The New York-helmed rapper is turning heads with his introspective lyrics and surplus of melodic flows.
No one’s turning heads in the rap game like Toosii is right now. When people describe an artist as having ‘the sound of tomorrow’, thats him, but right now. Hailing all the way from Syracuse, New York, the rapper moved to North Carolina in his early teens to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. Beginning the journey to develop his sound at such an early age, the star rose to prominence through Soundcloud with singles such as “”Lost” and “Dreams”, which, over the years, culminated in a huge fanbase garnering him millions of streams month after month.
Releasing a slew of successful singles, EPs, and mixtapes over the years, 2020 has seen the rapper completely come into his own as he masterminded not one, but two full-length projects. The first, Platinum Heart (Deluxe) went straight to number one on the Billboard Heatseakers Chart, and saw him sign with South Coast Music Group (SCMG) – the label that catalysed the successes of DaBaby and Blacc Zacc. The latter and his most recent release, Poetic Pain, hit even harder, and includes huge features from the likes of Summer Walker and Lil Durk.
Speaking on the project, which has an air of triumph from seeing Toosii exceeding all expectations in recent months, the rapper is just as direct as ever: “The persona people got from me before was I’m this hood romantic, but I’m trying to let them know I still come from the projects, Section 8, where I had nothing. Sleeping in a basement, sleeping in the car, living out of a motel—I still come from all of that.”
We caught up with Toosii below, and talked no. 1 singles, artistic influences and his plans for the future. Take a look…
Hey Toosii! At the age of 12 your family moved from New York to North Carolina; how did this impact your music being such extremely different places?
I guess you can say I’m the perfect mix between southern and up north. I’m still a New Yorker I just got a little country haha.
In your formative years there was a lot going on just to survive, how did you stay away from the darker path and become an artist instead?
I was inside. I’m more of a homebody, I don’t really like to be outside. Music helped me with that.
Previously you shared your dad and brother were very into music and this made you interested too, what did you learn from them? Did they encourage you to take your music seriously as career?
I watched them succeed, I watched them fall. I learned by the steps they took and took the ones they didn’t take. They were my guidance.
Who has been your biggest supporter and why?
My mother. She’s seen what I came from and how hard I worked. Late nights up recording… just everything.
You just announced that Capitol Records has signed you, alongside South Coast Music Group. How does it feel to have two major partners champion you together?
Like I said, it’s a blessing. I’m thankful and I couldn’t ask for a better team. This is my family.
Platinum Heart went No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart; where were you when you first heard your music being played?
I can’t remember, but I was in shock. It made me smile.
Your new project, Poetic Pain, is extremely introspective – share with us the process of creating this?
I made it all in my kitchen. My happy place is my home. It’s where I make the best music.
Fans got to be a part of making the title track, “Poetic Pain” with you via livestream; truly a unique experience for them and probably for you as well – how did that come to be and what did you learn from it?
I allowed the fans to make the name and I let the beat talk to me. I went off of how they felt for that.
Social media is such a great way to connect, but obviously has its negative impact on mental health for many too – how do you find a balance here?
I don’t allow the social media to make me feel a way.
Nipsey Hussle and Lil Baby are among those who’ve influenced your artistry; what about them made such an impact on you?
Nipsey and Lil Baby both have something in common, they both do good for their community and that means something to me.
Are there any new artists we may not have heard of yet who are on your radar?
Tia Corine, Big Mali, Blacc Zacc fashoo!
What advice do you have for other artists who lack resources but have passion for music?
Just keep going and stay consistent.
How important is fashion & style to you and which designers do you like the most? Would you ever want to do a collaboration? If so, with who?
I love Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada. I would love to do a Louis Vuitton collab.
What’s next for you?
More music more tours soon hopefully!