Following his new album ‘Life of Sin‘, the new project finds Toso with a clear mindset and new ways to reach his audience. Ahead of the project, he took some time to describe his creative process, define his music, and let us know what listeners can expect. We had a chance to sit down with Toso and talk quarantine habits, musical sound, and his mental headspace. Check out the Q&A interview down below.
For those who don’t know, where are you from?
I’m from Rhode Island. Lincoln to be exact. Rhode Island is a really small and quiet place, and Lincoln is even quieter. My house growing up was in the middle of the woods, so never really lived the city life until I moved to LA in 2016.
Did you have any early music influences? Who were your favorite artists growing up?
The earliest musical influences I had were Ludacris, Eminem, and Outkast. I can remember back then I used to listen to their music on cassette tapes. So I would always rewind their songs and play them back until I messed up the tape. Ludacris was my first favorite rapper, I had pictures of him on my wall. But in college when I first started to really get into music, I was listening to Wiz Khalifa, Currensy, French Montana, Max B, and Kid Cudi.
During this quarantine, people have been keeping themselves occupied in unique ways. How have you been keeping yourself busy?
Yeah man, this quarantine has been a blessing and a curse. I had planned to drop a lot of music this year and hopefully go on tour, but the pandemic halted that. So in my spare time, I’ve just been writing and perfecting my style. I plan to drop another album early next year and get some features from some major artists. I also just recently started to learn about the stock market and investing. I know that money will come from music, so I’m trying to learn how to handle and grow my wealth once my music takes off.
Where do you think your headspace is now compared to – let’s say 1-2 years ago in terms of your artistry?
My headspace has changed a lot in the past 2 years. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the industry and myself. I realized that attaining the level of success I want is achievable if I work hard enough and network with the right people. I’ve become less entitled as an artist and become more hungry to prove myself. With this latest EP “Life of Sin”, I feel I’ve come a long way. My first mixtape was released in 2011 and if you heard me then and compared it to my music now, you would think you’re listening to two different people. Hopefully, in the next 2 years, I can make even more progress.
Let’s jump into the music a bit. You recently dropped your new project ‘Life of Sin.’ How did the concept for it come together?
I started the writing process for “Life of Sin” around this time last year. My goal when writing it was to tell my fans my story and how I got to where I am today. I call it “Life of Sin” because I feel that most people would look at my life as a life filled with sin. However, in my eyes; I’ve lived a life of enjoyment and purpose. Everyone will have their own opinions about you and what you are doing. You can either let it affect you or you can take that and make something with it. And that’s what I did. I took all the negativity people have been throwing at me and made a record for them to listen to.
How would you say your music has transitioned over time? What new sounds or tools have you added or subtracted to your creative process?
I think that I’ve just found an understanding of how to use my voice. Since I started rapping, the lyrics and flow have been there. My biggest challenge was trying to smooth out my harsh voice and make it sound good on a record. Most rappers struggle with this. But, when you consciously think about your flaws and find tangible ways to resolve them, you will see results. I’ve done everything from vocal exercises to changing my diet; all in hopes of making my voice better. If you want to be the best, you have to do what others are not or will not do.
Do you feel like you’ve found your style, or is it something you’re still working on?
That’s a great question. I can’t really answer that for you. My style morphs to whatever instrumental I’m rapping on. I like being versatile and changing my flows every song. Having said that, I think I got a conscious rapper type style mixed with some trippy, party, stoner vibes. People compare my style of music with Wiz Khalifa.
Do you plan on rolling out any visuals off of the project?
Absolutely. Going to first shoot a video for “Time is Tickin” and then maybe “Know Your Limits” or “Way That I’m Livin”. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel “TheRealToso” for updates.
What do you like to get into outside of work? Whether it be with your team or solo?
Lately, I’ve been too focused on getting better in life and with music to say that I’m not doing it 24/7. If I’m not writing a song or listening to beat, then I’m watching videos on rappers’ come ups. Or you can catch me on Clubhouse networking with industry insiders. And when I’m not doing music; I’m either taking online courses to learn about the stock market or looking up new companies to invest in. So yea, my life is pretty much all work.
What can we expect from you moving forward? Or is everything under wraps?
Moving forward you can expect a lot more music. Hopefully, I can drop at least 3 projects this year. Like I said earlier, I’m also looking to collab with some artists in the industry. Other than that, just keep looking out for my new stuff, and let’s engage on Instagram. You can follow me at TheRealToso. And don’t forget to download that EP “Life of Sin”.