Tobias Muhafidin on the Duty to Growth
Australian musician Tobias is, according to his Instagram bio, “ur mom’s favourite rapper.”
With a style somewhere between 2014 Tumblr grunge and 2020 Gen Z e-boy, Tobias’ fashion sense alone would be enough to make him stand out. But his talent and dedication to his craft are admirable for someone so young, and make his work that much more noteworthy.
At just 21 years old, Tobias believes that to be young is to be in a position for simultaneous personal growth and contribution to the world.
“It’s always the case that the youth now will be the ones in charge later. It’s our duty to learn and grow so that when we can be in those positions where we’re making the big moves, we move big,” Tobias said.
On December 4, Tobias released his latest single “Rockets.” The single is about a relationship that feels right instantly but is moving fast. “Rockets” originally wasn’t even a Tobias song; producer Kye Grant reached out to Tobias in 2019 to work with him on the track, and Tobias has since made it his own.
“The demo track was actually just called “Stars,” so I wrote around that title,” Tobias said. “A few months went by after we’d finished and Kye was moving into a different sound, so I asked for the song.”
Tobias released an album in 2018 and has since released several singles in addition to “Rockets,” as well as a “(Stripped Back)” EP featuring alternate versions of recent singles.
Though Tobias continued to release music this year and remained active on social media, the turbulence of 2020 has changed him majorly while providing an escape from burn out.
“A lot of things personally switched up on me in 2020 but adding the whole COVID-19 thing made the year a super weird one. I think I learned a lot about how I function on my own this year as well as the importance of being on my own.”
As soon as it’s safe to do so, Tobias wants to jump back into live performances – a reality that may come sooner than later in his home of Perth, Australia. Perth is nearing a post-COVID world as cases continue to diminish, meaning concerts and touching people are in sight.
“If anyone had seen me live you’d know it’s where I thrive, so I can’t wait to get back on stage. Hopefully, that means a tour soon as well. Fingers crossed!”
Tobias’ music is influenced by artists from various genres and eras, including Michael Jackson, Chance the Rapper, and Childish Gambino, according to his Spotify profile. However, he draws inspiration for his work from all areas of the arts; Tobias has dabbled in acting and attended the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) after high school.
“Anything to do with the arts has always intrigued me. I write and direct all my videos and sometimes edit them too. The idea of my art being cathartic for people in any form is always something that I’ve strived for!”
The Australian artist is slowly defining his sound, but his music has already reached thousands of streams on Spotify. His style is one that exists on its own plane, but nevertheless, one that is universal. Tobias’ music resonates with everyone who appreciates innovation and uniqueness, and soon enough, his songs will find a permanent place in your playlists.
Tobias tapes every performance and analyzes it for mistakes and things to improve upon. His opinions on failure are similar to his outlook on what it means to be young: there is always room for growth.
“Every success and every failure is a step closer to where you need to be, so as long as I am making steps I’ve got to be grateful, or at least try to be.”
This story appears on the December 20 issue of Mud, "Lisztomania." You can purchase a digital and print copy here.