Towkio has always struck me as an artist with a clear vision when it comes to creating. Even back when he used to go by ‘Preston San’ and ‘Tokyo Shawn’ dropping the eccentric Community Service in 2012, his music presented itself with a cohesive vibe and confidence seldom heard in new artists. Furthermore, his breakout project .Wav Theory proved that his creation had a global appeal, spearheaded by its fun, nonsecular themes.
Impressed by Towkio’s exuberant, genre-bending style that pulls from juke, dance and hip-hop influences among others, Rick Rubin signed the emerging star to his label American Recordings, reportedly for the creation of his upcoming World Wide .Wavs. Known as a spiritual mentor, the legendary record producer famous for his time alongside Russell Simmons, Def Jam and The Red Hot Chili Peppers among others, has always seemed the ideal figure to develop Towkio’s ideas and thoughts, therefore their partnership feels nothing short of a pre-established fate.
Under Rubin’s guidance and resources, Towkio has attained a more expansive perspective and unparalleled artistic freedom while working on World Wide .Wavs. The Savemoney member described Rubin’s Malibu studio as magical and dream-like to Noisey last year and so far the three singles from those sessions have allowed us to enjoy the vibes found in Shangri-La as well.
The first, “Drift”, delivers a bombastic, adrenaline-filled experience molded by Towkio’s swagger, car samples, and hard-hitting drums matched beautifully with a visual that showcases a couple of the most magical places in Mexico City (shoutout to Xochimilco). The second is a euphoric dance-number with huge pop sensibilities entitled “Hot Shit.” I still can’t get its infectious hook out of my head.
But it’s “Swim,” the third release, that is the most compelling. Here, Towkio speaks lucidly on manifesting one’s destiny, success and exploring the universe over a string section by Lido and an uplifting organ composition from Peter Cottontale. It sounds like it will certainly be the album’s opener and manifesto as it demands the listener to “be prepared to swim.”
For those of us who’ve been ready since Community Service, today we find the Chicago artist with a bigger platform, a more polished product and –more importantly–the evolution of the ideas presented early in his career. As anticipation for World Wide .Wavs. is mounting, so is the quality of his releases.