I must admit that I was excited all week long to post this next interview. As a huge fan of dancehall I have been following TOK for many years now since ‘My Crew, My Dawgs.’ TOK is back with their new album, ‘Our World’ coming out on August 25th on VP Records. Their single “Guardian Angel” is the #1 ringtone in Japan, so it truly is their world!
Stoli: Why did you decide to title your new album, ‘Our World?’
TOK: Our world the title is inspired by the elements which make up our environment -earth,wind,water and fire which essentially we each are…the same way these elements are combined to make the world what it is none more important than the other its the same principle with us …each person playin their part..also its inspired by the title song ‘the world is mine’ which is basically a declaration of a musical takeover or domination
Stoli: How much pressure is there when people are calling you the best danchehall-reggae boy band?
TOK: There isnt much pressure cuz we just do what we do..and let our efforts speak for themselves…we try not to be seen as a boy band cuz usually boy bands dont last long and their music is usually lacking real substance..we want to live on even after we’re gone thru our music…so even tho its a compliment we just continue to work n not focus on labels as we r our greatest critics
Stoli: There are four of you in the group. Can you briefly describe what musical role each of you take on that helps make TOK what it is?
TOK: Each of us are influenced by different atristes as well as different genres and this is evident in our writing…i myself am a huge fan of 80s music my favourite artist was Michael Jackson so that vibe u will get ostly from me..craig liked the drifters,jacob miller and a lot of the 60s group music so his vibe will show that..flexx liked stevie wonder,barington levy and his vibe is more RnB based…bay-c liked bob marley n a lot of alternative music so his vibe is outer worldly in short..
TOK – “Guardian Angel”
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Stoli: Where do you go mentally or physically when you need inspiration to create music?
TOK: I go physically to a quiet place sometimes or if thats not availiable i go there in my mind…or i will do something completely unrelated to music and get inspiration there e.g. playing video games gets under a diffferent mind set and i get to relax n feel the music…or when a beat is played i try to see the music as well as hear it..hard to describe
Stoli: Reggae music represents the people and the struggle. How much of your songwriting represents your life and experiences?
TOK: Most of it if not all our music represents life ..what we see in the news or on the road,girl issues ,other people in situations..life in itself is music-u just have to know how to express it…
Stoli: Being in a group can be tough. How do you four keep the peace and stay focused?
TOK: Leaving egos at the door..thinkin that its not just about the individual but whats best for the group…its ot easy cuz its 4 opinions all the time but u have to compromise n try n see 10 steps ahead the curve…its the love of what we do n the respect of each other that keeps us going..not for the money or the women or fame(even tho those help a lttle..lol) but for becoming legendary in our own right ….the music doesnt just stop at bob marley- it begins there
Stoli: You are embraced globally and had the #1 single ringtone in Japan with “Guardian Angel.” Did you ever think you would have that kind of reach and what does that tell you about the world today?
TOK: I always thought our music would have that reach ..we work hard n put our all into it…it tells me that different genres of music r not only merging to sound similar but that people of all ages ,ethnicities,with all different languages can feel ur energy n vibe and even if they r unable to speak it,prove that music is the international language the brings people together………………..
Stoli: When mainstream people think of reggae they think Bob Marley. Who are some other artists besides Bob Marley that you influenced you?
TOK: In the international arena for me there is of course MICHAEL JACKSON as well as STEVIE WONDER, NE-Yo, TIMBALAND, COLDPLAY, OUTKAST to name a few..
Stoli: What is your single “Afternoon Pornstar” about and how did that track come to be?
TOK: Afternoon pornstar came about when we were in the studio just vibing the riddim bouncing ideas and just by chance our A n R rep was there thought she heard us say something we didnt and the rest is history…the song is basically for the women who have 2 different sides to them…the one they show the world and the one they show behind closed doors..(personal experience)
Stoli: What can readers look forward to from TOK and is a tour in the works?
TOK: Readers can look forward to more songs that make u wanna cry, sing , jump and move ur body all the time….europe and the states are in the pipeline very soon in terms of touring actually europe is in august and then the albumdrops in the states on august 25th….