About a week ago, Tobey Lynn released her new single titled “Loser.” The song is a mix of grungy guitar and indie pop fused together to create a sound that would fit right in in a coming-of-age movie. Tobey had previously released an EP, party of one” in 2020.
A few days ago, I sat down with Tobey for a Q&A. I learned she’s from the bay area, loves fashion, and goes to flea markets regularly. She is not super outdoorsy, though she wishes she could say she is. Her New Year’s resolution is to read a book a month, and she has not broken it yet. She is currently reading The Seven Wives of Evelyn Hugo, which she is thoroughly enjoying. Currently, she is a TV Writing and Production major in her third year of undergrad. More importantly, we talked about her music, inspirations, her beginnings, and hopes and plans for the future.
FDZ: “Tell me about your background. When did you start making music?”
Tobey: “I started as a dancer when I was five…I was really obsessed with High School Musical. When I was four years old, I watched the first one, and I watched it every single day after that just because I was obsessed with Gabriella, and I loved her singing, and she was also Filipino, and that was my first time seeing that kind of representation.”
She goes on to talk about growing up in a musical household.
“I grew up doing classical piano, and my dad was a punk rock drummer in college. And he, like, smoked cigarettes and had red and blue hair. I've kind of grown up with music. I got injured from dance my freshman year of high school. It kind of put me out of dance for a bit so I was like, okay, I’m going to try to make music, so my brother and I produced together, and we put out my first song, which ended up kind of doing kind of well, so we just kept going.”
We went on to talk about “Loser.”
FDZ: “What was the song’s inspiration?”
Tobey: “It’s kind of an angry song; it’s about being really, really in love with someone and you’re like, kind of calling them names because they’re not reciprocating feelings back to you and you’re like, why don’t you love me back, you’re such a loser. It’s kind of a playful song; it’s grungy and pop-y and I’m really excited and happy with it.”
FDZ: What inspires you to create?
Tobey: “Mostly the things that happen to me. I write a lot about love and heartbreak. Being a teenage girl is always my inspiration, but I’m not a teenage girl anymore, which is sad to say, but the formative years of my life and being an adolescent and being a young girl [is something] I’ve written a lot about.”
FDZ: “Are there any artists or media that you find to be influential to your work?”
Tobey: “I’m obsessed with Olivia Rodrigo. I try not to copy her exact style but I love her. Her whole aesthetic and her music is so inspiring. She’s also Filipino, so just seeing that is really inspirational to me. Also, my favorite artist besides Olivia is Frank Ocean; he just performed at Coachella and I watched the livestream…he was so good. I was crying at it.”
FDZ: “Is there anything coming up that you’re excited for?”
Tobey: “Flower Moon on April 28th! I’ve been playing a lot more shows recently and getting really comfortable with my band, and just getting comfortable connecting with an audience. This is also really tentative, but I think I want to start my second EP with the same producers. That hasn’t been in the works yet, but I really want to start that this summer or upcoming fall.”
FDZ: So you’re a junior. How do you feel going into your senior year?
Tobey: “Scared…but I’m excited! It’s scary to think that a year from now, I’ll be ready to be graduating. I think there will be a lot of opportunities for new music and more shows. It’ll be fun, it’ll be exciting.”
FDZ: “Do you have any milestones you want to talk about accomplishing or that you hope to accomplish?”
Tobey: “My song ‘SUNFLOWER GIRL,’ which I released in high school, is really close to a million streams. I know that numbers don’t always really matter, but to have that number would be really cool because I’ve never had a million of anything.”
She continues to talk about her hopes of traveling with her band and headlining her own tour one day. Opening for more people (like Olivia Rodrigo) is another thing that she is manifesting.
Tobey: “I just recently opened for Alex Page a few weeks ago. She’s an artist I really, really look up to, she’s just so cool. I’m crossing my fingers that I can get a manager soon too.”
FDZ: “Last question. What’s something you would want to say to yourself if you could go back in time to when you started making music?”
Tobey: “Sometimes, I used to write songs with the intention of blowing up or getting popular on Tiktok or getting a viral video. That never worked. If I was writing a song with that intention, it would never do well. I think just being honest and authentic with my song writing, and actually feeling my emotions will benefit me in the future…and also I would say to have fun. It’s not that serious.”
Listen to Tobey's favorite tunes here!
Tobey Lynn will be playing at the Garden Amp on April 28th in the Flower Moon music and arts festival. You can purchase tickets here.
Listen to their latest music HERE