Toro Y Moi the stage name of Chaz Bundick aka Chaz Bear an American singer, songwriter, music producer, and graphic designer, originally from Columbia, South Carolina (USA), started his music career as a bedroom producer in 2001. Growing up Chaz had been influenced by sounds of funk, soul and new wave, which played an important role in shaping the holistic musical approach he would adopt on his musical style. Despite recording music on his own, Chaz played in various bands, constantly striving to experiment with new sounds and musical arrangements, to not be seen as a one trick pony.
Watch Toro Y Moi’s – Still Sound (Official Music Video)
Toro Y Moi had been one of the first artists to be called chillwave, based on the funky old school sound, which honestly made me think, if Daft Punk and Jamiroquai had a child, Chaz would be their son. Even though Chaz played in a few bands, his break would come from the Toro Y Moi recordings which caught the attention of Carpark Records, releasing the single “Blessa”/”109” in 2009 under the new record label. His debut album under Carpark records titled Causers Of This was officially released in 2010, and solidified his dreamy chillwave, lo-fi sound, receiving lots of press coverage, along with some high profile fans which included the likes of Kanye West.
The follow up album titled Underneath the Pine (2011), would see Chaz adopt a different approach, in comparison to the sample filled Causers Of This, by using real instruments and disco influences to shape the new offering. Just when you thought it was time for a break, think again, Chaz got back on the creative process and released the Freaking Out EP that same year, migrating to a more disco dance floor dream pop sound. This offering would essentially display his creative range as an artist, and prove to critics that he could not be boxed into a specific style.
Watch Toro Y Moi – New Beat (Official Music Video)
After the release of the Freaking Out EP, Chaz made the move to Berkley, California in 2012 and based on the move, you could hear the sound reflect the change in location, which resembled a more emotional melancholy vibe to it. In 2013 he released the follow up album titled Anything In Return and completely shifted the sound to a synth-pop dance funky vibe with 2014’s Michael offering under the alias of Les Sins. Michael would be the first release on Chaz’s record label Company, which he co-ran with Carpark records. The 2015 album release ‘What For?’ featured collaborations with Unkown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruben Nielson and guitarist Julian Lynch, which resulted in a guitar heavy pop sound.
Watch Toro Y Moi – Rose Quartz (Official Music Video)
When the time came to hit the road and go on tour, he brought along a live band, and decided to film one of their shows, releasing the Live from Trona concert in 2016. After all the experimentation, it was time for some changes, which led to the rise of him changing his name to Chaz Bear and revert to the dreamy ambient chillwave sound that fans had become accustomed to. The follow up to 2017’s Toro y Rome Vol. 1 , a five track EP in collaboration with Philadelphia rapper Rome Fortune, he released his sixth album Outer Peace early in 2019. The offering on this album displayed a strong funky sound, with the songs bringing across elements that made you think of Daft Punk, whilst still having that ambient synth-pop vibe to it. The new album is already blowing up and finally seems to be getting the exposure he deserves, recently performing his hit song Ordinary Pleasure on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. So to not stall, I would definitely recommend you add Toro Y Moi to your music playlist, before your ‘FOMO’ becomes a reality!
Watch Toro Y Moi’s ‘Ordinary Pleasure’ from the new album ‘Outer Peace’ (2019)
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