What's up OTDHipHop!
As always, thank you for supporting the platform and shouts out all the artists and fans in our network. Today I have a special guest and fellow artist to introduce - Toso.
We are in the same support group on Instagram and always show love on each other's posts. One thing I have to say about this young man is that he stays working! Originally from Rhode Island but currently living in Los Angeles, he travels and hustles all over the U.S. and showcases it all via his vlog.
See more of our conversation below:
What is your stage/music name and how did you come up with it?
My stage name is Toso. It is my actual birth given middle name, however it is a short version of a longer name. The full name is Iyintosoluwa and is of Nigerian origins.
How did you get started in music? Was it a gradual hobby that developed, or is it something you always wanted to do?
My music journey started in high school while I was attending Marianapolis Preparatory School as a basketball player. I first started to write lyrics to famous beats I would find online. At that point I knew I was good with words and could come up with flows easily, but I was still in love with basketball so I treated music as only a hobby. A couple years later, during my Sophomore year in college at Sacred Heart University, one of my roommates/teammates (Parris Massey) had a small studio set up in his room. Every night he would record a new song, so one night I decided to record with him. The rest was history. I started to grow more in love with music and out of love with basketball. Eventually I stopped playing basketball and decided to concentrate fully on perfecting my musical craft.
Why did you choose Hip Hop/Rap as your musical expression?
I chose HipHop because it is the only genre that I feel I can express myself fully. My music talks a lot about my life experiences and how they have shaped me into the person I am today. I talk about my struggles and I also talk about the victories. Most importantly I talk about life in a way that most people can relate. HipHop is like news and entertainment for today’s society. A good rapper will be able to entertain a crowd while also educating them. This is why I chose rap/HipHop. I want to educate the public on life and how we can control our own destinies. On how we have power as individuals and as a group. How we all, no matter race or religion, have been enslaved and degraded all our lives. It’s my hopes that through my music I can show people a better way to go about life. But to do that we all must faces the truths that we are afraid of. And that is what I do. I express and share my truths with the world through my music.
Where are you from?
I was born in Providence, Rhode Island and grew up in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The east coast is very laid back compared to Los Angeles (where I live now). Growing up in the east coast I was very focused on sports. I played football and basketball as kid and was able to go to a Division 1 basketball school because of my talents. I grew up with both of my parents and my older sister, Tobi. It wasn’t until I got to college that I started to drink, smoke and party. Coincidently this was the same time I started making music, so a lot of my first dogs were all about weed and girls. As I started to mature and make more music, the topics started to change. That’s why listen to my music is like listening to my autobiography.
If you could describe your sound in one or two words, how would you describe it?
My sound is very unique, clear, and melodic. It’s unique because my voice doesn’t sound like any other rapper you have ever heard. I have a very raw and clear voice, so when you hear my songs, you know it’s me immediately. I also like to harmonize and use different melodies throughout my music. I draw influences from many different genres. In college my favorite music to listen to was The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I also loved listening to Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Currensy, French Montana and Kanye West. Although I feel like I sound like none of them, they all have had big influences in my life. When you listen to my new album “The Prophecy” (set to release this year) you will understand what I mean. Each song I provided a different flow and feel to. I have the ability to make a very slow and melodic song or a very fast turn up song. My range of creativity is limitless and I hope after listening to my album you all will agree.
What is the message you are trying to spread through your music?
The message I want to spread is to be yourself and through that change the world. For example, in the song ‘Too Honest’ off my upcoming album titled “The Prophecy”, I speak about the struggles in my life and how I overcame. One line I say “Last month got my damn car re-po’d, had yo use a whole check just to get that...but like Jordan, know I’m good with the step back”. In this line and this song, and ultimately this whole able; I’m trying to express that it’s cool to be yourself. You can admit that your struggling in life and that you don’t have it all figured out. Because most people, even the ones you think aren’t, are struggling in life some way or another. So by expressing that your struggling, but also showing how you’re overcoming that struggle; I believe you can provided people with the ultimate motivation.
List 2 to 3 goals (short term or long term) that you have for your music.
My first goal in music is to release this album, get a manager/publicist, and go on tour before the end of the summer in 2019. My next goal is to become an XXL freshman of the year and in that same year win a Grammy for best new artist and best album. My last goal would be to be widely considered the best musical act to ever exist.
Is music something you truly see as a potential career? What are some things you have learned when it comes to music and making it a lucrative business?
Music is absolutely what I want to do with the rest of my life. I love creating and providing imagery for people. I love performing on stage and the rush I feel after. I love planning music videos and photo shoots and writing lyrics. I love being the center of attention. I also want to be able to help mold the world into a better place. I believe that I much more than a musician. I have the knowledge and heart to change the world for a better place and I see my music career helping me get there.
Please provide 1 to 2 tracks or music videos that you’d like to share, and anything you’d like to share about the track.
If you want to hear all of my past music and read up more about my life, please visit TosoTV.com. There you can see everything I’ve worked on and learn about what’s next. I also shoot a weekly blog series called TosoTV, in which I give fans a behind-the-scenes look into my life. You can find that on the website or at YouTube.com/therealtoso.
Follow me on IG @TheRealToso and look out for my new album “The Prophecy” which will be released this year.
Aloha OTDHipHop Gang,
We are only DAYS away from going on tour and taking the platform to the Philippines! Again, thank you SO much for your support. Please continue to share your comments with us and stay updated with us on social media. Alright, I just wrapped up an awesome interview with another Hawaii rapper...I had the pleasure of chopping it up with Jrunk, a free-spirited, high energy, 16 year old rapper from Kaneohe, HI. I recently met him through another local teen artist, TR1P60D, and the both of them performed at a show I hosted this past Saturday night.
Check out Jrunk's livestream interview below:
Independent music blog based in Honolulu, HI. Hotsted by artist/rapper Jehzan Exclusive.