XXL Freshman Toosii is no newcomer to fame and attention. After moving to Raleigh, North Carolina from his birthplace, Syracuse, New York, he struggled with the transition at first, but over time through sports and the stage he found a place where he belonged. Both Toosii’s father and brother were rappers, and he credits them as being the main reason why he started making music. By 15 Toosii was the youngest member of a group called Vest. Albeit the youngest rapper in the group, Toosii was still one of the best rappers, if not the best and eventually generated his own buzz. After leaving the group, he began to seriously pursue a solo career in music.
Toosii faced many challenges on his road to success, but stayed on his path eventually signing to South Coast Music Group and then subsequently Capitol Records. Recently Toosii released his deluxe project Thank You For Believing (The Manifestation) with features from Latto, Fivio Foreign, Hotboii, Key Glock and many more. In support of his latest project Toosii is also on his first headlining tour, selling out nearly every tour date and upgrading venue sizes to accommodate fans. In addition to his own tour, Toosii’s been killing the festival circuit including Rolling Loud Miami, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Day N Vegas and up next it’s Rolling Loud Los Angeles. Toosii also made XXL’s Freshman list earlier this year and went platinum with his hit “Love Cycle” featuring Summer Walker. It’s safe to say 2021 has been Toosii’s year, but he doesn’t plan on slowing down in the fourth quarter. In our exclusive interview Toosii fills us in on his upcoming project dedicated to the ladies, upcoming collaborations, how he got started in music and his favorite tracks off his latest project.
The Knockturnal: How long have you been making music?
Toosii: I have been taking music seriously for the last 3-4 years.
The Knockturnal: At what age did you start experimenting with music?
Toosii: Probably like 13.
The Knockturnal: Did you have a musical family? Did they support your career?
Toosii: Yes, my brother and my dad were rappers. Yeah, they’re the reason I started making music.
The Knockturnal: When did you know you want to pursue music as a career?
Toosii: Probably like 17 that’s when I found out music is what I wanted to do. When I have 15, I was in a group called Vest. I was the youngest in the group, but I really use to know how to rap. I was probably one of the best rappers in the group at 15 years old. I used to just go to the show and be the young dude who used to get in the show with them. I used to watch them do their thing and it just got to the point where I had a buzz for my name, and they would perform and then bring me on stage, and I would perform with them. My name just started to buzz, and then I ventured out and started to do my own thing and became who I am today. It was just a matter of getting a buzz in the city first.
The Knockturnal: What are the three biggest highlights of your career so far?
Toosi: Going on tour, going platinum, and signing my deal to my major.
The Knockturnal: How does it feel to be a XXL Freshmen?
Toosii: Blessings. It feels good word up. It’s one of those steps you gotta go through to be where you want to be. Not gotta go through, but a lot of greats went through it.
The Knockturnal: How did it feel going platinum with “Love Cycle”?
Toosii: It’s crazy cause I just got my plaque the other day. When I went home, I just got my plaque but it feels good. They say when you get your first plaque, many more start to come. So, I’m just ready for the rest of them to start bubbling.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about releasing the deluxe for Thank You For Believing (The Manifestation)? What was the inspiration behind the title?
Toosii: The title behind Thank You For Believing came from just the people who helped me get to where I am today. They really pushed me to go harder every day and become who I am. So, this project is just dedicated to the people who helped me get to where I’m at. Thank you for believing in me. It was my first time recording a project in a studio instead of an in-home set up.
The Knockturnal: What’s your favorite track off the project?
Toosii: “Dats Real,” “5’5,” “Greater Storm,” “Icky Vicky.”
The Knockturnal: Why Those songs?
Toosii: “Icky Vicky” there was so much thought behind that, I actually sat and created the beat with the producers and told them exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to sound as far as the guitar acoustics in the background, I told the guitarist how I wanted it to be played, there was a lot of thought put into it that, that’s why that’s probably one of my favorites and with the whole Toosii Skylark thing.
The Knockturnal: How is the tour going? How does it feel to be back outside and see your fans again?
Toosii: It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing just to see how many people support. I have been going to all of these shows and selling them out. It’s just crazy. The show was sold out. My favorite city so far between DC and Boston. But they all been crazy.
The Knockturnal: What are you currently working on? What do you have on the way?
Toosii: Right now, I’m working on a capsule project called Pretty Girls Love Toosii, it’s going to come out this month. Something short and sweet, nothing too long. Short and simple. Not too many songs. I got a collaboration with Jacquees on it. It’s dedicated to the women.
The Knockturnal: I hear you’re a gamer too! What game you would you want to see your music on?
Toosii: I would love to see my music on Warzone, Call of Duty, Fortnite.
The Knockturnal: What are your thoughts on NFTs and crypto? Do you want to release your own NFT like Tory Lanez did earlier this year?
Toosii: I’ve got some Ethereum and you know what’s crazy Tory’s actually the one who put me on to it. Yes, most definitely we’ll see what happens in the future.