[Exclusive Interview] TOHO is "OFF" the charts with his K-Indie Lyricism

Shot outside the streets of Seoul with a cold industrial vibe, Indie-Pop songwriter TOHO takes his listeners on a visual journey for his single "OFF". Messages, images, and nature are the center of topics in his songwriting. These topics are then translated into English and Korean to express them dramatically. TOHO's intent is that his listeners can interpret however they want without being limited to his point of view. 

Congrats on releasing your music video for “OFF”! The music video depicts the scenery and beauty of South Korea. How do the scenery and beauty of South Korea relate to “OFF” lyrics?

TOHO: Thank you so much! I filmed the MV in Seoul, South Korea because the lyrics of “OFF” resemble Seoulites. Living in a metropolitan city like Seoul can be very daunting and lonely from time to time. Sometimes we put on this fancy, got-it-all happy mask while on the other hand, confused, still trying to figure out where we are heading.

What unexpected music genre do you listen to that surprises people when you tell them?

TOHO: I love soundtracks from late 80-90s Japanese Anime. Especially Pokemon. They just melt my heart.

As a singer-songwriter, you like to compare your songwriting with impressionism. Are you an artist yourself? If so, tell us about your artwork and how that translates across your songwriting!

TOHO: Unfortunately no :( However, I am strongly influenced by the work of Monet and Van Gogh. I used to hang Monet’s paintings all over the walls in my apartment.

Do you have plans on releasing an EP or full-length album soon? Or is it still a work in progress?

TOHO: I am currently working on my singles coming up, but maybe next year!

Since Kpop is the most talked about in mainstream music, the K-indie scene isn’t spoken about much. Can you tell us what makes K-indie special and why should we listen to this genre more?

TOHO: I think what is great about the indie scene is that you don’t have to put any masks on: the masks I mentioned earlier in a previous question. Of course, K-pop is so awesome and iconic with excellent productions. But you know, life isn’t always perfect. Sometimes you want to hear others' down to earth, raw life stories, too.

What are one dish and one drink you can’t live without?

TOHO: Kimchi Fried rice with a fried egg on the side and Lemon flavored sparkling water.

You’ve attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. What is something new you’ve learned while attending there?

TOHO: That it takes you more than just being musically good in order to be a good musician.

What are your go-to rituals before you start singing and songwriting?

TOHO: I recently stole this massage gun from my parents' house and it’s just so good for relaxing muscles (which is good for singing), so it’s becoming a thing for me. Thank you, mom!

Do you have any words of advice for those struggling or starting how to write songs?

TOHO: Don’t get over-stressed with making “perfect” choices. That will only keep you from going forward. You can always fix it later and more importantly, mistakes can be good sometimes!

Toho on Socials:

Instagram | YouTube

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