Music

Tsumyoki: Rap & Rhythm

Tsumyoki holding a guitar
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Goan rapper, hip-hop artist, producer and singer-songwriter, Nathan Joseph Mendes aka Tsumyoki, can’t believe how his life has changed after winning the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Indian Local Act in November last year, beating the likes of Divine, Mali, When Chai Met Toast and Dee MC. He won the award for his song It’s Alright featuring Prophet Joegus. It would have been a proud moment for Tsumyoki to be at the 2023 MTV EMAs on 5th November in Paris, France, but due to the Israel-Hamas war, the event was cancelled.

From White Tee in 2019 to Daboij in 2021, an album from which the single Jackets made waves and got a great response from his growing fan base, to 2021 with his debut EP Way Too Messy, it is apparent that Tsumyoki (pronounced sue-ma-yoki), or simply Yoki, is an artist who is manifesting good music. Apart from his solo music, Tsumyoki is also one of the founding members of Goa Trap Culture (GTC) or GTC Crew. The band, best known for the album Daboij, includes artists Elttwo, 2jaym and Kidd Mange.

In June 2023, the 22-year-old released his fourth project A Message from The Moon. Tsumyoki was featured on Goan Insider’s 50 Most Influential People list two years ago. The Margao lad, who also plays the piano, guitar and ukulele, has been performing all over the country and has made a name for himself on the music circuit, gaining fans wherever he goes.

VERUS FERREIRA spoke with Tsumyoki about his new album, A Message From The Moon, and his musical journey.

How does it feel to win an MTV EMA?
It’s an indescribable feeling and a sign that my hard work is paying off. My mom started crying, and the fact that I was able to make her so proud of me will be one of my greatest achievements. It feels really good.

What qualities do you think put you on the top of other Indian rappers/hip-hop artists and made you what you are today?
My sound is very different and I’m very versatile. I go to very different genres and don’t hold myself back with regards to anything.

Cover of the January 2024 issue of The Teenager Today featuring the students of St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai

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Verus Ferreira is a music journalist for over three decades. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book and the founder of Musicunplugged.in

Verus Ferreira

Verus Ferreira is a music journalist for over three decades. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book and the founder of Musicunplugged.in