Toby Love grew up, like most Latinos, surrounded by music. With both parents musically inclined, it was only natural for him to follow in their footsteps. As he recalls, it was in his blood. So, when he met the members of bachata group Aventura and was asked to join, it was a no-brainer.
After being part of the history-making band for the last six years, Toby Love is stepping into the spotlight as a solo artist. He proves that he has something new to offer Latinos with his fusion sound he calls "crunkchata." While promoting his debut self titled release, Love sits down with nocheLatina to discuss how he plans to break musical barriers and why he continues to love bachata.
nocheLatina: You have a new album that hit the stores September 5th, tell me about it.
Toby Love: Yeah, it's the self titled Toby Love, a fusion of bachata, R&B, crunk, hip-hop, and reggaeton. I am tying something new.
nocheLatina: I hear you call it 'crunkchata,' how did you come up with that?
Toby Love: It was us in the studio bugging out. We took the word ‘bachata’ and then we put crunk while we were doing a track called ‘Cadillac’ featuring Voltio. So, I was like we have to add some crunk to it, and we just put it together because it's bachata with the crunk sounds. So I am trying to have that fusion be called that - crunkchata.
nocheLatina: What draws you to bachata music?
Toby Love: Mu family always listened to Juan Luis Guerra. In the beginning I didn't really understand bachata because it’s part of the Dominican culture, much respect. Once I got into Aventura it hit me. I was like, ‘Wow these people are deep.’ Aventura took it to that level and now I want to urbanize it. It's in my blood.
nocheLatina: Who are some of your musical influences?
Toby Love: My father, who’s a salsero, and my uncles. Also, R. Kelly, Lauryn Hill, Ricky Martin, and so many others, just everything. We listened to everything in my household.
nocheLatina: How did you get started in music?
Toby Love: Everyone in my family is a musician. Even my mother plays basd. I was always nosy and seeing my cousins and my uncles play. My father used to sit me down and teach me how to play percussion.
nocheLatina: How did you get involved with Aventura?
Toby Love: Back in the day I had a merengue group with my cousins called La Banda Jiggy and at that time Aventura was called Los Teenagers. We were from the same hood. We used to play at the same shows and festivals, so Mikey and I became cool. Then he said they were looking for a singer and he bought me in. We became like brothers.
nocheLatina: Who else do you have on your new album?
Toby Love: Voltio, Judy Santos – who sang Obsession, KP the Money Maker from Miami, and Somos Cinco, my cousins. They do my backgrounds. I also have Mikey from Aventura.
nocheLatina: Did you ever think about coming out with an English album?
Toby Love: Oh yeah, that's in the future. I want to do my R&B thing. Coming out of a Dominican group, I had to first give the Dominican Republic something I can offer as a solo artist.
nocheLatina: Was there ever a time when you had to choose between a 9-5 job and your music?
Toby Love: I worked a 9-5 gig for three months, but it was just not for me. I knew music was my thing, and working didn't give me anytime to pursue my music, so I had to leave. Thankfully, Aventura started doing well.
nocheLatina: Anything you feel needs to be changed within the music industry?
Toby Love: Yes, I want to break barriers. There seems to be certain things hip-hop artists can do that Latin artists can't. I just want to break that.
nocheLatina: What advice would you give to anyone that wants to break into the music business?
Toby Love: Follow your dreams! God looks out for people that really want it. Stay off the streets, and if music is what you want to do, focus on it 100%.
nocheLatina: What's one thing people don't know about you?
Toby Love: People don’t know that I am Puerto Rican! Yeah that’s a big issue, I love my Latin people, but I want everyone to know I am Puerto Rican.