Hip Hop Artist Kristoffer Holtan Expresses Himself Through Music

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Holtan raps into the microphone. Photo by Kieran Rodgers.

Freshman Kristoffer Holtan recently started making music under the name Toffu. 

“I make a lot of hip hop music in a genre that’s called bedroom pop, which is homemade beats done on a low-budget using a program from the computer,” Holtan said.

Most recently, Holtan has uploaded songs to his Soundcloud titled  “Hide,” “Planz,” “From you” and “Wasting time.” 

“When I write a song, I’m just coming up with melodies and ideas and then I think, ‘ok, what does the sound feel like,’ and by judging the sound I can judge what I want to write about and what I want to draw from.” 

Holtan’s main inspiration is Childish Gambino, the artist behind “This is America,” which won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 2019.

“[Gambino is] very talented and he can do lots of things,” Holtan said. “Not only is he a songwriter, but he is also an actor which is something I did for a long time, and so I identify with his method a lot, and I really enjoy his music.” 

“My older music talks a lot about school pressure and how being unique is difficult at times,” Holtan said.

While lyrics are a key element to his music, Holtan also emphasizes the importance of melodies.

“The way the artist expresses [meaning] without lyrics through the sound creates a vivid feeling and it leaves you with something to walk away with,” Holtan said.

As a music composer, Holtan encourages his peers to explore his creative work.

“I definitely think there should be ways to get friends from school to check out your music,” Holtan said.