When one first puts their ears on a Toyko song, the impression that the artist has years and years of experience under their belt is easy to take on and assume. But this project is relatively new to the music sphere, and it’s blowing everyone away. And we got a quick interview in with Toyko so that Impose readers can have a formal introduction. So, without further ado…
If you could introduce yourself to an audience in any way, no limitations, how would you do it?
Naked swan dive? No, I don’t know, I kind of consider myself an outgoing introvert so I don’t really like crowds of people.
What is the earliest record you can remember leaving an impact on you, and who introduced it to you?
So the first genre I ever fell in love with was classic rock. My dad was a hippie back in the day so when I was young he got me hooked on all those acts like Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. So in terms of a record it was probably The Beatles White Album, Zeppelin III, or like a Best of Hendrix type compilation.
Does that artist or album influence your work now?
You know like anyone my musical preferences have varied so much over the years. I was first into Classic Rock, then 90’s hip-hop, then like emo-myspace music, then electro, then 90’s grunge and RHCP, back to hip hop, so its pretty tough to pin point back to one particular record or artist. With that being said, I definitely feel a wave of energy and get such a rush when I discover music for the first time that I think is cool, like regardless of style. So I definitely try and channel that sort of emotion and energy into every song I make now.
Did you have an “aha” moment when you decided that music was your calling? If so, what was that like?
So every night growing up I would fall asleep to the radio or a CD. I definitely remember being maybe 11 or 12 and hearing some hip hop or rap one night and consciously thinking, “ok I’m going to figure out how to make ‘beats'”. That initial intrigue just continued for years and years and I’m still having a blast figuring it all out!
Your track “Stronger Love” is strikingly beautiful. What inspired it?
So it was a Tuesday or Wednesday that my really good friend played me these beautiful piano chords he came up with which I fell in love with instantly. Fast forward to that Friday, I had been up since 4am that morning and it was now 3am Saturday morning and I’m drunk as hell after a night out with friends and I ended up doing some stupid shit. Next day I woke up, came to my senses and realized I had messed up and hurt someone big time that means the world to me. So I sat down and wrote a song about it over the wonderful chords my buddy had wrote that week. Boom. Stronger Love is born.
You’ve gotten quite a bit of love for the song. What’s the best compliment you’ve received on it?
Yea it feels really good when complete random strangers are messaging you online saying how much the music is touching them, or just sending positive vibes telling me to keep it up. The other day someone messaged on Soundcloud saying how their 3 year old daughter told him first thing one morning that she wanted to listen to Toyko, thats probably the best so far.
How do you imagine people listening to it?
Thats a tough one, I think the music is probably fine for background listening at social gatherings or what not but I’d like to think there is an emotional quality to my songs you can only really dig into with close-focused listens. For me, my most intimate music listening moments are right before going to bed, eyes closed, with headphones blaring.
The art that you have associated with each track is so vibrant. How did that concept come to be, and what went into it?
So I like to peruse reddit for a few minutes everyday and one day I randomly stumbled across some art by Adam Priester from Sweden. So I went to his Instagram page and was really drawn to the set he had made with the abstract female faces. I can’t really pinpoint why exactly, but I think his work, particularly that set, fits Toyko perfectly. Each image of his is so unique but as a set they all sit together super cohesively and I feel the same way about the songs I make for Toyko. We have a great working relationship and he went on to make the video for Stronger Love! We also have some other collaborations in the pipeline 🙂 Definitely big shout out to Adam, I think he’s brilliant.
How do you stay inspired to continually create music?
I was 13 when I started to seriously learn music, even though I had piano lessons and stuff at an earlier age. I’m 25 now. So that means for about half my life I’ve been creating music. It’s almost past the point of having to be inspired to make music. Everyday, even just mundane occurrences compel me to continue producing and writing. At this point, I’d say music defines me as a person.
What’s your dream collaboration?
Oh man another toughy, I just like so many different styles. In no particular order; Eddie Vedder, 2Chainz, Porter Robinson, RL Grime, Kevin Parker, John Frusciante, Andre 3000. I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting.
What’s in the pipeline for 2017?
Top priority is always the music; expect a boat load of quality songs. There will be a new release every 3-4 weeks with some fun surprises in between! 🙂
Anything else you’d like to add, for our readers to know?
Music aside- Don’t feel like you need to act a certain way or like something because someone else likes it. Im a believer that you’re at your best when you are being true to yourself. Nobody wants the cookie cutter version of you.
Keep up with Toyko here.