Exclusive Interview: Big Tobz – “when people talk about my music, I always hear that it’s a feel-good vibe”

Big Tobz chats to RWD about his debut album 'Issa Vibe'

Denzil Bell

4 months ago

By Denzil Bell

Big Tobz first came through with his infectious breakthrough hit, ‘Uno My Style’, which took over the streets in 2015 and ever since, he has been gifting us with banger after banger.

But that was not enough for Big Tobz, he wanted us to know the real Tobz and that’s exactly what he’s done with his debut album Issa Vibe. The name came about while he was making the various riddims and being that it’s his latest project since 2018’s Still Winning, he made sure to put the same winning mentality into this tape, as he felt this was owed to his dedicated fanbase.

His other aim with this album was to go on tour with it, but unfortunately the Coronavirus has put that plan on hold. But for now you can delve into our exclusive interview with Big Tobz to get to know more about the Walthamstow representer!

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Why the name ‘Issa Vibe’ for the album?

That’s the theme I went for with this project, I feel like every song I made for the album is a vibe in its own way. When most people talk about my music, I always hear that it’s a feel-good vibe, so I thought it would be a good way to coin the tape.

The Dizzee Rascal collab is a big one, how did that come about?

This link up was deeper than music for me. It was deeper that streams and views, as I made a song with someone that I literally grew up listening to and watching on Channel U. So with making a tune with Dizzee, I’ve ticked something off my list as a musician.

You also have the Cadet tribute which is fitting as he has his debut album coming, why did you choose that as the album outro?

Every time I do a project, I always like to end it with something meaningful. To be honest I wasn’t even planning to do that song, but his passing really touched me, so I went to the studio and put all my emotions onto the track. When it was done, I just felt that I had to pay homage to my guy, so I made it the album closer.

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Quick Fire Five

‘Smoke’ or ‘Uno My Style’?

‘Uno My Style’; that’s what made me, that track truly gave me the through ball into the game. If it weren’t for that one, I don’t think I’d be here today.

Since you can do both – drill or Afroswing?

Ouuu, that’s a tough one, but I’m going to go with Afroswing. The reason I say that is because in terms of my worldwide audience I feel like they vibe to Afroswing more. But then when I do drill, that’s a lot of fun for me, because I came from the grime era; so in a similar way I get to spit fast, come with different flows and deliver hard punchlines.

#Winning or Issa Vibe?

‘Issa Vibe’, 100%. ‘#Winning’ is a good EP, but with ‘Issa Vibe’ I put a lot more of me into it.

Jollof rice with stew or Egusi soup with eba?

Jollof rice with stew man, I’m a Jollof guy. I can eat that everyday bro.

You’ve got one last feature spot on the deluxe of Issa Vibe – are you picking Steff London or Ms Banks?

Steff London, because number one, Ms Banks is already on the tape and number two, I’ve always wanted to work with Steff again since she done the ‘Uno My Style’ remix. I feel like we would make a banger, my vibe and her vibe together would be crazy!

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Follow the artist’s journey: Big Tobz

Interview by Denzil Bell