Raised in Chicago, Illinois, Towkio is a hip-hop performance artist and rapper. Along with Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper and Joey Purp – among others – Towkio is a member of the SaveMoney collective, a rap crew. However, Towkio is also well known for his solo work, which includes both recordings in his own name, and tour dates. Born in 1993 as Preston Oshita, Towkio started performing in 2012 under his stage name. The son of a Mexican mother and Japanese father, Towkio sometimes uses the alias Tokyo Shawn.
Towkio's early career
Towkio first came to the public's attention in 2012. He released an EP called Community Service, with the producer, Mojek. This was a collaborative work and was soon followed by Towkio appearing on the album Light by Kami de Chukwu. Kami's song, “Scrapemoney”, featured Towkio's rapping and led to the performer getting involved with the SaveMoney collective. A further ensemble release followed in 2013 and featured many of the SaveMoney crew. Entitled Mafioso, Towkio featured on two songs; “She's the Type” and “Steamer”. These releases helped to bring Towkio's rapping style and lyricism to a wider audience in the Illinois area and further afield. The following year, Towkio put out a second EP under his own name. Called Hot Chips 'n' Chop Stix, it was produced by A Billion Young.
In 2015, Towkio focused on a new release, .Wav Theory. Officially a mixtape, it included guest appearances from Leather Corduroys, Chance the Rapper, Lido and Vic Mensa. The track “Free Your Mind” also included the musicianship of Donnie Trumpet. Towkio acted as a producer on many of the tracks. It made the Chicago Tribune's 'Top 10 Chicago Indie Albums of 2015' and was named as one of Complex magazine's 'Best Albums of 2015'. The success of the album caused HipHopDX, an influential hip-hop review website, to count Towkio as one of their 'Top Eight Rising Stars' for that year.
In 2016, Chance the Rapper put out his much-lauded mixtape, Coloring Book. Towkio featured on it, alongside Justin Bieber on the track “Juke Jam”. Both performers received writing credits for the song. That year also saw a new EP being released by the rapper, a follow-up to his first. Community Service 2 featured some adventurous rapping and fuzzed-out back beats. Towkio cited Lil Wayne and Kanye West as influences on his style at this time.
Similar artists to Towkio
Epic events and incredible deals straight to your inbox.