Exposed meets Pattern + Push winner Rumbi Tauro

Breaking into the music industry is a tough enough gig for aspiring musicians, never mind with the added strain of a global pandemic making progress even more difficult. That’s why this year’s Pattern + Push competition, launched by the team behind Sheffield’s famed Hope Works venue, provided a vital platform and invaluable experience for up to 40 rappers and singers in the region.

Hosted by established South Yorkshire artists Coco and Seppy, the competition was created to promote empowerment through music with a key focus on positive lyrics. Following auditions, successful applicants were chosen to join a four-month process that included 120 hours of mentoring, masterclasses, workshops, studio recording days and 121 sessions with industry professionals.

Eventually competing alongside seven other finalists, 24-year-old soul/RnB signer Rumbi Tauro won over a panel of music industry professional judges last month with a studio recording and live performance of her song ‘Run Run’. We caught up with the Doncaster-based musician following her win to discuss her journey so far and what the future may hold.

First of all, congratulations on your win! How did you find your experience with Pattern + Push?
Thank you so much! P+P was such an amazing experience for me. I almost didn’t apply back in 2020 when I saw the advertisement. However, I just decided to go ahead and see where the competition would take me. The masterclasses were particularly incredible, hearing from the likes of Steve Edwards, Otis Mensah, Breis, Toddla T, etc. The mentors were incredible too – I was team Danae! It was so encouraging to hear from established artists/creatives who are from Sheffield and the surrounding areas; I felt that with every step of the competition I was growing and finding out more about myself as an artist. Each week we would work on our lyrics and present them to our mentors and peers. We’d then get some feedback on how we could take our ideas to the next level.

Could you briefly introduce yourselves to our readers with a bit about yourself as an artist?
So, I’ve been involved with music since I was child. Ever since moving from Zimbabwe at the age of four, we’ve lived in Doncaster. I started off being classically trained in piano and violin from the age of five. I then started singing around the age of seven and joined my church choir. From then up until the age of 18, if I wasn’t at choir, I’d be at a piano lesson, orchestra or choir practice. I studied Media & Music at Birmingham City between 2015-2018. Ever since leaving university, I have been focusing on writing my own music, releasing my first ever project, ‘The Process EP’, in July 2020. Ever since then, I have released visuals for my songs and I’ve had a few single releases, too. I would describe my sound as R&B, Soul, truth-telling, feelgood music. I’m still finding my sound, but I’m enjoying the journey so far.

due to how monotonous life started to become, it would be hard to feel inspired and creative at times. However, speaking for myself as an artist, I think I’ve learnt that health is wealth. Without truly looking after yourself mentally and physically, you can’t be the best version of yourself.

As part of the competition, you recorded the single ‘Run Run’ at MU Studios in Sheffield. What made you choose that particular song?
I was tuned into a conversation with established London-based artists who have previously been to prison and found themselves in gangs. The artists were trying to encourage the youth from the surrounding areas in London to try and do better for themselves, to leave the lifestyle they’re living and find what they’re passionate about instead of committing crimes. The first verse had already developed before I tuned in to this conversation; however, after the conversation the rest of the song and lyrics just came so naturally. I wasn’t speaking from experience with this song, so that conversation really allowed me to understand a little bit more about these individuals’ circumstances.

How important do you think projects like Pattern + Push are in providing a leg-up for aspiring musicians?
SO important. Projects like P+P give artists a space to be heard. As an up-and-coming artist sometimes it can feel like no one cares, especially if you don’t have a big following or know someone who knows someone. So having a space like P+P to be in a healthy competition, one that’s so heavily focussed on positivity, you can’t beat that. This competition has allowed me to understand more about the music industry and I’ll be taking what I’ve learnt forwards.

After a crazy year, how have you coped artistically? We’ve spoken to some artists who’ve said it allowed them a bit of time and space to focus solely on their work without distraction, but there are others who’ve admitted finding it difficult to create during such difficult times. How would you reflect on that?
I totally understand that. I think, for myself, lockdown itself was/has been mostly positive for me: I managed to record a full four-track EP from my bedroom last year. I have never been so still, and looking back now, I needed all of the distractions to be taken away. I was left with just myself, my recording equipment and a pen. Without the stillness of lockdown, I don’t think we’d have The Process EP. Otherwise, due to how monotonous life started to become, it would be hard to feel inspired and creative at times. However, speaking for myself as an artist, I think I’ve learnt that health is wealth. Without truly looking after yourself mentally and physically, you can’t be the best version of yourself.

Now we’ve got this experience under the belt, what’s the future looking like? Any specific plans in the pipeline?
The future is looking bright! I’m excited for the rest of 2021. Firstly, the ‘Run, Run’ music video will be out soon; the track will be on all streaming platforms too. There’ll be continued support from the P+P team and a couple more singles and features on the way this year. Most importantly, though – hopefully some live performances!

‘Run Run’ was recorded at Mu Studios in Sheffield and is out now


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