Synth-pop producer Tobias sits down with Luke Sharkey.
DUBLIN-based producer and artist Tobias has just recently released his EP, Braiiinnns to the world. Those of a musical persuasion should probably perk up and take a listen. The music is packed with vibrant synth leads and infused with lyrics of the everyday vernacular. Think the overall sound of artists such as The Weeknd mixed with a little Joy Division on the vocals side.
“I started looking at my brain as something separate to me, cause it doesn’t seem to act within my interests”
Where does the morbidity of a title such as Braaaiiins fit in? “Lyrically, I’m looking at a lot of moments in my life where I’ve felt totally out of control,” Tobias reveals, “when it comes to my thoughts and my head and the way I think. I started looking at my brain as something separate to me, ’cause it doesn’t seem to act within my interests.”
There’s a danger in breaking the fourth wall of consciousness too often, though, is there not? Apparently so. “There’s a lot of fear and numbness to begin with in the EP,” he explains, “and in those four songs I try to fling that around and turn it into a sort of honest hope and a will to be looking at yourself and understand who you are and how you are in a healthy way.”
While certainly not out of place on a global sound level, Tobias’s neo-RnB vibe doesn’t seem to resonate particularly strongly with what musicians in Ireland are making these days. This is a thought which has struck him before: “I’m a bit scared of the Irish music sphere, especially the people on or near my level. I try [to] listen out for a sound like mine a lot. I’m worried I don’t fit here maybe?”
“Genres are a bit funny anyway”
Does he get a negative reception from fellow musicians? “You meet someone else who’s a musician and you tell them you make mostly pop stuff and they sort of act like that means you’re not thinking … I don’t get that. It could be inside my head, though. Genres are a bit funny anyway.”
It would be surprising if anyone could listen to the EP and accuse it of thoughtlessness. In fact, there seems to be a painstaking attention to detail throughout the entire release. “I sit at the piano for hours and scream and shout and play and press my head to the keys like an absolute state. When I lived at home I think I used to drive my dad loopy in the room next to me, but he’d never say.”
That sounds almost therapeutic? For sure. “Writing is me taking stock … turning these moments that I figure over for hours into stories that I can sing to myself and others is a healing.” As they say, art is the best therapy after all.
Find Tobias Music and Braaaiiins on SoundCloud and Facebook