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Life & Work with Tino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tino.

Hi Tino, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was born to Zimbabwean parents. Growing up I’ve always loved music. I can say it really became my thing when my older cousin came to stay with us for a while. She introduced me to MTV and a lot of the artists I grew up listening to. She also really encouraged my passion for dancing, we would spend all day dancing in front of the TV.

So after dreaming about it for so long I finally started teaching myself how to make music back in 2017. I was able to organize a home studio set up and from there I just started learning how to make beats, and get better at singing and rapping. I was in university at the time so I had to find a way to balance both the music and the academics. I finally released music to the public for the first time in 2019, and from there I’ve just been working hard to become the artist I always knew I was.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It definitely hasn’t been all the way smooth. I’ve had to deal with the common problem of friends and family not understanding what I’m doing and wanting me to go the 9-5 route. Coming from an African family, it’s usually going to be more traditional in that way. It took some time for me to understand that they’re just scared for me and it’s coming from a place of love. It pushes me to go harder though because I get to be the one to ignite that faith in them that anything is possible.

Another thing that was pretty tough was finding a way to balance music and school. There were a lot of times that I felt I had to pick one or the other. To be honest, I don’t think there is a way to really balance them, one is always going to need more attention at one point or the other, but you can still find a way to be successful at both.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The type of music I make is called “Lucid R&B”. The music is lucid, it does what it wants. I go from singing, to rapping and back in one song. The fact that I make my own beats allows me to have the freedom for my music to be volatile in that sense. This dark, dreamy sound that you really can’t put into a box. It’s a sound I would have in my mind when I first started learning how to make music, but I’d never heard it before so I didn’t know what I was trying to make. I could feel myself searching for it and it eventually came to fruition. The name came about because I’m a lucid dreamer, I can control my dreams. I’ve been able to do it ever since I was a kid. Being the dreamer I am, I eventually started to really view life as a surreality and it made me think, “If I find lucid dreaming so easy that I can do it in my sleep, what’s stopping me from lucid dreaming whilst I’m awake…”. My artistic expression through music and visuals is a reflection of that. I get to really experience that truth through my art and I hope that energy connects with the listeners. Whether I’m singing about heartbreak or motivating people to go harder I want to my art to represent the fact that every single one of us is in control of our universe. We are all lucid dreamers.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I see the music industry becoming a space where artists are able to do more independently, businesswise and artistically. At the same time, the world is becoming very trend based in this digital era. I can only imagine songs getting shorter to suit dance trends, and albums getting longer to try and finesse more streaming numbers. Either way, I’m excited to see how we’re going to define this new era. We’re always finding new boundaries to push as artists so really anything could happen. At the end of the day the art will always speak for itself.

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