ICON: Let’s start from the beginning. Where did you discover your love for music?
TOKiMONSTA: “My love for music came from my first introduction, classical music!”
You overcame a rare brain disease during the height of your career. How has that time in your life changed your outlook on the future?
T: “Life is temporary, so I want to make sure the music I create is indicative of the most authentic version of myself and my vision.”
Can you recall the first time you returned to the stage following the all-clear from your doctor? What were you feeling during that gig?
T: “The first official gig I played was at SXSW. I remember feeling a bit out of practice as I wasn’t playing the shows during the time I was recovering. However, it ended up being second nature and everything came back to me.”
What process or approach do you take for creating new music?
T: “I try not to adhere to formulas, rules, or anything process that will create a predictable outcome. Some moments I can start with a melody, sometimes drums, sometimes the approach is something more inexplicable.”
How has your music evolved since the beginning?
T: “Oasis Nocturno will be me fourth full-length album. I think my music is a natural progression like that of any human being. With more knowledge and experience, the music has evolved to be more specific and refined. I feel like my music now is more my voice than it’s ever been.”
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
T: “Delia Derbyshire, as she was one of the first women to ever make music with electronic instruments. I’d also love to work with Bjork just to see how she creates.”
Your style is so unique. Where do you draw inspiration from?
T: “I don’t draw inspiration from anyone one place. I think I am a product of all the music I’ve listened to: from Mozart to Aphex Twin to Wu Tang Clan.”
How do you incorporate your Korean heritage into your music?
T: “I always find a way, but there’s nothing specific. I usually try listening to a selection of traditional sounds (melodic or percussive) and see how I can work around it. I want to create something modern, but something that honours history.”
What can fans expect from your forthcoming album?
T: “It’s the project I am the most proud of to date as a musician. I hope people can feel the hard work and effort that went into this compositions. This project incorporates the feelings of many life changes, while utilising tons of new knowledge.”
Oasis Nocturno is now available. For more, visit the TOKiMONSTA website, here.