Verge had the pleasure of chatting with the one of the UK’s most exciting up and coming artists Tobi Sunmola. He’s been on an incredible journey so far, and we just had to pick his brains about what inspires him, what he’s got planned for 2019 and his thoughts on the UK music scene.
Tell us about your journey into the arts and how you first got in to music?
I first got into music through going to my cousins house. I was an average student in school and they were excelling so my mum would send me to live at theirs through school terms hoping they would rub off on me. We din’t have cable at home but they did so I was living life at theirs. Watching all the cartoons and music videos I could. My cousin produced in the study room on Fruity Loops and rapped over his beats. I would bounce from the next room watching music videos to his study room to watch him make songs. I became fascinated with the idea of how music was made which was something I had never seen or knew until then.
What’s the inspiration for your sound, any stories that led you to be the artist you are today?
I am inspired by everything around me and nothing. I’m inspired by the idea of creating a concept from nothing or a separate story entirely, just like a movie director will do. A lot of my ideas are inspired by real life situations turned into a movie scene in my thoughts and how I piece my words.
Are there any artists you look up to that play a big influence in your style and music?
There are a wide range of artists that have influenced me over time. I’m very fascinated by how music I’ve heard growing up as a kid in the house with my dad and mum’s taste in music has subconsciously stayed with me, and I tend to get hints of that in my production and it takes me back to those times where I dint even necessary like that type of music but I appreciate it more now. So like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, DMX, Ja Rule and then later down the line Fela Kuti, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Gill Scott Heron Kanye West, Pharell, Timbaland, Wretch 32 etc.
What are your thoughts on the sound in the UK at the moment?
Personally, the sound is something I’m familiar with growing up in Nigeria and regardless of my personal taste it’s good to see that it is being appreciated in the UK. Everything has it’s time and I’m glad to see artists becoming successful off music.
Who’s on your playlist right now?
My playlist right now consists of all the artistes I look up to and my beats.
You’ve been working hard over the last few years to build a brilliant brand for yourself, tell us what the most important part of self-branding is for you?
Self-Branding for me has been a long journey of experimentation and solitude. Understanding who I am and what my purpose is. Everything starts and ends with the music so since I have been focused on that everything else has just naturally followed.
What do you think is the most important topic within your music right now, what is the message you’re trying to share with the world?
Right now the most important message for me in my music is being the difference. I want to show people and artists that you can be you and succeed. Every idea, every business, every genre, every sound started with someone taking a leap to discover and share something new, we all have the power to do that because we are all individuals, we are all different. That’s the most important above all.
You’re always releasing music that challenges the norm and gets the crowd thinking- what’s up next this year for Tobi Sunmola?
A new level, another evolution, waves on waves on wavesssss.
Do you have a career highlight so far and what is the ultimate goal for you this year?
My career highlight so far would have to be being on billboards and collaborations with worldwide fashion brands. We’re expanding on a lot of that this year.
Do you have any advice for any up and coming artists trying to get themselves out there?
Love the music, be eager for information, obsess over wanting to learn more, and stay humble that’s how you truly will earn respect.
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