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With just one look at him, it’s obvious that Towkio is far from ordinary. After spending the last few years in the wings as his childhood friends (see: Chance The Rapper & Vic Mensa) ascended into stardom, the 21-year-old artist has stepped spotlight himself today with the release of his debut album, .Wav Theory. Both a musical and ideological manifesto, the project serves equally as an introduction to Towkio’s unique approach to music as well as the underlying concepts that he uses to navigate through life. We had the opportunity to catch up with the rising act in his hometown of Chicago to talk to him about the release, his theories and much more. Get to better know SaveMoney’s man of the hour by reading the interview below, then be sure to give .Wav Theory a few well-deserved spins here.
.Wav Theory is an album years in the making, how do you feel now that it’s finally finished?
I’m excited to see what it does because I’ve put a lot of work and a lot of thought into it. I hope that everybody receives it the way I want them to receive it, and they understand it the way I would like them to.
We’ve watched your music evolve in a lot over the years, so we can imagine the project did as well; how different is the final product compared to it’s previous forms?
All the records have these ideas that existed for a while now, but it takes time for these type of records to fully evolve because they lend themselves to other people. You know, they just kinda happen. I could be in the studio with somebody like Peter Cottontale, and then Peter starts working on the record, and now this record just got taken to whole other place. These records took a lot of thought, and I feel each and every one of these are made to the best of their ability. We’re just trying to the make the music as quality as possible.
How representative are the singles that have came out – “I Know You,” “Heaven Only Knows,” “Involved” and “Free Your Mind” – to the rest of the album? Are there any big surprises?
I feel like every record on .Wav Theory is important. They all hit different veins, but they all hit veins that need to be hit. If I didn’t feel an attachment to the song it didn’t make .Wav theory – all the songs I’ve been attached for some time now and they’re all hot.
What can you tell us about the song that recently dropped on the latest Soulection show?
It’s the intro for .Wav Theory. It’s my favorite song probably, I mean they’re all my favorite, but this is probably my favorite production. Donnie Trumpet and Peter Cottontale from Social Experiment helped me out on that. I feel like that record puts you in a certain mood instantly, it almost feels like a meditation song. You can get lost in it you know? We created that emotion to where as soon as it plays you can get into it.
That song specifically seems to touch on the theory behind .Wav Theory, can you give a little further explaining into that whole concept?
Well it’s the idea of being conscious of the energies around us. We can’t necessarily see them, they’re not tangible, but they exist. So it’s about being conscious of those and proceeding knowing that the these exist. If you acknowledge them they will reward you. When you start to study different religions you’ll notice how similar they are, but its like if we all have these same truths then it’s not coincidence. So this is just my take, and I feel society is becoming more conscious as we get more information and really question what we believe in. I’m just offering a perception, an idea, and I feel like a lot of people feel the same way. I just put words to it.
In terms of features on the project you pretty much kept a SAVEMONEY family affair with appearances Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Donnie Trumpet and Leather Corduroys. It’s still pretty amazing you all grew up together - how did you all meet?
Well, it’s too coincidental: we were all born in 1993, all our parents landed in Chicago, all of us went to CPS and somehow met each other. We got put in the city at the same time. We could’ve been born earlier, we could’ve been born later and this wouldn’t have happened, but it did so I feel like we got something big. I’m in a situations where I don’t have to outsource, I can just make music with my friends. We’ve created our own little bubble. If you grow up in Chicago it’s like you’re always one person away from somebody, and like minds always gravitate to each other, so that’s how we all got up.
Chicago music is really in a renaissance period in terms of producing young talent so rapidly – what would you associate it to?
You can connect that all to the .Wav Theory. How did we get lucky to have a renaissance in Chicago right now? To be at the forefront of a new movement, that’s never really happened in Chicago. We’ve had some success before but it’s different now, there are so many more people making good music. It’s almost a mecca. Everybody’s quality is up so it’s making everyone work harder.
We noticed your name has been attached to a lot of shows and festivals of late – what can fans expect from your live set?
Imma turn sh*t up. You already know my aesthetic and my brand, it’s about the experience. The main thing when I make music is that I just want people to feel it for real. People don’t remember anything except how you made them feel, so when they come to the show I want to make them remember that experience. Then when I come back, they’ll come back.
You’ve always had a strong ear for production – who are some of the producers you’re really vibing with at the moment?
At the moment, Louis The Child, gotta shout them out. Blood diamond, that’s my dawg. Mr. Carmack, ESTA., Soulection. I mean it’s crazy because I’ve been liking all these people and now they wanna work with me. We’re really about to take it there. We’re blending this cultures and genres and taking it to the next level.
Though you’ve made some tremendous steps career-wise of late, you’ve seem to always know where you would get to and have been actively propelling things into existence – with that said, tell us where you’re going next.
I’m going to take this to the masses, and once everybody finds out and gets curious, I’m going to make content to go even deeper into my ideas. I feel that .Wav Theory is my first the installment of many. Pushing our beliefs, questioning them and trying to move forward. I’m a business man, I’ve seen money, but I know it’s not everything. I already feel like I have a lot of money, so when I get my opportunity I’m gonna try and put people on. I’m trying to make this art content to make people think, and then we can dig a little bit deeper if they wanna dig with me. I have a lot more things to say, but it’s just the beginning.