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Artists Wanted No 12: Meet Winners Awon and Padre Tóxico!


Greetings everyone, and welcome to the Community blog featuring the winners from edition 12 of Artists Wanted.


The Artists Wanted series on the Spotify Community is an ongoing project where we, the Community Music Chat Team, invite artists on the Community to share their newest releases and introduce themselves.


Today we have the opportunity to meet Awon and Padre Tóxico, the winners of Artist Wanted edition no. 12, with their wonderful song, “Golden State of Mind”:


Hailing from Virginia, United States and Warsaw, Poland, Awon and Padre Tóxico create boom bap hip-hop that brings an atmosphere of headnodding chill and soul.


I had the chance to ask these talented artists a few interview questions, so that the Spotify Community can get to know them better. You can read our conversation below:



Since you’re based in Virginia, United States and Warsaw, Poland, can you tell us about how you collaborated together on your excellent song “Golden State of Mind”?  


Awon: Padre and I have been collaborating for a couple of years online. “Golden State of Mind” is our 6th track together. We have been making all the music over email, and it works. We have met in person in Berlin because I had a gig there and it was really cool to finally meet up. You would have thought we’ve known each other all our lives. 


I noticed that UK beat maker Elements is listed as an artist for “Golden State of Mind” on Spotify as well. What role did Elements play in creating this great track?


Awon: Elements did the cuts and the artwork for the single. He is a phenomenal DJ and an incredible graphic artist by trade. 


What have been your best musical memories to date?


Awon: For me it was my first concert I ever attended. My dad took me and I saw Eric B & Rakim, Gangstarr, KRS One, and Grand Puba all in the same night. I even got to go backstage. My second favorite moment would be my first sold out show in Europe in 2016, it was surreal. 


PT: Few years back I attended Janus Rasmussen’s (½ part of duo Kiasmos) gig in Warsaw and during that event it finally hit me that after all these years of passive music consumption, all I want is to make music. It was kind of a revelation which had me going since then. 


2nd was linking up with Awon, Anti Lilly and Phoniks in Berlin. That was a blast for me as well as a fan and a collaborator. 


Padre Tóxico, you’ve mentioned that your music is “ultra chill with golden era vibe” and that you’re influenced by artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, 2Pac, and The Roots. You also mention in your Spotify bio that you’ve similarly been influenced by electronic music from musicians such as Jon Hopkins, Kiasmos, Stimming, and Four Tet. Can you tell us more about the overlap between hip-hop and electronica, and how you combine elements from these genres in your music?


PT: The overlap between hip-hop and electronica lies in my emphasis on creativity and pushing boundaries. In my creations, you'll find a balance between classic hip-hop grooves and electronic nuances. I think that the influence of electronic music adds that extra layer of ambient textures creating an immersive background to my beats. The roots of hip-hop and the forward-thinking nature of electronica allow me to craft a sound that pays homage to the past while embracing the future.


You've also mentioned that your music has been featured in blogs, magazines and websites such as Stereofox, Visual Atelier 8, Aipate, Ital Massive, Indie Shuffle, Yack Magazine, Sensei Blog, Acid Ted, The Word Is Bond, Nagamag, Last Day Deaf, and Roadie Music. Would you say that music outlets such as these play an important role for artists to reach their audience?


PT: Absolutely, music outlets are pivotal for artists in reaching their audience. They provide more exposure, credibility, and introduce my work to enthusiasts who might not have discovered it otherwise. It's not just about reaching a larger audience, it's about connecting with those who appreciate the specific blend of hip-hop and electronica that defines my style.


In today's digital age, these outlets act as influential tastemakers, shaping the musical landscape and guiding listeners to new, exciting artists.


Awon, you’ve mentioned in your Spotify bio that you’re known for experimentation with jazz, soul, and other sub-genres. Can you tell us more about how you bring elements of these sub-genres into your hip-hop tracks?


Awon: I’ve always been a fan of acid jazz and jazz fusion’s throughout my life even when I didn’t understand it, and when I started making music my love for jazz grew through sampling. I’m just doing my own interpretation of the genres I love the most.


You’ve also mentioned that after founding Don't Sleep Records with Phoniks in 2015 and releasing critically acclaimed music with different artists and collaborators, your journey was captured in the documentary film Underdogs, which was well-received by critics and won awards for the best music documentary at the DTLA film festival as well as for the best documentary at The Hip Hop Film Festival NYC. Can you tell us more about Underdogs and how the documentary has impacted your journey in music?


Awon: Underdogs has completely changed our lives, it gave people a glimpse of our journey and process which helped so many people relate to us as independent artists navigating a modern music industry. The director Téo Frank who is not only a friend but family to us wanted to inspire people and I feel like he accomplished his goal. We had so much visibility, at least more than other independent artists at our levels that it propelled us into a different space immediately. As far as making the music the process and approach is still the same, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. 



Congrats again Awon and @Padre_Toxico for winning edition no. 12 of Artists Wanted on the Spotify Community, and thank you for telling us more about yourselves and your inspiring journeys in music. 


Remember that Artists Wanted is an ongoing project. If you’re an artist, feel free to send us your music in the current submission thread for edition no. 13.