Without a doubt TOR is one of the most aspiring Female MC’s to ever come out of the UK, her sheer determination is evident through every track and her voice is unmistakable. Taking the ranks alongside the UK’s biggest female exports like Ms Dynamite and Lady Sovereign TOR is definitely going to the top and fast.
I recently caught up with the London born MC to catch up on what’s been happening in her life and what else we can expect from her music.
For me you are one of the most consistent Female MC’s the UK has ever had the pleasure of hearing, where do you find your inspiration and determination to push forward?
Tor: Thanks for that, I really appreciate it. I love listening to music that creates a reaction in me, as long as it causes an emotion that’s the type of music I like to make that causes people to react. That inspires me, it can be from any genre like a jazz musician, classical music etc., anything that basically inspires me helps me to inspire other people in my music.
You performed at the Olympics 2012 winner announcement event in Trafalgar Square, what was that like for you? Mind blowing? I mean there were millions of people watching.
Tor: It was a great feeling being part of something so monumental, the feeling of being stood there next to Kelly Holmes and the other Olympic icons and once we knew London had won we were all jumping around like school kids who had just won sports day at school, it was an amazing feeling to perform straight after hearing that.
How would you define your musical style?
Tor: My style is always evolving, always changing. My music is a journey that represents where I am in my life, who I’m hanging with but I am the grounding of it., my voice is the same but my style varies, I like soulful music, roots, jazz, even allot of 90’s rnb.
What projects are you currently working on?
Tor: Beatz In The Capital is a mix tape of tracks from what I know, tracks produced by DJ Wonder, DJ Mentat with a mix of old and new tracks that I have done. Beatz International is music that I have made with producers and artists from all over the world. I am working on a video for a single from Beatz International and working on my debut album.
The compilation CD titled “Beatz International” is due for release in April, what can the fans expect from it?
Tor: Beatz In The Capital is a free mix tape that will be out end of April. It consists of tracks I have made in the past and present here in London. Then Beatz International is a compilation of tracks I made with producers and artists from all over the world. These are both introducing people to me before my debut album comes out.
They can expect a different sound. Beatz In The Capital is definitely about where I am from, and what I represent, whereas Beatz Intern is where I am the rap voice but its not a straight hip hop compilation, it shows how hip hop is made differently around the world. For instance, its got beats from Brazil. The Brazilian’s hip hop is a lot more drums and driven by intricate drums not seen in other countries, there’s an acoustic track with a French guitarist so don't expect a typical UK hip hop album as this is an international album of which I am the UK voice.
You have worked with some highly talented and successful producers over the years including Wonder, Fusion and Destruction, who has influenced you the most?
Tor: DJ Mentat is someone I have learnt a lot from and it helps that we are friends too. I have learnt a lot from an American producer called Oddisee watching him producing tracks. I learned a lot from a lot of people really.
You have had the opportunity to travel far and wide with your talent including to places like Japan and Australia, do you have a big fan following abroad?
Tor: Its getting there.
What are your views on the UK Hip Hop market at present? Who is making themselves seen and heard in a big way?
Tor: Estelle, if she is still UK as she has signed to Johnny Legend. Its a perfect example of how a talented artist who was first signed here ended up having to sign with an American label to make an greater impact on the scene here. She is a good example of perseverance, she’s been around for a long while. She is a prime example that highlights the problem of the UK market, Estelle being the same girl doing the same thing very well, but with a different label taking control of her market.
The Americans have run her through their system of marketing and it has worked. It shows that we are really behind in the way UK market their black people. The best way forward is for us to support each other whereas I think there is so much competition is such a small scene. Being a female in the hip hop world is like we are spoilt, females are used to it being ten boys and one girl, so that when another girl comes out they automatically see that female as their competitor. We need to unite.
“Back On The Endz” was released back in July 07, what response did you get from this release?
Tor: It was a track I had made with DJ Mentat that happened to get released. Its aim was to get the right people talking and it did that.
BBC Radio 1 predicts you will receive a BRIT award in 2010 for best female solo artist, how does that make you feel?
Tor: I feel good about that, something to aim for, really honoured.
What was it like working with Ms Dynamite? Another Female MC one step ahead of the rest.
Tor: Miss Dynamite is one of my favourite MCs. I did a remix with her so it wasn't a full on track, I came in to the studio laid down my 16. Out of all the females I don’t think she was given the credit she deserves. Boo is a track that most dances would play as a key tune. I still listen to her music and bubble to her tracks. She is one of the few artists I can listen to and enjoy, to me enjoyment is a big thing in music.
Tor: Shout to DJ Mentat, Show 'n' Prove, and to everyone else.
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.