Toshin [Interview]

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 Who inspired you to make music?

Many artists have inspired my musical journey but Aretha Franklin and Tank and the Banga’s have definitely had a massive part in pushing me to make music, especially the type of music I’m writing today. 

What is your creative process like? Do you start with lyrics? Instruments? Concept?

It really depends to be honest. The process has started with each of those but mostly it would be the concept, because the meaning behind the majority of our songs come from my personal life and what is going on in the moment. Capturing the concept first is a huge part of our creative process, and usually the music and lyrics flow from there.

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What do you feel is the best song you have released/written and why?

The best song I have written is definitely “Oh Lord”. Oh Lord was written in my bedroom in about 20 minutes out of anger remembering a bad childhood memory. It is musically and vocally powerful and connects to a lot of our fans.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

It probably sounds a bit corny but many people have told me to always believe in myself and regardless if my peers or people around me are doing good I just always keep pushing because everyone is on a different path.

If you could be any kind of cookie, what would it be and why? (Most important question)

A subway double chocolate cookie because I’m hard on the outside and all gooey and warm on the inside 

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

The music industry is nothing like it was even a couple of years ago. The live industry especially seemed to disappear when the virus took over last year, which is something we really miss. This has meant that the entire industry has moved online, which has its pros and cons. On one hand, the playing field has been levelled for international artists or artists who maybe aren’t at a point where they can put on a huge live show yet. On the other hand though, band who live for shows (ourselves included!) obviously can’t do that, which is really annoying. 

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If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I’d definitely remove the barriers for independent artists. When you’re not represented by a manager or a label, lots of the gatekeepers in the industry won’t bother listening to you. As you can imagine, this makes it really hard for lots of DIY artists who maybe aren’t ready to hand over percentages of their income. I’d love to see an industry where that ego is gone and great music speaks for itself. That said, I think it’s going that way as it is, and Irish media have been really receptive to new artists.

What is the most useless talent you have?

It’s not something I broadcast, but I’m a wizard at knitting. If you need a scarf you know where I am!

When you’re done with music, what do you want people to think when they talk about you and your work?

I mean, I haven’t got plans to stop anytime soon (or ever for that matter!) but I’d love our fans to be able to tell their kids and grandkids about this great soul band they used to go and see in Dublin, and how much fun they had at the shows. We put so much importance on enjoyment at our gigs, both for ourselves and the audience, and I’d love if that was the thing that stayed with people!

What is your most recent project/upcoming project?

We’re working on a really cool collaboration with some other Dublin artists at the moment. We’ll have to wait until the studios open to record it, but it’s shaping up to be super exciting!

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