Happy Tooth is a rapper/singer from Columbus, Ohio. He makes music solo, but is also in a six-piece band called Happy Tooth & Dug. He has been making and releasing music independently for almost a decade now. Catch Happy Tooth on CincyMusic LIVE for the Overcast Hip Hop Festival on Saturday, September 26th at 8:50p!
We caught up with Happy Tooth prior to the Overcast Hip Hop Festival!
Give us some background on Happy Tooth...
I started making music for myself when I was 20ish years old. I made two records in my basement and didn't show anyone until they were completely done. And people seemed to encourage me and it felt right so I kept going and started a weird rap band and haven't stopped since.
When did you decide that music was your calling?
I have always needed an outlet of self expression whether I understood it or not. I used skateboarding/rollerblading in that way in my teens, and I was heavily inspired by music and dabbled in playing instruments here and there over the years. I also loved writing and I always wanted to be a writer of some variety. One day I bought cheap equipment when I was frustrated with the progress/injuries of skating, and I just wanted to try and make a song and see what happened. I have always looked at myself through a distorted sort of lens, so I never thought anyone would care about anything I made. But I've just had so many people tell me it means a lot to them and it's all been very serendipitous in a lot of ways so I kept going. It gives me a purpose. It's the ultimate form of self expression, where in skating I was confined to just expressing myself physically. Once I figured that out, I couldn't stop and it's always been cathartic.
What can fans expect at a Live performance?
A lot of jumping up and down. A lot of energy and movement. I like to imagine a vulture circling it's prey but faster and more erratic. But in all seriousness, I have no idea. I just try and push myself to feel whatever the song I'm playing is and whatever happens happens in that moment. But people tell me I have a ton of energy or stage presence (whatever that is). I'm really more introverted, but on stage I get to flex my extrovert side and pretend like I'm confident, so I'm not sure how that translates. I guess the one thing they can absolutely expect is sincerity.
How has the past 6ish months been for you musically?
I've pushed myself and I've been more productive and not for any particular reason other than I feel like I'm running out of time. I've always had that feeling though and I've always typically been productive. It's just that everything is uncertain and the world seems closer to ending than ever before, so it's just magnified now. Making music or working on something is a good escape for me. So I've been escaping a lot.
What is next for Happy Tooth?
I just want to create as much as I can. I want to release something on vinyl. I want to play a real show again. I am partially into finishing a new full length solo record, I just finished a feature collaboration record where I'm featured on 12 songs so that's two upcoming things to look for. I have a lot of plans, but hopefully what's next is survival.