INTERVIEW: T$oko

By Jackson Lavell-Lee

Fresh from performing Fremantle’s leg of Laneway festival and being highlighted on triple j as the Unearthed artist of the week, Perth rap lord T$oko was on top of the world on Sunday. Luckily enough Dircksey’s Music Editor, Jackson Lavell-Lee, was also on the scene and caught up with the Hakuna Matata artist.

Hey G, thanks for taking the time to have a little chat. How was your set, what did you get from that experience?

Set was dope man, lots of energy and enjoyed myself up there. Would do it all over again and every day of my life. I’m always obviously trying to bring the good vibes and good times to my sets.

You spoke about your heritage last week as the feature artist on triple j, what elements of your Zimbabwean background do you bring to your music?

The storytelling in my music is inspired by true events and true stories. My delivery is also a product of the music I have listened to as child and I use some African samples here and there.

You had a massive year last year with the Tone Youth guys, having rebranded yourself by changing your stage name from SOX to T$oko and dropping heaps of tracks, why did you feel like you needed the name change?

S.O.X (something out of the extraordinary) was something that I started out with. Something which I went by at the start of my career, most people don’t realise this, but I’ve been writin’/recordin’ music since I was a teenager like 10 plus years ago, so this is something that people identify me with, but it is also something I feel I outgrew. At this point of my career 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 people who’ve been there since day dot – my day ones. I wanted to personalise my music on a greater level.

 

Tell me about 4th quarter, what are you trying to say with that one?

4th is basically an ode to what me and my homies call closer to the end of the night or closer to the finish line. It’s just one of those trap joints that are meant to showcase the versatility in the crew from a delivery and vibe curation standpoint.

Hakuna Matata has received a lot of love on triple J and streams of soundcloud, what made you write that track, it seems that there is a lot more going on in your mind and in these lyrics than, “no worries”?

Haha I really did not have any worries. At the end of the day it was a case of showcasing what I can do as an MC, storyteller and songwriter. I came a long way and still have some way to go so it was also the announcement of the arrival.

Finally, what do you have planned for 2018, more gigs and potentially an EP? 

Just keep introducing to people who I am as an artist and what my music is all about. I have got some pretty cool stuff coming up that I’ll be dropping real soon.  I feel like people still haven’t seen everything I can offer from an artist standpoint so that’s exciting for me. Also, excited to drop some new music with my squad Tone Youth, I feel like we have a good chance to really show everyone what Perth has to offer and rep the 6k in the right way. Salute to everyone who has paved the way thus far. Also look forward to playing some shows and releasing some collabs with some special people. Stay tuned.

 Check out T$oko music here and get to him even better on his Triple J Unearthed page.

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