- 01 Mar 21
Lead vocalist Tosin Bankole tells us how the Dublin pop-funk band are exploring "a new chapter in the Toshín story."
‘She’ marks the beginning of a new direction for Toshín. What sparked that?
The biggest and maybe most obvious factor is that three members of the band left in the middle of the pandemic. One of them was one of our main songwriters, so instantly we knew our sound would inevitably be different going forward. I also came to realise that our releases up until this point dealt with my past life, and I'm ready to move forward in a more mature, self-aware direction with my writing. With both these factors in mind, we decided it was time for a new chapter in the Toshín story.
What inspired the themes of self-love and self-awareness on the new single?
For years I’ve struggled with loving myself and my appearance. Growing up, looking into a mirror was such a huge fear of mine. Throughout my first long term relationship, I had major issues with loving my partner. I would always bring myself down and question whether I was good enough. It wasn’t until later that I realised the issues I had were actually with loving myself, rather than the relationship itself. When the relationship ended, I decided to work on myself, and I started finding amazing things. This is the main talking point in ‘She’: the conflict between putting yourself first, really getting to know and love yourself, and giving all you’ve got to a relationship.
We’re seeing strong soul/funk/R&B influences in Irish music today. Aside from the obvious lack of gigs, what do you think of the state of the scene at the moment?
It’s quickly becoming an integral part of the music scene in Ireland – I love it! Obviously we all miss gigs, but the sheer talent of some of the acts that fall into that genre – both the OGs of the scene and the newer artists, who seem to be popping up every other day – is nothing short of incredible. It’s also great to see this style of music getting more and more attention in the media, which is a trend I really hope continues. There’s a wonderful community of soul-influenced artists, producers and musicians who really deserve to have their name in lights – whether that be at a venue or, for now at least, on our laptop screens!
Things are obviously still up in the air right now – but what are Toshín’s plans for the months ahead?
We’re writing all the time and growing both as individuals and as a band – but where live shows are concerned, we’re really at the mercy of the virus I’m afraid. We still owe the Grand Social a show, and we’re determined to play it, so keep your eyes peeled! In terms of new music, we’re working on a few things. Our next release will be a collaboration with some really talented people. I can’t say a whole lot for now, but we’re really excited and you should be too!