Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Brainfeeders First Lady - Tokimonsta

In her early years , Tokimonsta's passions grew in music and the arts where she was trained in the Piano and the Clarinet and taught herself the guitar and drums. Further on and with her influences developing in Hip-Hop circles , it was here where she really found her calling.

She started appearing in the independent music scene and with the influence of her artist friends , began producing her own music. In 2008 , she released the 'Attention Deficit Mixtape' which was a record of remixes of Lupe Fiasco , Lil Wayne , Method Man and Redman , MF Doom and others . The limited Bedtime Lullabies record on the Foreign Family label soon followed and Toki was starting to make her name in the future beats scene on her own. She quickly came to the attention of Flying Lotus who snapped her up for his Brainfeeder label. Mixes for Brainfeeder and radio sets were made leading up to her Cosmic Intoxication EP which was released earlier this year.

A Blue Daisy V Tokimonsta release has also been put out their to the greater independent beats community as well as her most recently quickly acclaimed Midnight Menu album.

Tokimonsta is a leader for women of independent Hip-Hop beats , delivering her signature sound and her diverseness. Her actions have taken her far in a short space of time and she is one to watch for all supporters of the instrumental sound.

Since 2008 , when you released 'Bedtime Lullabies' , you have been receiving much praise from the higher ranks of the electronic music scene including Giles Peterson and Mary-Anne Hobbs. How did that make you feel so early on in the journey to attain that respect?

For me, as a person who had just begun publicly sharing their music, it was mind boggling. Never had I thought anyone, inconceivably Gilles and Mary Anne, would take an interest in something I did as a personal passion. I'm truly grateful for the positive response I've felt thus far.

Then of course you came to the attention of Flying Lotus and you were announced as the first lady on the Brainfeeder label , how did that all come about?

Well, actually, Flylo signed me to Brainfeeder first and then he told Mary Anne about me. The producer beat scene in LA is intimate. I had known these guys for a while and it was very natural when I joined the crew.

Your midnight menu record recently dropped on Art Union , how have the new tracks been received at your shows?

I had been testing many of the songs on the record in my live set before my record was released. In ways, that's how I knew the songs were fit for the album.. because of the positive crowd feedback.

With the releases that you put out , comes some amazing artwork. Where do the ideas come from for the record covers?

I really put my faith in the creative minds of the artists I pick. For me, I find visual and audible art very intertwined. I choose the artist based on their work and on their very unique aesthetics. However, I don't want to rob them of their creative control--instead I want my music to fuel their ideas.

Many people may not know but you have an alter-ego under the name 'Mama Toquilla'. Are you still working on music under this name , or is it all about Tokimonsta these days?

I am, kind of. Mama Toquilla is my more hip hop beat persona. I've been a little busy lately, but I hope to put out an EP at some point in the near future.

Where do you draw your influences from when making music?

I have an incredible variety of influences I pull from for my music--not all music. I am influenced a lot by film and other visual arts. I definitely can say hip hop has played the biggest role in my music.

What was the feeling when you were accepted into the Red Bull Music academy late last year?

I was absolutely ecstatic. I had actually forgotten about it since the day I had sent in my application, but I was jumping around when I received the email.

With that acceptance came your appearance on the recent various assets compilation . How much fun was it working on that project?

Very fun. Being around so many talented musicians from different backgrounds is really a unique experience. I don't think I've ever been in a situation where the entire environment is radiating musical creativity. Plus, we are just a goofy bunch and there were tons of laughs of memories we'll share ages.

You have a big show scheduled for September 3rd with Hudson Mohawke , Lorn & Mike Slott , you must be looking forward to that?

Yea, it should be fun. It's always great hanging out with these guys.

The end of September brings you to Australia where you will playing as part of the On the floor Red Bull Music Academy run of shows with Martyn and Illum Sphere. A lot of people are looking forward to your arrival over here. What do you know about about Australia and what can we expect from you live?

What I mostly know about Australia comes from my geeky love for nature documentaries. I definitely know it has the largest number of venomous creatures--which is totally awesome. I'm looking forward to experiencing the people and culture the most though. As for my live set, expect lots of bass, beats, and tunes that'll make your head nod and bodies move.

Tokimonsta hits Sydney's forum with Martyn and Illum Sphere on the 25th September - Event Info --->> Tokimonsta

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