Cloud City 614 preview: Tobilla
In a few weeks, there will be a new kind of festival in Columbus, Ohio—a festival dedicated to answering the question “What if a city was built by artists?” Many performers, artists, movers, and shakers who are consistently under the radar will have the spotlight this day.
One of those artists is hip-hop artist Tobilla.
Tobilla feels forward thinking in his flow and ambiance. The sound of his tunes appease my nighttime loving psyche. There’s a forum on Reddit I’ve been browsing a lot lately titled r/TheNightFeeling. It describes The Night Feeling as this: “the thoughtful feeling you get when you drive alone at night or see a city skyline at dusk with wind in your face.” Tobilla’s sound places me in that mindset.
The self-proclaimed “Artist. Producer. Hipster.” was recently featured in Cloud City co-producer Sam Rothstein’s event Red Summer at the dive bar Hampton’s on King. There’s a secret underground of the underground in Columbus, and it’s home to some really thoughtful music aiming to take your mind someplace new. Tobilla is in this class of artists.
We asked him some questions about Cloud City and life in general. Get to know him better with us:
Tuned Up: The premise of Cloud City is that of a city built by artists. What role in the city government would you serve, if not a musician?
Tobilla: Yeah, I rock with the concept of Cloud City heavy, and if I wasn’t a musician, my role in the city government would be behind the scenes doing promotion & help build on the visual art tip. I’ve always been into art and “building things” even before the music, so that just seems like the perfect lane for me: promoting and bringing the vision to fruition.
Your music is a beverage. What’s in it?
My music as a drink would be similar to one of those relaxation teas, I would think. Actually, it would have to be a whole brand of natural teas that have a relaxation tea with hemp/CBD and an energy inducing tea with hella caffeine, simply because I love tea, and I get that my music is pretty versatile so there’s really no telling what vibe I’m going for each song. I can make a chill song one day then make some turnt shit the next.
What aspect of Cloud City are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to see the performances, we have a lot of dope artists on the bill that I know it’s going to be crazy. I also can’t wait to get some pictures, and I’m probably going to check out everything for real, because to me art is a whole umbrella of different aspects I fuck with that I feel Cloud City will do a good job at showcasing them all, so I’m pretty much stoked for it all honestly. Gaming, comedy, fashion—sounds like my utopia to me.
2019 has seen many amazing releases. What has been on repeat for you from this year?
This year I’ve been rocking with that Earl Sweatshirt Some Rap Songs album, Pierre Bourne’s TLOP4 album, and some various indie acts like The Japanese House. Really, I’ve been diving into a lot of new music, but those albums are really resonating.
What defunct band do you want to reunite?
Yo that’s funny you ask that. I’ve been rocking with this band called “Blocc Party” since my emo days, and they just came out with a live version of my favorite album of theirs called Silent Alarm. So I’m pretty stoked on that, but if we’re talking defunct to this day, I think I would want some more of this alternative band, or duo, Nine Pound Shadow. They came out with this amazing EP in 2017 and just vanished. Definitely want to hear them again.
What is your hot spot in Columbus? Why?
My favorite spot in Columbus has probably got to be 400 West Rich & Chromedge Photo Lab, because there’s so many dope events over there, and I’ve met a couple handfuls amount of great people who either performed, showcased art, or just also enjoy that creative space that lets us creatives do what we do best for the city to see.
What posture or circumstance most inspires your creativity?
I can’t really pinpoint a specific posture or circumstance, so I will just say life in general. Inspiration comes in the most random times for me, and any mood of mine can spark creativity. I’ve made songs in dark times, and I’ve made songs when I was happy. It’s really just the life events and people who are in my life that give me that “spark” based on my interpretations on real life situations and people. Always have to keep it genuine.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
It’s crazy, I’m actually not an ice cream type of guy. I’m more so a fan of slushees of all flavors. If I had to choose one ice cream flavor though I will always go to cookie dough, and they have to have some cookie bites in there too. Other than that, give me an ICEE, and I will be set!
Cloud City 614 takes place on September 7th at 400 West Rich in Columbus, OH. A lineup for the music performances can be seen below. See more information and tickets here.