eleven7four isn’t a mere musical act—it’s a lifestyle. The Zimbabwe-born duo, consisting of twin brothers Muche and Shingi Murare, have spent the past few years distilling experiences growing up on the other side of the world into music that embodies more than just the skating and party-starting aesthetic they inhabit. With Side 1 of their debut album, What’s the 1174?, releasing through Step 11 Records out of the Universal Music Group New Zealand this spring, they’re ready to break out from their corner of the world and show what they’re made of.
For Muche and Shingi, eleven7four isn’t simply an introduction, but rather a reintroduction. Born in 1995, the brothers moved from Zimbabwe to East Auckland, NZ, with their father and three other siblings. It was in their new home that they grew accustomed to adolescence, engaging in mischief with their friends while developing a taste for skating and party cultures. Recording songs wasn’t in the cards, really, until they decided to pen a diss track towards a rival high school in 2012, which was met with regional acclaim. It would quickly set the course for what would become a flourishing career in music, beginning with courses at the SAE Institute to get degrees in audio engineering.
True to form, Muche and Shingi attacked the party circuit as part of several other groups, establishing themselves as a presence on the New Zealand hip-hop scene and at underground parties. Through connections, they ended up gracing the stage with some of rap music’s biggest names including Chance the Rapper and Wiz Khalifa, before going on a hiatus and regrouping as eleven7four with their sights set on breaking out of their provincial bubble.
They quickly settled on eleven7four as their group name, inspired by the colloquialism prevalent among their friends. “In the diss track days, when we were still at high school, you’d sneak out of the house with your mates, you’d be like, ‘What’s the 1174?’” says Muche. With that came the development of a new sound and style, far beyond the initial foundation they’d set. “Our writing style had changed quite a lot,” explains Shingi. “More melodic, a combination of more singing and rapping, not just hard rapping. We had matured a lot. It kind of would have been a waste to bring that old stuff with your newfound knowledge. You just need a fresh slate.”
With a new beginning, the duo swiftly signed with Step 11 Records, out of Universal Music Group New Zealand in 2018, putting them in the studio to record their first EP. They are building a massive following at home through a series of out-of-control parties and tremendous local radio support.
“It’s just about being a creative,” says Shingi. “Being able to express yourself however it is that you do best.” “There hasn’t been a really big staple urban act from New Zealand who’s actually implanted themselves in the industry,” adds Muche. “We want to do that for our country and community, show people you can actually take this to the world, and the world will give it back to you.”
eleven7four’s first official single ‘Where It Hurts’ featuring Grammy nominee Tayla Parx is out now. Listen below.