We recently caught up with Tooji (Norway 2012) to discuss his Eurovision days, the release of his new single “Rebels”, his personal life and future plans.
“Rebels”, Tooji’s first single was recently released and is said to be “representing a new depth of Tooji both musically and visually.” According to Tooji’s label, “Rebels” Creates a dark pop landscape with artistic visuals, where electronic elements meets Native American influence. It is produced by Swedish hit maker Chris Wahle.
Hi Tooji, what inspired you to release your new single “Rebels”? What is the story behind the new single? What kind of audience are you targeting with it?
I am not targeting an audience. I am just sharing and letting people know who I am. Without a format, just straight from my heart. Both musically and visually. “Rebels” is about facing our shadow side. Going back to our essence and true flame.
How would you describe your next Album? When will it be released?
The album is still in the making, and I will base the first songs single wise.
Is a tour planned? What is your dream venue to perform at?
Everything is in a very early phase yet, but talking about dreaming… O2?
Looking back at it, how would you describe your Eurovision experience? What was your highlight? What did you learn from it? Are you still in touch with some Eurovision artists?
It was a very strong emotional experience, and a intense course in how to work in a team, handle media and deal with the pressure of being a representative. The biggest experience was to see my auntie after 13 years in Baku. I’m not in touch with any of the artists, but I still meet up and hang with my dancers.
What are you favorite Eurovision songs of all time? If you had to cover one Eurovision song for your next album, what would it be?
I’m more into the oldies, so I would say “L’amour est bleu“.
If you had to choose one Eurovision artist to sing a duet with, who would it be? One non-Eurovision artist?
I would definitely love to do a duet/co with The Hurts. Their level of musical understanding is genius.
If you hadn’t been performing, what would you have been doing instead?
Designing, and working with children. Creativity is a force within me that has to come out in one way or another.
Grammy, Oscar, Tony, Eurovision winner; if you had to choose one title, what would it be? Why?
Grammy. None of the others are something I am striving for. Eurovision was a chance for me to make a start in my own country. Coming to Baku was a huge bonus. I am ever so grateful for the opportunity, the new friends/fans, and the blessing of experiencing such an amazing system.
Growing up, which artists/people inspired and influenced you? Why?
Gwen Stefani: “What you waiting for”, mix of Japan’s Shuku culture and amazing pop.
Madonna: “Frozen” mixed the dark tribal essence with pop. Left me mesmerized.
Nirvana: Suicidal & 16. Perfect match.
What are the top 3 most played songs on your playlist?
Devendra Banhart: “Lazy Butterfly”
Shivaree: “Goodnight Moon”
Iggy Azelea: “Work”
If you could change one thing in the world with your music, what would it be?
Empathy. Bring more Empathy into our actions.
Are you single? 😉 (Many of our readers would like to know that…any scoops?)
Yeah, love life has never worked out for me. So that up on the shelf for the moment. Maybe someone will capture my heart one day…
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Doing music internationally on a high level, and working on big projects, both within creative fields and within children’s rights.
Tooji’s “Rebels” can be purchased on iTunes (for most locations).