Portland Based Rap Artist Is Creating His Own Definition Of Rap Music
Toño is a Portland based Rap artist on the rise. Inspired by the ever growing community of queer rap/hip hop artists, Toño aims to create music through his own experiences. The music is as colorful as he is from the 80s R&B inspired sound of “Distractions” to the dark Pop Rap sounds on his debut EP “Tart”. There is truly a little bit of everything to the entirely extra experience that is Toño. “I just gotta keep on slaying” Toño sings in his single “W.Y.W.M” (Where You Want Me) off his Debut EP. The bright and outgoing tune has a little mixture of everything that makes it a hit. Beginning with the retro, illuminating dance pop background instrumental all the way to Toño’s ability to fabricate a catchy hook, addictive and memorable for us to sing-a-long too. Once you start thinking this song is going into a specific direction, Toño surprises us with his fast-pace, impeccable flow completely mesmerizing us and absorbing his colorful character in all aspects of the song. You can listen to “W.Y.W.M” here and follow Toño on his social media!
We love everything Toño stands for, his music, his look and personality. Check out our exclusive interview with Toño to learn more!
Listen to "W.Y.W.M.".
Hi Toño, care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I’m Toño! The Ñ is silent, so just pronounce it like Tono. I’m a gay latino rapper in Portland trying to leave my mark on the ever growing pool of queer rap/hip hop artists. My interests include short walks on the beach, pepperoni pizza, and men.
Besides music, what are some of your other hobbies?
Outside of my day job and making music I’m a pretty simple guy. I’m not 21 yet so until then I’m spending my time playing my Switch and exploring places to eat around Portland (my current and all time favorite is Brunch Box). Occasionally you can find me acting as well! I was just in a campy horror flick called “Dykefoot” that premiered in October.
What inspired you to get into rap music?
I was in a singing competition when I was about 17 and in one of the rounds I performed “Youth” by Troye Sivan. I thought the songs chorus didn’t have enough in it so I wrote a rap over it! Troye still hasn’t contacted me to do an official remix of the song and honestly he’s really missing out. The next year when I went into college I started taking basic music production classes. I got to record my first original song (a remix of Sean Wasabi’s “Spicy Boyfriend”), met my current sound guy that works with me on every project, and the rest is history.
Off your debut EP “Tart” which is your favorite song and why? Which was the most exciting to create?
I’m gonna cheat a little on this one and say that “Moon” is my favorite song on “Tart”. Originally it’s official release was from my two track single “Crazy Kids on the Moon”, but I included it on the physical copies of “Tart” when I was selling them. It’s a simple love song and it doesn’t get as much love as I think it should. The most exciting song to record on that EP however had to be FWB. I have the most fun when I’m throwing out bars about my sex life and being carefree and unapologetic about my queerness. Plus getting to let loose and write some nasty lyrics is something I always look forward to. It makes people laugh, it makes the ones that really pay attention to the lyrics impressed, and most of all it makes people uncomfortable. All things I thrive off of.
How would you lyrically interpret the song W.Y.W.M for us?
“W.Y.W.M. (You Have Me)” is a song about the future! The verse and the chorus are both future me talking to current me. The lyrics to the chorus “When you want me you have me (x2)/I just need to see the fire in your eyes/When you want me you have me (x2)/I can see the sun I can see it rise” came first and came easy. It’s essentially saying that when I really want the future that I’m working so hard towards then I will make it happen when everything falls into place. It isn’t until the last few bars of the rap verse where present me is stating exactly what I need to keep doing. “I just gotta keep on slaying”.
What’s next for you Tono?
Who knows! I thought it was gonna be Christmas music, but I may or may not have procrastinated on starting that for too long at this point. Maybe next year? All I know is that I wanna keep creating music the way that I am until I can put out a full album that’s absolutely perfect to me. I’m aiming to release at least one more EP before the summer of 2019. Until then be on the lookout for a few more music videos from the “Distractions” era. You can watch the video for the lead single “Sometimes” on my YouTube channel! @piply13, as is everything else.
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