TO81 is the professional name of emerging singer/songwriter and recording artist, Tobi Latinwo. The Southern California 17-year old has been singing since elementary school. She is making her solo professional recording debut in 2022.
Recently, TO8i was able to attend the GRAMMY Museum’s Summer Session. It is a five-day non-residential program for aspiring young songwriters and composers in the LA area. That experience, and a recent string of performances with her high school drama club, have inspired the singer to go public with her music.
“Cloud” is the debut single from TO8i, released worldwide via all major streaming services on November 7, 2022. A solo jazz guitar introduces the track with some smooth seventh chords. An electric piano and some chill funk bass add to the tune’s mellow neo-soul feel as the beat drops on a downtempo hip-hop groove. On the mic TO8i delivers a soulful and dreamy torch song. The singer’s easy tone and smooth jazz phrasing belie her young age. It’s a great vibe.
Check out “Cloud” below. You can also find the track on the Deep Indie Beat playlist, or listen on your favorite streaming service. We had the chance to chat with TO81 about her music. Read her answers to our 8 questions below. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with TO8i. Get on her socials and get in the loop on all the music to come from this exciting new talent.
8 Questions with TO8i
TO8i in the studio, recording "Cloud"
Where are you from?
I am from Southern California.
How long have you been making music?
I have been making music for 10-11 years. I started writing songs to random beats on YouTube when I was around 7-8 years old.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
The track is produced by mixtape seoul.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Beyonce. She showed me that when it comes to life, you have to give it your all if you want to get places. I also have been a big fan of her music my whole life.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
My brother. He taught me that I didn’t have to go down the path that was laid out for me in order to find happiness. I can choose my own path and still enjoy life.
What inspired you to create this project?
I really wanted to make an EP when I went to the Grammy summer session during quarantine. I was inspired by the weather and thought of the concept of correlating my emotions to it. During that era I made a lot of songs and had lots of lyrics relating to nature so it wasn’t anything new for me.
I made an EP called Cloud and actually struggled writing the title track “Cloud”. In the end, since I couldn’t produce at the time and type beats aren’t cheap, I decided to forget the whole EP. A year later when I was going through the songs I wrote and saw “Cloud.” I felt the sudden urge to finish it. After finishing it I decided that though I may not be able to release the whole ep, I should release this song as a single. Then I went to the studio, recorded the song and released it.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
My plans for the future of my music career is to keep releasing music and creating a nice environment for my future fanbase. I would love for all kinds of people to hear and connect to my songs. I would love to interact and joke around with my future fanbase.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
The thing I love most about making music is letting my creativity flow and being able to make music others can relate to. A hobby that I have outside of making music is Musical Theater. I love to perform and make others laugh at my jokes or sway to my vocals.