A.R TOKIN Interview with Muzique Magazine
How did you come by your stage name?
As you know most hip-hop artists don’t keep the name they started with and my original name was Adro or Dro, Im sure you can guess why that is. So being that I have always been known for let’s say smoking weed plus I have had a love for fantasy since I was a kid J.R.R Tolkin was my favorite author and Lord of the Rings got me into reading, which eventually led to me writing my own stories and eventually the music people are listening to now. SO A.R Tokin it was.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
You know when I first started rapping it was something really that was just to be a part of what my friends were doing. When I was down and out and had nobody, I always had my boy Dutchy look out for me and I had a spot to crash even if that was the floor. Well, more often than not that floor next to the microphone.
I wrote and made songs for years through all kinds of drug use and bad choices. Music has really been the only thing that makes any sense to me and at a certain point, it became all I did and all I was. I kind of morphed into what I am today because I realized that I couldn’t stand corporate America and I wanted to live a life of Art and expression for a living.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
I think that any artist would say that everything inspires them in a way. My sense of style comes from everywhere I have ever been every song I have ever heard and every person I have ever met because at the end of the day we all influence one another and inspire each other. I really admire independent artists that came up on their own like Tech Nine Eminem and Caskey. The day you stop mimicking other artists is the day you create your own art.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
I will talk about Cyber Cipher for this. I have to give a shout-out right here to my producer E.P Beats. The unique sound that I have and the amazing beats that people love so much are created by this guy. I am inspired by the beats he crafts which are art in their own right. The energy of this beat made me feel the energy of the come-up. Never Quit and never give up. It just had that upbeat futuristic vibe that gets you amped. I design my own cover art as well.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
The greatest challenge I have had really is not coming from money or support and kind of being on my own most of my life. It was hard to build anything. It wasn’t until I got married to my wife Vanessa and we had a family that I really started to get on my grind.
My youngest has had some behavioral challenges that forced me to find another way to provide and take care of my family. In order to make music and take care of my family with no support, I have had to become skilled in many different areas. Stoicism has become my philosophy and I welcome struggles and challenges instead of running away.
I got off drugs, and cigs, and quit drinking without meetings or any help besides my own willpower. Just had my 1-year sober day on April 10th and got a neck tattoo at Tiger Tattoo in Spokane by Duffy to celebrate.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
There is no one in the Universe better than me at what I do. Because what I do, Is do me. I don’t try and be anyone else or try to imitate someone’s style, that’s them you know? For like I got mad respect for a lot of other artists and I don’t see them as competition because I am not trying to be them or take anyone’s SPOT.
That is the old way things are done. I and everyone I represent are on a whole different mission altogether. I want all my people to shine you feel me! I love what I do, I love music with a passion and I love anyone’s music that comes from the heart too. The more Real artist out there working together and showing love the better everyone feels and the better the music is. One love all day.
What are your plans for the near future?
I have a lot of plans for the near future. I am going to be shooting a music video here soon for my breakout Hit Cyber Cipher. This will be my first REAL music video and I’m stoked to work on this aspect of the art. I also have a couple of Albums in the works and I’m just waiting for my fans to ask me for them in the meantime I keep dropping these singles.
I am also working on an E.P with another talented artist in Germany FS or Finest Skills. I also have a book about my life in the works that will have details about the crazy adventures that I have had traveling the country. I am also going to be on a podcast on Dark User Radio with Bud Dahmer.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shoutouts?
First of all, I got to shout out to God. You know there is no way I could have survived all the things I’ve been through without putting my faith in him. I don’t claim any religion. I just know God has my back regardless. My wife Vanessa for always supporting my dreams and having my back. My kids Peyton, Naomi, and Asher.
They are the reason I work so hard to be great. So, I can show them anything is possible if you work hard and have faith. My producer of course E.P Beats the magic behind my music. Dutch, Muchino, and KayC my MAD Verbal Crew. Matt Warren, Grayson Powell, Tyrone Smith, Brit, and Blake my old High School peeps.
Kevin Stone and Derick Acker are true friends and solid people to the core. These are the solid people that kept me together over the years when I would have fallen apart. At some point, each one of these people was there for me. A couple of people not here I would like to shout out are my boys Forest and Shane, they both loved music and I carry them with me.
Oh, yea I cant forget Kevin Barber who is a super motivational guy trying to help people with mental health issues and really just help people in general. Last but not least all the members of Scribes of Avalon out there Codex Scrolls, Ramsus Destructo, and everyone else!
How can fans find you?
I have a link that takes you to all of my platforms. hyperfollow.com/artokin
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
My suggestion for artists like myself is don’t listen to haters. Don’t listen to anyone if you know in your heart you are supposed to do something then give it all you got. Don’t live a mundane life trying to copy people. Be yourself, figure out who you are, and find people that like you for who you are. If you are being yourself and people don’t like you.
Don’t change who you are, change your friends. Don’t use drugs to find your identity or you will only get more lost. Be introspective and don’t be afraid to change things about yourself that aren’t benefitting you.
Don’t hold on to things that people have done to you, Forgiveness leads to healing and allows you to grow from your hardships instead of staying stuck. Work Hard and Work Smart because you need to do both if you really want to get somewhere in this life.