Get to Know: Aussie rap prodigy on the rise T$oko

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We sat down with T$oko, Aussie rap prodigy on the rise, who is celebrating the release of his most recent project, Time.

Coming onto the scene with his long-awaited EP Time, T$oko has been the name on everyone’s lips ever since he dropped his fantastic summertime rap effort ‘SOS’ featuring Jimmy Drones.

Carving his way onto the Aussie rap scene, T$oko has now cemented his place amongst the greats with an EP that showcases his vulnerability, versatility and fearless flow.

It’s no surprise that he has supported the likes of Future, French Montana, DZ Deathrays and Ecca Vandal, and was also the 2018 Unearthed Laneway Festival Winner. The man has skills in spades.

We sat down with him to talk about the personal subject matter behind some of his songs, some of his career highlights, and chicken wings on a dream rider.

Watch the video for ‘SOS’ by T$oko below.

Get to Know: T$oko

How did your artist name come about?

I used to go by the name S.O.X (something out of the extraordinary) at the start of my career. This changed to T$oko when I wanted to give a little more back to people who have taken the time to listen to my music, download my songs, come to my shows and communicate with me on social media. I feel like I owed that to the people who had been there since day dot – my day ones. I wanted to personalise my music on a greater level. T$oko was derived from my government name but with a stylistic twist to it. T$oko is pronounced as T.Soko (tee-soh-koh).

How would you describe your music to your grandma?  

I would describe it by telling her here is lots of drumming like the traditional African drums and I speak poetry over it fast. I would also tell her how it came about back in the day when the used to mix two records together alternating from one to the other and extending breaks from the two records.

Tell us about a few tracks; their titles and what they’re about?

Track 1. Hope – Things I Must Endure 

This was the first track I wrote from the project. It was a night in and I started thinking about what has gotten me to this point and why I continue to make music, realising that it’s because I’m hopeful that tomorrow will be a better day and the world will connect with my music. Fear makes you a prisoner and hope set you free. I have had to endure a lot of setbacks, disappointments, memories, moments etc and in time these are the things I must endure and stay hopeful.

Track 2. LibertyThe Inner Mind’s Eye

This is me just explaining the feeling I felt when I lost my cousin, wishing someone would feel what I was going through. It was my first real loss in my adult life – his memory lives on.

Track 4. Mood – Things I Must Earn

I wrote this on the plane to the funeral of my cousin. It just had me thinking I need to stay positive, in this game or in life generally, be it respect, money or love I will need to earn things. These are my own experiences and sometimes I wake up and I am ready to go whether or not the world cares. I have to stay in that mood.

Track 7. TIME feat. Jamilla – Tears In My Eyes

This one pretty much explains itself. I had to ride the EP out with a moment that brought me here, which were the tears in my eyes; tears of joy I made it through and tears from my loss.

What do you love about your hometown?

I love the weather mostly, but it’s also the best place to get creative in.

Career highlight so far? 

I have had a few highlights – opening up for Lil Wayne, Tyga, Wale at the Jumanji Festival in Sydney, playing Laneway Festival post winning the Triple J unearthed comp, and when my homie Just a Gent brought me up for his set at Groovin’ The Moo.

Fav non-music hobby? 

Watching sports, especially Liverpool (football) and Miami Heat (basketball) games

What’s on your dream rider? 

Haha, chicken wings, tequila, power points, lots of water, a mirror and food – heaps of food.

Dream music collab? 

Anderson .Paak, Andre 3000 and Nas. Too many collabs I can think of, but these are my guys.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Giving back to the music, still making more music and possibly helping other upcoming artists.

What’s your go-to Karaoke song? 

Craig David – ‘Fill Me In’

Published by: Tone Deaf Website

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