Tangled with the symphony of rap music, rising artist TOWKIO tightens his grips as he hikes his way into reaching the top.
With well-known artists sweeping the music industry like tidal waves, starting musicians might find it hard to swim to the island of their dreams, although not for Towkio, as we might see him sailing the oceans of the industry from East to West with his diversity in producing music. Passion and love for his works are what keep Towkio going, but the hip-hop-obsessed rapper admitted that he grew up hearing soul and R&B tunes due to paternal influence. As he was getting older, he eventually got hooked into the direction he’s going right now. “My dad used to play a lot of Stevie Wonder, but I think the first hip-hop- album I listened to in full was Kanye West’s The College Dropout. Then I got obsessed. I was downloading every album and mixtape that I could find from anyone that was hot. I used to walk around with my CD player, selling mixtapes I just burned to disk,” recalls Towkio. Being a part of the Chicago hip-hop collective Savemoney, which artists such as Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa also belong to, he was able to expand his interest with music while doing collaborations with some of its members. More than just a group of people sharing the same passion, Savemoney became his refuge.
With his one-of-a-kind talent, it’s never impossible for Towkio to attract multiple talented artists to work and collaborate with. The rapper strived by himself for his music to be publicized—reaching out to producers and exchanging ideas with people close to his heart. “I was sending emails to all my favorite producers like Lido and Kaytranada, and luckily, they got back to me. I also was just working with one of my best friends Peter Cottontale and he really helped me put final touches on my music,” the rapper shares.
“I love performing because that’s your moment to spread your frequency—you have the floor, and you get to take people on your own personal trip.”
Tell us about Savemoney. Do you see yourself collaborating with any of them soon aside from the ones you’ve partnered up with like Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, and Joey Purp?
Savemoney are my brothers more so than anything. Business and music aside, that’s how it always will be. We’re always together and going to stay that way. The collaborations are second nature, they just happen.
￼There are only few Asian-Americans in the rap industry. How do you see the culture growing in the future?
I’m not really sure. I’ve never really considered myself as just an Asian rapper because I am also Mexican, so I could also be called a Latino rapper, but really, I’m just a kid from Chicago who makes art and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.
What do you love most about performing?
I love performing because that’s your moment to spread your frequency—you have the floor, and you get to take people on your own personal trip. When I perform in the studio, I imagine being in front of everyone so it’s basically the same, but feeling people’s energy live is unmatched.
Aside from music, what else do you like doing? Are there any hidden talents that you have?
I like to make art of any form— videos, clothes, cooking, sculpturing. I’m definitely going to dive more into other art once I’ve mastered music.
What are you looking forward the most for this year in terms of your music career?
￼￼People finally understanding me and my vision. I am just a vehicle, I saw God, now it is my duty to spread the light.