Miami native ToBy is not your typical rapper. He proudly describes himself as a nerd, and openly admits to having a different upbringing—free of alcohol, drugs, and other elements that are normally present in the current rap scene. But these differences have worked in his favor so far, allowing him to create a unique voice and style that is already making waves in the often congested world of internet rap. His latest EP, El Prado Blvd is a prime example of this, perfectly showcasing ToBy’s brilliance, and illuminating his potential as one of the most talented and authentic rappers coming out of Miami.
We recently sat down with ToBy to talk about El Prado Blvd, his musical background, and his performance at III Points last year, among other things.
Can you tell us about yourself? How did you start making music?
Music came about when I was 17. It’s actually kind of a funny story. There was this guy from another school who was making rap songs, and I was always like a jokester, so when I heard one of his rap songs I didn’t like I was like “Let me make a diss song.” And when I made it, it was horrible. It was the worst piece of music I’ve ever made, but in doing so I found out that I really like this and I wanted to get better and keep going with it. And since then, I never stopped.
How would you describe your music?
My music is very introspective. It comes from a mixture of my head and my heart, and it’s a lot of life and personal experiences. Off the bat, you can tell I had a very different upbringing and social environment than your typical rapper, so in order to make up for that I try to be as descriptive and artistic as possible. I don’t even drink or do drugs. I don’t do any of that. So I have to find something else to talk about, and what I land on most of the time is just my thoughts on different social issues, culture, and the rap scene itself.
You performed at III Points last year. How was that?
Yeah, it was awesome! III Points, if you guys read this interview, huge shout out to you, I’ve been a fan forever. But how that happened is that I have a friend who is a DJ by the name of Topher the Alien, and we were working together in a couple of different projects when he was fortunate enough to get one of the slots at III Points. He then asked me to close out his set and do a couple of songs. It was a really, really, big, huge, great time. It was such a fun time.
What can you tell us about your new EP, El Prado Blvd?
I can say that I’m definitely the most proud of this piece of work than of anything else. One, for the fact we got it done in two weeks. And two, because it just feels so original to me. A whole live band came together to write all of their parts with one kind of cohesive mind. We were all thinking about each other and of each other to make some of the dopest music we’ve made in our entire lives.
Why the name El Prado?
We came up on a mansion in Coral Gables because our bassist Mike was house-sitting for one of his friends. And while his friend was out, we got to stay there for two weeks. Every day, we’d stay up until 5 in the morning recording, writing, and talking. Just being artists.
It was an artistic retreat of sorts…
Yes, exactly! When we were at El Prado, we were at an artistic retreat. As soon as you stepped through that door you were an artist and nothing else.
Where can we currently find your music?
Right now, you can find my music on all streaming services like Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, and SoundCloud. Normally, when I release something new it will be released on all platforms and El Prado is not gonna be any different.
And what are you plans for the future? Any big moves lined up?
For the future, I’m going to be moving to LA really soon to be closer to my management, so I can do this whole music thing seriously. I’m lucky enough to have met my publicist and my PR company, so they’re helping me get things figured out in that sense. So yeah, it’s gonna be LA or bust.
Click here to listen to more of ToBy’s music!
Interview by Alonso Montano