few high profile gigs alongside some amazing musicians. Something that most people may not know is […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 23

TEN OF THE BEST is back with regular scheduling, and this week is a big one folks. It includes a song that has been making waves in Zim, and I we have been blasting it on a regular basis here in NZ. It also includes some really big tunes that deserve multiple replays at a […]

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TRADING SIXTEEN: Week 22 (Don’s Selection)

TEN OF THE BEST returns with yet another installment for your listening pleasure. This week I enlisted the services of my good friend Don, who is a big reggae/dancehall fan like me. You may have noticed me shouting him out in recent weeks, that’s because he regularly suggests songs that I should be paying attention […]

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TRADING SIXTEEN: Episode 4 (Kill Jill)

As another week has gone by, like clockwork we bring you yet another edition of TRADING SIXTEEN. This week Max Shotta and Blacq Alex tackle the instrumental to Big Boi’s big tune “Kill Jill”. I wonder who topped this tune???  

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 21

Greeting all, once again we do what we always do on Mondays and that is bring you the fresh edition of TEN OF THE BEST.  I would like to thank everyone that has checked in regularly and I appreciate all the feedback I have been receiving, long may it continue. Check out the spotify playlist […]

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I’m A Shotta: Shooting From The Hip

It has recently caught my attention that I have a personality trait which, depending on the situation, can be perceived as being good or bad. The other day I was out with friends and we had our night all planned out to a tee, what the others weren’t aware of was that there was a […]

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TRADING SIXTEEN: Episode 3 (Morals Riddim)

TRADING SIXTEEN returns after a 1 week hiatus, and this one is better than before. Well, it’s not that difficult to outdo previous instalments, given that this is only the 3rd week we are posting up. Don’t get it twisted though, we pulled zero punches on this one. So without futher ado, here we go!!! […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 20

Oh yes, without fail we are back with yet another TEN OF THE BEST. This week is more of the same, an eclectic mix of different genres that I enjoy listening to. Not much else I can say so let’s get to it… Check out the spotify playlist at the bottom of this post: This […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 19

TEN OF THE BEST is back with yet another installment and I have to this one is good. Not only is it the first time I will be introducing a bonus track, but the playlist is oozing with amazing tunes and I am super excited to share it with you all. Have a listen, and […]

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One Triple Two: Growing Pains

A few weeks ago I celebrated my earthstrong, and given that I successfully posted another decade on the board I took to reflecting. Looking back at my twenties, I found myself reliving a number of moments that one would call “definitive”, and I must say I have gone through a hell of a lot in […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 18

It can’t be a normal Monday without TEN OF THE BEST right?! This week we come through with more of the same, a random selection of tunes which have been banging on my spotify playlist in recent times. Have a listen! Check out the spotify playlist at the bottom of this post: This week’s playlist, […]

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TRADING SIXTEEN: Episode 1 (Rudebwoy Talk Riddim)

I would like to introduce the first instalment of TRADING SIXTEEN, a new project between Blacq Alex and myself, Max Shotta. Each week we will tackle a random beat and see who has the better 16 bar verse. First up we tackle a monster riddim from Dub Terminator. Check out the freestyle and rate each […]

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TEN OF THE BEST – Week 17

We’re back with yet another edition of TEN OF THE BEST, and this week is no different from the rest. We have a mixed bag of musical goodness for your listening pleasure and I’m sure you will find a gem or two in the playlist. I hope you enjoy this one… Check out the spotify […]

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TEN OF THE BEST – Week 16

Welcome back for another edition of TEN OF THE BEST, the last few weeks have been great as they have featured some super motivated local artists who are putting in work without pulling any punches. This week, we pick up right where we left off. I hope you enjoy this one… Check out the spotify […]

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TEN OF THE BEST – Week 15

Hey!!! here we are again, bringing you a fresh playlist for your listening pleasure. This week we have a very local playlist in the sense that it includes quite a few New Zealand based artists and producers. You will be the judge, but I have to stress that all the artists have made it based […]

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TEN OF THE BEST – Week 14

Week 14 of TEN OF THE BEST comes around and I was about to bring another specialist playlist, until I started compiling the playlist and somehow it morphed into another mixed bag. No complaints from me. Without further ado, let’s get to business!!! Check out the spotify playlist at the bottom of this post: This […]

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Trading Bars: Iron Sharpening Iron

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27v17 The proverb of iron sharpening iron has been slung around for centuries, and for centuries the crux of the statement has remained true. Over the last 2 years the proverb has rung true for me as I have witnessed exponential growth in my […]

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TEN OF THE BEST – Week 13

It honestly feels like TEN OF THE BEST is on a roll and I have been loving putting together these playlists. This week was one of the cruisier weeks to put together. I realise that the playlists are a mixed bag, which was the point coming into it, but I hope you are enjoying the […]

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Dread Squad: We Can Do It All Day, We Can Do This All Night

“Hey, we’re spreading these vibes now the scene is about to catch on fire…Changing up the game one monster tune at a time, and I promise that we’re never gonna tire!!!!” — Lyrics from We Can Do This (off Focus mixtape) Over the past few weeks I have dealt with some seriously contrasting emotions, from […]

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TEN OF THE BEST – Week 12

Back at it with yet another edition of the weekly TEN OF THE BEST playlist. This week, I have an abundance of top tunes to pick from as there have been some amazing albums released in recent weeks so it’s been a blast having so many great songs to pick from. Let’s get to it! […]

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Blazing Fire: Passion Leading The Way

Over the last few months I have been actively implementing a few ideas that have been in development for more than a year. From the tunes you have seen us release (Chillin, Focus), to the TEN OF THE BEST playlist, these are concepts and ideas that I have been contemplating and refining for a lengthy […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 11

Feels good to get past 11 straight weeks without a break, that was one of my main goals when I started this playlist, to be able to stay consistent with it. Let’s get on with it then shall we? This week is more of the same, a bit of everything so I hope you like […]

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TEN OF THE BEST – Week 10

The last couple of weeks I did some specialized playlists, starting with a roots/slow dancehall edition in week 8 followed by an Afropop special in week 9. Whilst I enjoyed putting together the dedicated playlists, more to come soon, it’s good to be back to regular scheduling. Please enjoy this week’s collection of tunes. Blessings! […]

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New Song: Focus (Lyric Video)

We are excited to share the title song from our upcoming mixtape – Focus. The song is produced by the insanely talented Simon Howden, High Stakes Records, and explores the concept of staying Focused in light of the many distractions and obstacles that will inevitably present themselves along the journey called life. The mixtape is […]

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Live @ Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland – May 2016

Whilst we wait to release the first promo tune off the upcoming mixtape “Focus”, I found some footage from a gig we performed at a year ago and thought I’d share it with the fam. This was our second gig performing together after a 4-5 year hiatus, though we’ve done solo sets in that period […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 9

Nine weeks and we’re still at it and there’s no sign of slowing down fam. Since I did a roots/laid back dancehall playlist last week, I thought maybe we take it to Africa for an all out Afropop/Afro-fusion playlist. I think this one will inevitably have a following playlist, a part 2 so to speak, […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 8

Another week, another TEN OF THE BEST playlist. For some reason I have been really feeling roots reggae over the last few weeks so that has translated onto the playlist. If you like roots and slow tempo dancehall, this playlist is dedicated to you. Listen and enjoy. Blessings Check out the spotify playlist at the […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 7

As we face another week I’m stoked to bring you yet another TEN OF THE BEST. This week is more of the same, a pretty mixed bag with quite a bit of variety. Let’s get straight into it though…   Check out the spotify playlist at the bottom of this post: This weeks playlist, in […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 6

TEN OF THE BEST is back for yet another installment and boy is this one a cracker. It was probably the hardest one to compile in a while, and as I write this I’m debating changing a tune or two. I really don’t want to waffle on, so here is this week’s playlist…   Check […]

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The Importance of Preparation: Tales of a Skilled Pretender

Sometime last year, the brother Hlats linked me up on a random Thursday afternoon and asked me to accompany him to a studio session. After requesting more details regarding this  “session”, with no luck in terms of clarification, I agreed to tag along for the ride. Unbeknownst to me, this would be my first foray […]

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DJ Skarob X Max Shotta – Turn It Up

Scroll down for the tune (Soundcloud link) I have been doing a lot of MC work lately, mostly for the mighty Jafa Mafia crew outta Bethels (Big Ups Tobi and Kwinton), and at one of the Jafa gigs I jumped on a set for a DJ I had barely introduced myself to. What ensued was […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 5

One month into this journey and we are still at it, hope someone has found value in these top ten playlists. If not, well “Hameno Ikoko” (loosely translated: None of my business) I will press on because this exercise has allowed me to discover tunes that I probably wouldn’t have listened to sans TEN OF […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 4

It’s that time of the week again. This week I had some difficulty putting together the TEN OF THE BEST playlist, due to the sheer amount music I managed to browse through. I must say, this particular entry feels really good because it includes music created by some very dear friends of mine. If anything, […]

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The Art of Repetition: The Story of a Young Sage Named Hlats

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” — Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers) If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, I highly recommend that you right that wrong as soon as you can, it’s a must read. Heck if you don’t like to read, listen to […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 3

Another week another TEN OF THE BEST playlist. If you missed the first 2 entries, please feel free to check them out in order to get some context. In a nutshell, I’m creating these playlists to keep me engaged in music that isn’t being created in the Shottaz studio. I have chosen to utilize my […]

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Finding Temeraire – A Powerful Zimbabwean Narrative

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a play for the first time in almost a year and boy was it an experience. The play, Finding Temeraire, was written by an extremely talented Zimbabwean writer by the name of Stan Makuwe, and features an all Zimbabwean cast of Munashe Tapfuya and Tawanda Manyimo.  Based […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 2

If you missed the first post of this series, and are wondering what the deal is with this playlist, allow me to explain. Apart from being a music creator, I fancy myself as a huge fan of different genres. Because I have been busy creating music this last year, I haven’t had much time to […]

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TEN OF THE BEST: Week 1

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am a huge music fan, even before considering my own work. I guess being an avid listener of a variety of genres, and bordering on obsessive when it comes to particular sounds and styles, it was natural that I ended up being involved with music. I must […]

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Chillin

“I’m still writing rhymes, but besides that I’m chillin’, I’m trying to get this money, God, you know the hard times, kid”   –Nas: One time Scroll Down to the bottom of this post for the video Potent words from a true rap legend. I don’t know what mindset Jay Knight was in when he […]

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Shottaz In the Building

Greetings… Big ups for taking the time to check out this blog, you are very much appreciated for that. It has been a long time coming, and it feels great to finally be able to get it off the ground.   What is this? Apart from being the one stop shop for anything and everything […]

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