Tokischa has shined with her groundbreaking and unapologetic music, bringing to the forefront the Dominican Republic’s thriving local scene.
Singles such as the Rochy RD-assisted “El Rey De La Popola” and “Tukuntazo” with Haraca Kiko and El Cherry Scom have put her game-changing dembow (a genre built on dancehall) on the map. “Tukuntazo” even entered Billboard’s LyricFind Global chart in May, further proving that her music sparks intrigue and fascination.
But it’s her recent “Perra” with J Balvin, and the flamenco-induced “Linda” with Rosalia, both released this month, that are boosting her career. “I feel very excited, and it inspires me to work more,” she tells Billboard.
Born in Los Frailes, a neighborhood in east Santo Domingo, the 25-year-old rising star (real name: Tokischa Altagracia Peralta) is making a name for herself and landing major collaborations by staying loyal to her authenticity and roots. “It’s nice to come from the barrio and share our dembow rhythms with the world,” she notes.
Below, check out five things to know about Tokischa:
Her passion for music:
Tokischa has been involved with culture and arts ever since she was a little girl. “I participated in theater, dance, modeling, and other things that would form me to become an artist,” she says. In 2016, she met her manager Raymi Paulus of indie Dominican label Paulus Music: “He saw my potential and we began working together. That’s when I discovered my love for music.” Prior to kicking off her music career, Toki says she was doing photography.
Defining her sound:
“I like to explore and try out new rhythms — but I would say I have a very rock-influenced voice because that’s the type of music I most like,” she explains. “My style is explicit. It [may come off as] morbid but also [transmits] happiness.”
Working with J Balvin & Rosalía:
Tokischa says J Balvin contacted her through a direct message on Instagram, and Rosalía reached out via a phone call. “I already had ‘Perra’ ready and sent it to J Balvin. Rosalía came to the country and we created ‘Linda’ together. It was a beautiful experience.”
Representing El Bajo Mundo:
Hailing from the barrios, Tokischa says she feels proud that the local scene from “el bajo mundo” is getting exposure. “It’s really good, and represents where we come from,” she notes. “It’s music that’s getting commercialized. It’s nice to come from the barrio and share with the world what we live and our rhythms. Our music is being accepted and it fills me with pride.”
An artistic career she admires:
Although they have yet to meet, Tokischa says she really likes Nathy Peluso. “She’s a complete artist,” she elaborates. “I love her energy, her voice, her performance.”