With the music industry being as competitive as it is, artists must go over and beyond to carve their own lane into ascendency. Yet sprinting over totally untrodden ground, Tobi Lou unveils the first part of his EP trilogy: “Non-Perishable”. Featuring six pieces of artwork and eleven music video shorts, the string of EP drops work tirelessly to carry listeners through a journey of genre-blending sound, addictive escapism and danceable beats.
From the pounding bass of “Hopeless Romantic” to the sultry flirtation of “Babycakes” and the quick-witted lyrics of “Meaningless, the entire effort emanates the Nigeria-born artist’s flair for power. Though each track carries a totally unique aesthetic, Tobi is instantly recognisable thanks to his explosive energy and ferocious flow.
Talking of the entire effort, Tobi explains, “’Non-Perishable’ has an energy from the get-go that just says, ‘Wake Up’. The days are blurring together, and you need a cold shower to snap out of your headspace. That’s what ‘Non-Perishable’ became.”
To find out more about Tobi Lou’s upcoming releases, we sat with the artist to discuss his experience making them, his favourite tracks and what we can expect next…
Hey Tobi how are you? How has this past year been for you?
I’m alright thanks for asking. The past year has been a blur, I don’t really feel time anymore. Today is yesterday and is also tomorrow.
The pandemic affected a lot of people, do you think it affected your creativity?
It affected my creativity by having what seemed like endless time. Until I realized that even all the time in the world is not enough time.
How did you first into music, what sparked your interest?
I used to make little freestyles in grade school, often finding a way to substitute my name in songs everybody knew. It was kind of my thing and my classmates love it (at least I think they did). One day in 7th grade I begged my mom to take me to Radioshack where she bought me a $10 microphone and the rest is history.
You’ve released a string of EPs, which one to you means the most?
Tobi Lou and Moon because it was finally me getting over my release anxiety and actually pushing the start button on my career as Tobi Lou. But maybe also Tobi Lou and the Loop because that one showed me the world is here for my take on music.
And now you’ve just dropped your mixtape “Non-Perishable”, talk us through it, what was your mindset going into it?
My mindset was trying to figure out how to craft a listening experience out of songs I never thought I would release. It’s me starting to master my skills and being able to control an experience from top to bottom no matter how diverse the songs are. It’s also me realizing that the things I make will be here forever whether I like it or not.
And the production process, what was the most memorable experience?
“Babycakes” because there are so many different versions of that song. Piecing it together really felt like a puzzle.
This is the first of a 2022 trilogy, why a trilogy? And what can we expect from the other two projects?
I’ve been working on my project “Perish Blue” since 2020, and in making it I realized I had enough to tell 3 different stories through listening experience that all fit in the same universe. So now we have “Non-Perishable”, “Before We Perish”, and “Perish Blue”. My sister Tomi helped me realize I need to stop trying to fit everything into one project and just lean really hard into what feeling I want to convey. But we’re really getting a Trilogy because not only do I have a lot to say, I think it’s my year to be the MVP of rap, and music in general. I can produce at the highest level AND make it sound different, over and over again. I’m that good.
What do you hope people take away from your music and sound?
I hope I make them feel things they’ve never felt before. I hope they hear things and make memories that are forever tied to the music.
Who would you say inspires you?
Right now I’m inspiring myself. Every day I’m surprised I’m still here.
What are you most excited for? What’s next for you?
I’m most excited to rest, whenever that is. I don’t take breaks so after this year I want to look back at what we did and just say thank you God, can I sleep now?