Emerging on to the music scene as if shot from a cannon, Torii Wolf is a Singer/Songwriter from Wantagh, New York, who has just released her solo debut album ”Flow Riiot”. Released via DJ Premier’s TTT (To The Top) imprint, the iconic producer helms the album almost entirely, serving as the executive producer. With additional production from the likes of King Of Chill, AraabMuzik & Mike Zombie, the project also features a guest appearance from Macklemore.
Described as having “a bit of a dichotomy going on” by Tracy G on Sway in the Morning, Torii Wolf rocks tattoos with a mohawk, a very edgy and raw look and style, which is a complete contrast to her delivery, her soft, sultry yet raspy voice and vocal range. “Torii has such a weird, wicked style.” DJ Premier explains. “It’s just very left field-reminiscent of Bjork. She is just very unique and versatile; she writes, sings, is an accomplished guitarist and drummer. But image wise, there are no comparisons. Subject matter wise, Torii is in a whole different place. Torii is truly one of a kind.”
‘Free’, one of several singles released off of the album, features Macklemore and DJ Premier, with production from King Of Chill. A special song to Torii, this is relatable song that details the battle that many of us face, to find our own identity and be ourselves, to be comfortable in our own skin and with who we are. Torii provides strong and bold, but yet comforting and warming vocals, delivering quite an anthemic chorus. Macklemore lends a fluent, sharp-flowing verse to the song, detailing his struggle and fight for freedom on earth, and to be his authentic self.
Just one of many songs that touches upon raw, sensitive topics, ‘Pain Killer’ is the latest single to release a visual, compelling and powerful just as the song is. Produced by Mike Zombie (of Drake’s “Started From The Bottom”& DJ Khaled’s “They Don’t Love You No More” featuring Jay-Z, French Montana, Meek Mill & Rick Ross fame), Torii’s soft, raspy vocals creep along on the mellow, melodic piano keys, electronic screeches of angst and ambience. The lyrics explore what it is like to go through substance abuse, depending on drugs and the high you get. This applies to people and the way some relationships feel. With a double meaning to the song, Torii’s vocals definitely convey the pain and hurt that would be associated with such situations, both mentally and physically. Torii revisits love themes on “I’d Wait Forever And A Day”, professing her “undying love” on “lush instrumentation” by The Badder Band, recruited by DJ Premier. The Jazz/Blues influenced production consists of easing piano keys and saxophone, with her vocals soaring over the instrumental, singing about heartbreak., truly showcasing her sultry musicality.
Premier injects his vast styles and influences, ranging from Hip Hop to Jazz, Funk and Soul in to the album’s production. ‘Meant To Be’ features rhythmic Funk-influenced synths, yet is so smooth and calming. Torii’s vocals are just so harmonious. Premier uses vocal soundbytes, in the same vain as some of his own Hip Hop classics, invoking his Hip Hop roots. ‘Big Big Trouble’ is a huge single or Torii, which was one of the songs to have a music video. With Preemo on the scratches and production, this is a grandioso and orchestral, yet heavy-stomping Hip Hop-inspired song, featuring strong, angelic-like vocals from Torii, as she explains about the video and song, “It was really important to visually emulate the juxtaposition of love and lust in an animalistic way . . . The way that a female spider eats their lover is similar to the feeling of being lustfully consumed by another human.”
Production from King Of Chill literally has that Monday vibe, as Torii sings over a sauntering beat, with her soulful vocal range, stating that she has things that she needs to figure out, yet would rather it waited until the start of the week, perhaps to chill over the weekend. ‘Shadows Crawl’ has been described as “quintessential Preem, dirty boom-bap”, with glistening piano keys creating a restless yet hypnotic vibe to a song that delves in to the singer’s insomnia and battle to unplug. ‘Nobody Around’ features sweet vocals from Torii over an infectious production from Preemo, consisting of plucky guitar strings and unwavering maracas, as she talks of and describes, in great detail, a desolate place that just her and her love can be. Torii “spins out of control over the whirlwind of horns and drum orchestration” on ‘You’re Not There’ and ‘Where We Belong’, before arriving in ‘Moscow’, produced by Torii Wolf herself. Soft guitar strings and light, sporadic drums accompany the emotive vocals and lyrics, as she pines for company and to be taken where ever her love goes. Her vocal range is incredulous.
As a whole, DJ Premier has overseen a masterpiece here, directing a project that both he and Torii Wolf have crafted together. A roller-coaster emotions and feelings are expressed through Torii’s voice and the production and instrumentation, both combining for some powerful and moving music.
Preemo has produced for several Singer/Songwriters, including D’Angelo, Janet Jackson, Anderson .Paak, Macy Gray, Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera (which his work won a Grammy for). With a distinguished sound, a “hallmark of positive and advanced music”, Produced By DJ Premier are four words that have become “synonymous with the cornerstone of hip-hop’s sound”. Grammy’s, Platinum & Gold plaques have undoubtedly earned him iconic status within the music industry let alone the Hip Hop scene.
What stands out with Torii Wolf’s debut project is that never before has Preemo took the reigns, for all the iconic female artists that he has collaborated with, this is his first outing serving as executive producer and producing the bulk of the material. It may seem that Torii Wolf has both caught Preemo’s attention and earned his respect . . . and that takes a lot!
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