Torii Wolf released ‘Flow Riiot’ September 29. ‘Flow Riiot’ is actually an anagram of Torii’s name, which fits the album perfectly. Torii’s aim was creating a new genre and riot of sounds, and she definitely succeeded in doing so.
RESPECT.: Where are you from?
Torii: I’m from Long Island, New York originally– Wantagh/Jones Beach.
RESPECT.: How do you like it there?
Torii: I love it, it’s where I started living. But I don’t live there anymore, I live in Los Angeles now.
RESPECT.: How was that transition?
Torii: It was good, I feel like as long as you stay open and go with the flow of things– it doesn’t hurt so badly. And it’s just the way that the wind took me. I went west when I was 17.
RESPECT.: Wow, that was a big transition for a 17 year old. Do you feel like you were prepared?
Torii: Yeah, I mean– I don’t know I’m never really prepared necessarily but over time I realized that you never have to get ready if you stay ready. I’ve always kind of got my bag at the door; packed and ready to go.
RESPECT.: How long have you been singing?
Torii: I guess I’ve always been singing– as soon as I got out of my mom’s body I’ve been singing I’m pretty sure. But to the point where I actually started taking it seriously in the way of a career, I would probably say 2007: When I decided to start really writing songs and performing live.
RESPECT.: Have you ever been a part of any type of choir?
Torii: No. Really what it was, was that I was playing drums in a band when I first moved out to California and I had written a song and showed it to the lead singer like ‘why don’t you try one of the songs I’ve written’ and I sang it for her to show her how I thought it would be sung. She really liked it and thought that I should just sing it. The band then got to a point to where things shifted, we got another drummer, and I started fronting that band.
RESPECT.: What was the name of that band?
Torii: I called it ‘Love Me Anyway’– it was fun because it was all based on a group of friends making sounds together. Which is what I feel like is very important to creation, the connection.
RESPECT.: With you being a newer artist, what are you looking forward to in the future with your career?
Torii: I’m really looking forward to performing around the world, and I’m really looking forward for my music to become a part of TV and film. That’s always been my dream– to have my sounds be a part of visuals. I love that. I love creating music that’s atmospheric and cinematic. That’s naturally the type of music that I create this project had me step out a little bit more with having a direct message and it being more lyrically focused. It’s been an amazing and expansive experience– this blend of genres.
RESPECT.: If you could describe yourself with three words, what would they be?
Torii: I’m not sure if I can put it into three words, but right now I am this glowing energy living inside of this vessel.
RESPECT.: Who inspired you to become an artist?
Torii: It’s funny because I don’t feel like I’ve become an artist I think that that’s what people end up calling me. I’m not sure what that means– I still feel like the same thing as I always have felt. It’s just that I’ve been trying on different outfits and I’m finally starting to feel good in this outfit. This skin that I’m living in has been pulled, stretched, shoved, and moved in all these different spaces; Then finally, it’s feeling like all of these expressive feelings that I have come out in different forms whether it’s drawing, painting, singing, or writing. This is just the form that it’s been taking. Singing has been the most comfortable outfit.
RESPECT.: If you could perform anywhere, where would it be?– Why?
Torii: It’s really tough to say and I know I sound like such a hippie, but it doesn’t even matter to me about the venue really– it’s just about the energy of the people. I don’t care, I just want to be in a room full of warmth and people who are wanting to receive it.
RESPECT.: How long did you work on your debut album, Flow Riiot?
Torii: It’s hard to say an exact time frame. The amount of time we spent in the studio on every record was actually a lot quicker than you would imagine. It was a process where: we’d go in the studio together, create in the moment, get in the booth, one take, just raw… trying to immortalize and capture raw emotion– giving feeling, not necessarily doing anything right so to speak. It was more about expressing emotion in that moment.
RESPECT.: Do you regulate the creative direction of your music and music videos?
Torii: Yes, that’s actually been a really fun experience as well. I always have these visuals in my mind when I’m writing these songs. I like to keep the lyrics open and vague so I can create more of a platform to spark other people’s imagination– and not necessarily hand them a visual or an idea, so that when someone hears the record it can resonate with something in their life. But when I get to make these videos, the exciting part is that I’ve kind of been able to in an avant garde way, also express my own visual– still keeping it pretty open, it’s been really fun making these really bizarre visuals.
RESPECT.: How did you get inspired to create Flow Riiot?
Torii: There’s so much inspiration all around. A lot of these songs, and records are about relationships that I’ve been in in my life or by being close with other people I’ve taken their experiences and kind of put them through my own portal and translated them in different ways and the name Flow Riiot really comes from my name, jumbled up. I like the concept of it because it represents the different sounds Preme and I make. Creating a new genre and riot of sounds is really where that all comes from.