Photo by: Adit Dixit
We recently caught up with Toronto musician and content creator Akintoye who has gone viral for his videos about being broke (viewed over 29M times), addressing racism, and the state of COVID-19. He also went viral on the platform in April 2022 for his song “Pizzazz” (286K+ creations) where he discusses overcoming depression in a lighthearted manner.
What is your favorite thing about being a content creator?
It has to be the creative freedom I get. My content and my identity online are dictated by my choices. It feels amazing to be able to grow and experiment and share it with people in real time who identify with my journey and my growth.
How did you officially get involved with TikTok?
I started posting on TikTok because a friend of mine kept telling me to download the app so she could send me funny videos. I had already been posting content on my other social media accounts with very little growth so I applied that same idea to TikTok without really knowing what it was and my first real TikTok video reached a million views in a week. After that I realized it was something I needed to take the time to learn and understand.
Who would you say are some of your musical influences?
I have a ton of influences from such a wide variety of styles of music. I’ve always gravitated towards the greats like Jay Z, Biggie, Eminem and Big L. I’ve also always been a fan of the newer legends like Drake, Kendrick and Cole. I do draw influence from artists from other genres like Michael Jackson and the grooves of old school soul legends like Aretha Franklin. I’ve even found myself dipping my toes in some of the elements of James Brown’s music. My influences are really all over the place.
Did you always know that music was something you wanted to pursue?
I think I did. I’ve been rapping since I was 10 years old and it’s been the only real consistent thing in my life since I was a child. I naturally fell in love with the culture and the history as well as the real technical aspects of the music. It wasn’t until I was put in a position to focus on music before everything else that I really was able to say with confidence that rapping was what I’m meant to do.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
My biggest piece of advice to aspiring musicians is to be as honest as possible. There’s nothing more important than being able to look at your catalogue and know it is full of your authentic thoughts and feelings. It also guarantees you’ll attract people who are similar to you, as opposed to people who like the persona you’ve created.
What can you tell us about your album and the messages with it?
My album Anxiety & Circumstance was the culmination of a 23 year journey with anxiety. I’ve struggled with anxiety for my whole life, with the intensity being at its highest over the last 5 years or so. Making music for me is a therapeutic experience, so I was able to verbalize and understand my journey through the songs on the project. During my anxious days, I find myself listening to the album to ground myself and remind myself of how far I’ve come and who I am.
What was it like headlining a show in Toronto?
It was easily one of the best moments of my life. Building a following on social media (especially during the pandemic) comes with a major issue. Nothing feels tangible. The views and comments and likes feel like they only exist in your phone. That’s why moments like the show are so important. Those are the moments where it all feels real. Getting on stage and seeing hundreds of people gathered in a venue just to see me do what I love is a feeling I can’t describe. I’m gonna be looking for ways to surpass that feeling for the rest of my life.
Stream Anxiety & Circumstance here
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