Big Toast on His Influences, Crusts 2 & More [Interview] [Exclusive] [@BigToastTPS]
Underground UK Hip Hop emcee, Big Toast, recently released his latest free download mixtape, Crusts 2: Work Is Soul Rape, which features 13 original tracks and features from the likes of Just P & Gramma K, alongside others.
After being informed about the release, we at Black Budget Ent decided to get at the man himself, for a text based interview about his influences, the mixtape and more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m Big Toast AKA Toast Based Dinners and I’m a third of TPS Fam. I’ve just released a second solo EP from a series of releases I’m doing called Crusts.
What made you choose the name?
The Toast thing started as an alias when I was working on a project with Hermit the Slob and Cracker Jon called Only Built 4 Croydon Linx. Back then I was still using Sparks as a nickname and that became Tony Sparks which then became Toast Based Dinners. Was a joke thing at first but it stuck.
What, if any, are the main influences for you when writing your music?
I’m influenced by a lot of things. The track What’s He Gonna Do was inspired by being bored out my mind at work. Actually that inspires a lot of my tracks! Where I work I’m not encouraged to use my brain for much of the day so I like to drift off and escape into my own little world for as much of it as I can. There’s a bar in my intro track on the mixtape that says about me being called to a meeting at work cos the boss sees me daydreaming all day. That’s all true. I had some bullshit one to one meeting with my manager and the twat just went on about how I was only there physically and my mind was clearly not focused on the job!
Apart from that I’m inspired by ciphering. If I’m in a cypher and don’t feel like I was the best in there then I go home and start writing something that will make sure I’m best next time!
At what age did you first decide to make Hip Hop music?
I was probably about 18. I’d done a bit of MCing on other stuff before, typical bullshit nonsensical basic rhymes. I had always been into Hip Hop but I started getting into it a bit deeper around that age. Around that time there was some really good UK Hip Hop coming out so I started copying everyone else like a proper toy cunt! I didn’t really find my own voice or style for a bit after that.
What is the main theme behind your current release?
As the name suggests one of the issues discussed is having a shit job. I could try dress it up as something more clever like representing the working man against the government and all that shit but really its just me speaking about my daily life. Its not all moaning about shit though. I try not to make depressing music cos I know my situation isn’t that bad. I try to keep it reasonably light and hope that people can relate. There’s a couple of different concepts on there though and a load of classic Hip Hop bangers as well.
How long have you been working on your current project?
Its been on the go since about January. For about 3 or 4 months I was making a lot of music, some was a bit shit and got cut, the rest is on this mixtape. I was writing all day at work on my phone or sending myself emails of new bars! I’m blessed with some insanely good producers in the crew so I’ve had loads of new beats to write to.
Who features on production for your current project?
I actually did one beat. Its by far my least favourite on the project though! I got the rest of the beats off the other 2 thirds of TPS, Jack Diggs and The Strange Neighbour, my boy Hermit the Slob, Oliver Sudden, Shroomz, a sick cunt from Perth in Australia and a Swiss producer called Boola. I’d planned not to use a load of different people on it cos I like having a continuous sound but I just like the beats so thought fuck it!
Have you got any other promotion in place?
Mainly just doing shows and spamming people on Facebook! Hopefully should have a few reviews coming soon. That’s only promotion if the reviews are good I guess but I’m confident that everyone will declare me the new Jesus on the basis of my musical talents so that will hopefully persuade a few people to check it. So far the feedback has been good so fingers crossed. If people enjoy it I’d like to think they’ll tell their mates and spread the word.
Have you performed at many live shows and what kind of a reaction do you get?
Been quite busy this summer with shows. Doing a show up in Shrewsbury next week. Then Boom Bap Festival and the week after that its Mischief Festival. Already done 3 festivals in the last 5 weeks so it has been a big year for me and TPS. Shouts to Sika Studios for putting us on that! The reaction is generally pretty good. Its hard getting people to check you if you aren’t one of the known names but TPS shows always go off! I think every promoter who’s booked us once has had us back again within a few months. Been performing round the country for years now so feel a lot more at home on stage. I’m quite a quiet person usually so it didn’t come naturally getting on stage but now I love it! Don’t like going more than a couple weeks without getting up and acting a twat in front of loads of people! We spend a lot of time preparing for live shows. When we started it would be just turn up, drunk out our minds, without even knowing what tracks we were doing! That was stupid because there’s so many acts out there these days that it doesn’t take much to fall behind. I think once you give a bad impression of yourself its hard to change people’s mind. Now even if the jam is crap or there’s no crowd we just smash it as well as we can. Give them 3 or 4 people in the audience the best performance ever and next time they’ll bring a few mates along!!
Have you been on any live radio shows and what do you prefer, radio or live on stage?
Done a few radio shows but none for a little while now. Need to get back on that! Any radio DJs get at me!
If i had to choose between radio stuff and live shows it would have to be the live shit. I like getting an instant reaction. When people get into it you feed off their energy.
Have you featured on any other UK Hip Hop artist’s tracks, if so, who?
I’ve featured on a few bit here and there. Not been as prolific as i could have been. I’ve collaborated with Oliver Sudden, Joey Menza, Ill Move Sporadic and Gramma K recently and might have a few other bits coming soon. I’m also featuring a bit on Jack Digg’s new solo album which is sounding ill as fuck so far! Strange is doing a production thing which I did a track for track with Diggs and Cadalack Ron. That’s proper dope as well. I’ve also got a project out very soon with Omerta which features M.A.B, Menace Mendoza, Tenchoo, Joey Menza again and a few others.
Have you got any videos on-line i.e YouTube, Vimeo etc?
Yeah there’s a few videos I did myself for TPS tracks and solo stuff from Crusts 2 at http://youtube.com/tpsfam. Its all budget as fuck but hopefully people find them entertaining enough! I enjoy making videos, its another creative outlet so don’t really care if its not got Hollywood production values. Its all been a bit basic so far but there’s some more interesting stuff coming very soon. Should be getting a couple videos made properly soon by people who actually do that sort of thing so look out for that!
Have you been featured on any UK broadcasters like SBTV/Link Up TV’s YouTube channels?
Done a couple of cypher type things but haven’t done anything with any of the big names. Should probably get on that because it seems to be working for a lot of other artists at the moment. Not sure if its really my sort of audience though. Some of the cunts I’ve seen on SBTV recently have forced me to unsubscribe. Saw some weird little drag queen goblin kid singing Madonna songs a while back. Good luck to the kid but its not my sort of thing.
What are the plans for the future?
I don’t really plan things. I will keep making music, that’s all I know. If anything comes of it then that’s great. If not I’ll stick to doing my shit job and moaning about it then going out getting smashed and making music at the weekend.
Thanks for your time, is there anyone you would like to shout out?
Yeah shouts to Jack Diggs, The Strange Neighbour, Hermit The Slob, Dowta, Oliver Sudden, Cracker Jon, 2Late, Sika Studios, DJ IsGod, Shroomz, Omar Teknology, Ill Move Sporadic, Al Mighty, 645, DFN, Omerta, all my Park The Blue Bus clowns, anyone who’s supported my music, all the promoters who’ve booked TPS and anyone else who I forgot but feels they deserve a mention for whatever reason.
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