Following the release of the lead single ‘Are We Ridin’ last month, indie rapper ToBy is proud to finally release his long-awaited debut album ‘L’Esprit,’ which is out now via Magnetic Moon Records.
Blending elements of modern rap music, introspective pop, and indie rock, ‘L’Esprit’ follows a narrative that is loosely based on ToBy himself, constituting his most personal work to date. It details specific instances in ToBy‘s life involving depression, anxiety, grief, lost romance, and self-doubt with the intent of connecting with listeners who have similar stories.
‘Boyfriend’ from the album is a perfect example of these musical styles meshed together with ToBy‘s vulnerability at the forefront, featuring ToBy singing over a muted indie rock instrumental about a romance that has ended before louder guitars and drums crescendo near the end with ToBy‘s vocals becoming more desperate to match the intensity.
“‘Boyfriend’ is one of the best songs I’ve ever made. We had the idea in the studio to make a really big rock opera section closer to when we had to turn the album in, and it turned out amazing and I’m in love with it,” says ToBy.
‘L’Esprit’ is also an ode to ToBy‘s late grandma who passed away from cancer in 2020. Since she helped raise him and always supported his musical journey when others did not, ToBy had an extremely close relationship with her.
“Making music growing up in Miami was not very easy. It was a very judgmental environment. It was my parents wanting the best for me, they were immigrants from Haiti and didn’t understand why anyone would want to be a rapper,” says ToBy.“They didn’t approve and I was combating a lot of criticism from them. My grandma however I felt she really knew me and understood where my head was at. She would often step up and defend me in those conversations and would tell my mom to let me do what I want to do. She never got a chance to hear the songs from this album, but she was always very proud of me.”
“I believe in unity through specificity; by sharing our unique nuanced specific experiences we stand to become much closer to one another because we are not as different as we want to believe,” says ToBy. “The more specific we can get with our lives and our stories, the more it will resonate with a community because all of our lives are pretty specific. I think by encapsulating my specific experience and journey as a person and an artist who thinks heavy shit, I can connect with someone who may need that and who might feel a little more alone because they are trapped in their head and believes no one else thinks like them.”
“I hope people take away that they are not super alone in this world. I hope that by hearing my story and hearing me bare out my soul, as this is the most personal music I have ever made and I have never injected this much of my real life in my music before, people take away that the enormity of life is so grand and so vast and so much that the most we can do is experience it to its fullest; all the good, all the bad, and all the in-between.”