Coming from Northern California, Tobey Lynn made her music debut back in 2018 with a groovy lo-fi track, ‘BOY’ and, just a couple of months ago, she released her first EP ever, titled party of one. Lynn describes the record as a “coming-of-age” story, which explores heartbreak and self-reflection.
“This project was the most vulnerable I’ve ever been,” Lynn explains. “And to relay such a transparent narrative of my personal experiences is a relief as well as stressful.” The singer admits that releasing new music was quite terrifying for her, especially after having written those songs during a “pivotal” time in her life.
Though her favourite track off the EP is constantly changing, Lynn reveals that she always comes back to ‘understudy’ due to its honest and raw approach to love. “It’s about my first real heartbreak,” the 18-year-old musician continues. “It almost serves as a timestamp of a specific time in my life.”
Interestingly enough, ‘understudy’ has got a lyrical nod to Lynn’s favourite artist and a huge inspiration, Frank Ocean. “I am so fascinated by the structure of his songs as well as the concepts of all his projects,” Lynn says, later emphasizing her love for Frank Ocean’s lyricism.
‘SUNFLOWER GIRL’ is another track that’s extremely special to Tobey Lynn, as she then explains that, lyrically, it’s about “feeling unseen” and “unable to live up to the beauty of today’s society.”
party of one is a self-aware compilation of five intimate songs, which are often united by lonely undertones. “The visual that always pops into my head is someone sitting at a table with their birthday cake in front of them, candles lit and party hats and all,” Lynn delves into the concept behind her project. “And people are surrounding the table, celebrating the birthday, but the person just feels alone and almost invisible in those moments.”
“Although my songs can seem heavy and emotional, there is also so much in my life that I am ecstatic to wake up to and experience every day,” Lynn admits, later acknowledging the importance of finding the balance between happiness and sadness in one’s artistry. “In fact, I feel like my personality in real life is such a stark contrast to the lonely and gloomy sound of my music.”
Tobey Lynn then opens up about not being sure what love means to her right now; fortunately, she’s got plenty of “optimism in finding love” and learning how to love herself at the same time. “All I know is that one day I would love to not even have to think about how to describe love,” Lynn says. “I hope that the answer comes easily to me.”
Thanks to the creative household that she grew up in, Tobey Lynn has been “surrounded by music” since her childhood days. Both of Lynn’s parents have studied classical piano with her father being a rock drummer back in his college days. “Music fit so naturally into my life,” Lynn tells me. “One of the major things my family taught me growing up is that music should always be fun and bring people together.”
In addition to the artistic environment that Lynn was “engulfed in”, being a BIPOC (i.e. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) has also got a “colossal impact” on her artistry. “I have quickly realized how that affects my life and I am hoping to continue voicing that part of my narrative into my music anyway that I can,” Lynn explains.
As for the future, the Marin County-based artist plans on continuing to grow her audience and form “strong connections” with her supporters. “My biggest dream is to perform and go on tour with my brother and the rest of the band as well,” Lynn quickly adds, noting that her older brother, Jamin Reyes, is the producer of her songs.
Ultimately, Tobey Lynn’s got a piece of advice to her fellow teenagers, who are currently going through heartbreak: “Allow yourself to feel every single emotion and give yourself time.” According to the singer, it’s important to understand that “everybody heals differently” and there’s “no expiration date to when the hurt will stop.”