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INTERVIEW: Toffe

Hi Toffe, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi. I am very well thank you! Just got back to Stockholm from the launch event we held in London for my single ‘Painting Pictures’. A pretty cool collaboration with University of the Arts London students – was fun. Otherwise, busy in the studio working on my next single, rehearsing for some upcoming shows and trying to get some sunlight in-between. Summer has finally arrived in Stockholm!

For those who aren’t familiar with you or your sound yet, how would you describe it?

I’d say my sound is a symphonic synth-fest topped with my own style of vocals and stories.  I always try to make music as if I didn’t know how to make music. I just take all the stuff I love from old metal to slick 80’s and create something that works for me. It’s a guessing game but the bigger it sounds the more vibes I get listening back haha.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Painting Pictures”?

Painting Pictures is a song about balance. It’s about how every one step in the right direction can be followed by one in the wrong direction. In my meaning it’s about personal progress and overcoming anxiety but I want each and every person to make up their own story, paint their own pictures I guess.

I wrote the song a while back but I do remember that at the time this was the most ‘pop’ sounding song I had ever written. I thought that the lyrics were kinda light but touching a very heavy subject and was somewhat amused that friends thought this was a love song when actually its origins are dark – cut to the guy eating pizza on his own in bed.

How did the single name come about?

I named it Painting Pictures because that’s what you do when you start from nothing again. You need something to define you, maybe that’s why people get tattoos after big experiences, so they have something to remember it by. After all, people remember songs by their titles.

Did any event/s in particular inspire you to write the material?

Winter, the darkness 🙂

How was the recording and writing process?

Musically, The song came about quite quickly and started over an arpeggio patch I found. I jammed the rest out and, as is tradition, suddenly there were 200 audio tracks staring me in the face.

I was up in the north of Sweden – sleeping all day, writing all night. I had just come back from a trip to Florida which definitely helped ramp up the creativity.  Lyrically the song was quite easy to write. When songs are about my inner world I find it more straightforward than when writing about someone else. I feel more responsible when writing about my relationships with other people, as I am not only speaking for myself but someone else so the preparation and acclimatisation process for those songs is a lot longer.

How different are the new tracks from the previous material?

Well, there is only one song out there at the moment so I’m not sure we can talk previous material but the upcoming material is more pop in a way because I have got used to working with drum machines and some great gear I’ve been experimenting with.  I have dared to mix in more 808’s, high hats and 909 claps etc where I was scared to use them before. With my next release ‘It’s Not A Race’ I feel I have moved forward as a producer but in another way I have gone back to my old rock roots as I really am a sucker for big choruses! I also now dare to mix full voice and falsetto and I think I have found the connection between what makes a song my song.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, at the moment I have some upcoming shows in Stockholm and Malmo this summer with more on the way.  Live is very important to me – it’s my experimental place where you discover what music is really about – that immediate connection with the guys you are playing with and the audience you are playing for.  That anticipation and excitement of feeling the energy from the crowd when the chorus hits is electric.

Should we expect any music videos to accompany the track soon? If so, what ideas do you have for this?

At the moment I am focussing on releasing more music and playing live.  I have a million ideas a minute for music videos and all that will come in time I’m sure.

Why should people pay attention to Toffe? What’s special about you?

I don’t like the word special but I have been told my music is special because it doesn’t fit. Even my name TOFFE has been a point of contention over the years as it’s kinda lame but it’s what I’ve been called forever. One music exec in LA said “Toffe??… hmmm… I love it … it sticks.” Funny guy!

I know where I’m at in music but how special I am has got to be up to the listeners.  People always try to define you but without sounding too pretentious I just wanna move people not only physically but emotionally with my music and challenge pop to make people think.

What else is happening next in Toffe’s world?

Well, promoting my next single is on top of the priority list and working towards another release at the end of summer so full on for now and live live live as much as I can get!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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