Torii Wolf has emerged onto the music scene as if she was shot out of a cannon. The singer/songwriter from Wantagh, New York who traded coasts-bouncing around West Coast cities and in doing so enhanced herself artistically; shunning categories, genres, confinement and convention.
Thanks to her sultry voice, range and musicality, Torii has enjoyed a precipitous rise. Leading up to her solo-debut, Torii has already premiered music with Pitchfork, Complex, Pigeons & Planes, Mass Appeal, Vibe & Okayplayer and been tapped for Vevo’s “dscvr” series (past alumni include Sam Smith, Alessia Cara, Tove Lo, Hozier & DNCE).
With an iconic producer who has a habit of producing and contributing to classic projects manning the boards, Torii Wolf & DJ Premier’s forthcoming collaborative union bum-rushes the walls of genres, age and expectations to let the world know a Flow Riiot is upon us.
“Produced By DJ Premier.” From Gang Starr, The Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Nas, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Mos Def, Common, Mac Miller, Snoop Dogg, Cee-Lo Green, The Game, KRS-One, Ludacris, Joey Bada$$ and his most recent vehicle; PRhyme (with Royce 5’9”); over the course of twenty-five trendsetting years, those four words have become synonymous with the cornerstone of hip-hop’s sound.
However, “Preemo” as he’s affectionately known, has always been a conduit for artists of all genres to affix their lyrics to his complex rhythms—D’Angelo, Janet Jackson, Miguel, Anderson .Paak, Lion Babe, Macy Gray, Neneh Cherry, Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera (which his work won a Grammy for) to name just a few. Throughout it all; Grammy’s, Platinum & Gold plaques, undeniable icon status, Premier has orchestrated a sound that remains a hallmark of positive and advanced music.
While Preem has previously collaborated with fellow iconic female artists, in none of the aforementioned examples has he taken the reigns to not only produce the bulk of the material, but too also serve as executive producer. With a resume like Premier’s it takes a lot to get his attention—and perhaps more importantly; his respect.
Flow Riiot’s anthemic lead-single “Free” tackles the battle we face every day to be our authentic selves and a reminder that our freedom comes from within and how we hold the key to how “Free” we really are. “Free” features Macklemore, who makes the lone guest appearance on Flow Riiot and the single was exclusively premiered by Complex.
“When we had our first meeting to compile which songs were going to make the album, King Of Chill plays this track that I hadn’t heard” DJ Premier stated to Complex. “It was only a beat and Torii was singing a line from The Police’s “Voices Inside My Head.” I asked both of them; why have I never heard this? It needed lyrics, but we removed the hook because I wanted to scratch on it. Torii came back to the studio, wrote and recorded her vocals and she decided to call it “Free.” I was instantly hooked on this being one of the single releases from the album.”
The tracks topic matter holds very special meaning to Torii as well, as she expressed to Complex. “Free” is a special tune. It’s very relatable. True freedom comes from within; it’s the battle we face each day with our own identity. Having the confidence to be comfortable in our skin and with who we are; and being our true authentic selves. I find the content of someone else’s mind most attractive. Feeling free in my gender fluidity and the way I connect with other humans is vital to my being. To feel safe in outwardly expressing what it is that ignites a spark in me can be very challenging in the society we live in. However, it’s only harder when I try and resist it. It feels very important for me to lead by example in sharing with others how we are in control of our own destiny. To be in touch with ourselves in knowing what we want, who we are and what feels good is such a gift. It radiates and it is very liberating. Allowing your spirit to shine can be contagious and that freedom from within is the light that we all need. I’d also like to mention how without even getting to in-depth with him conceptually, Macklemore’s verse fell so in line with the feel so organically. Ben’s words are so dope and I feel so grateful to hold space for them on this record. “my spar partner is the devil, but I train with God” and “as long as I’m me, then you know that I’m free”; are such incredible lines that truly resonate.”
Torii Wolf’s debut solo-debut, Flow Riiot, will be released on 9-29-17 via DJ Premier’s TTT (To The Top) imprint.
Listen to Torii Wolf featuring Macklemore & DJ Premier “Free” (Produced by King Of Chill) below.]
© 2017, Niyah Nel. All rights reserved.