Born in Nigeria, TOBi began writing songs soon after emigrating to Canada as a child. Two albums (and many, many live shows) later, he joined us in LA for a chat about the origins of his signature “unapologetic soul music.”
THE EASY SHIRT IN PATCHWORK + THE 1991 STRAIGHT-LEG JEAN IN NATURAL WASH
THE EASY SHIRT IN JACQUARD TERRY + THE 1991 STRAIGHT-LEG JEAN IN MAINSHORE WASH
THE BOXY SHIRT + THE BAGGY WORKWEAR PANT
Describe your musical style in three words.
Unapologetic Soul Music.
What sort of things make an outfit “you?”
It’s gotta feel comfortable enough for me to move in. I’m a very active guy, so even when I perform live, the clothes need to have breathability. I like clean designs too, something that contrasts well with my skin.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memory was being a part of a parade and having to recite a hiphop verse. Sitting on the hood of a black Mercedes riding in the hot Lagos summer heat, I rapped my first lyrics as a six or seven-year-old. It unlocked something in my brain that moment.
Let’s talk creative process. What sparks an idea for a new project?
An idea is sparked from my surroundings. Just living life as truly and presently as possible. Then usually a film, documentary, story or a book will spark an idea.
Why do you think music and fashion are so closely related?
I think like music, fashion is one of the things that can makes us feel alive, because the possibilities and combinations are infinite. Our clothes can reflect our mood, attitude and taste, which is why it connects so well with music.
Do you keep up with trends? If so, what have you seen out there that speaks to you?
I try not to keep up with trends too much but lately, I’ve been digging the oversized and relaxed fit because it feels comfortable. I also like that it leaves something to be desired with the shape of human body. People can style themselves creatively without worry about their bodies being the focal point.
If you could give one piece of style advice to your audience, what would it be?
Develop your sense of style and do what makes you feel the most confident. Do the internal research and ask yourself “why do YOU like something?”
turn it up
Soundtrack the season with TOBi’s playlist of perfect summer tunes.
SHOP TOBi’S LOOKS