The name ToBy has been coming up frequently across the blogosphere and making waves with his full band ventures alongside the KUDA Live Band. Today, they bring us “La Playa“, which stands for “the beach” in Spanish and showcases a high octane and experimental side of their music that, well, just effortlessly works. Inspired by the legendary André 3000 (you know, half of Outkast), La Playa is a sonic masterpiece that transcends the traditional mold that Hip-Hop fits in. This is not about genres or anything informal fashion. It’s about good music by good people, and we have met our match.
I got the chance to chat it up with ToBy earlier this week and he helped share some meaningful insight into everything that was building up, and into La Playa. See what he had to say below.
TC: Is El Prado Blvd. a real location? How does it relate to you?
ToBy: Yes!!! The story of El Prado is that our bassist, Mike, got to house sit a really nice crib in Coral Gables that had enough rooms for the whole band. So for two weeks we just stayed there putting together the EP out of whatever we had around us.
TC: What was the inspiration behind the Spanish EP and track names?
ToBy: Growing up in Miami I was always around a lot of Latin influences. There’s a joke that Miami is really just northern Cuba. My favorite coffee is a café Cubano or colada from a cafeteria (Café Bustelo is a must try). David and Ruben from the band are both Latin too so the cultural vibes were definitely present in the house.
El Prado Blvd. is really just the name of the street the house we were living on while making the EP. “La Playa” is one of the other streets in the neighborhood the guys would go longboard down late at night while I would write. “Mi Amor” means my love in Spanish, and that has to do with the subject matter of that song in particular. A “Kalimba” is an instrument we found laying around the house and used to make that bottle-clinking noise in the third track.
TC: What do you like most about the beach aka “La Playa”?
ToBy: I actually hate going to the beach, truth be told. If I had to pick a favorite thing about the beach it would be the water, but even then it’s way too salty. That song is more about a crazy party than anything else, we just named it “La Playa” after one of the streets in the El Prado neighborhood.
TC: Why switch up the energy from the consistent lax feels across the EP for La Playa?
ToBy: We worked on the EP in chronological order, so “La Playa” was done after the kind of grim emotional tracks before it and I knew I wanted the project to end on a lighter note. So when I heard them making this uptempo really energetic beat I tried to steer the narrative of the project to a more fun direction. I thought a lot about Andre 3000’s flow on “Bombs Over Baghdad” and wanted to see if I can rap that creatively for the record.