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Art & Life with Uncle Tino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Uncle Tino.

Uncle, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Like any transman, I grew up as female as possible. For me, not so much but I had to compensate. I was a tomboy forever, I never wore any kind of feminine clothing unless forced, but never a dress. I came out as lesbian towards the end of the 12th grade, and went to prom in a suit, with short hair. I was free and able to enjoy myself but I never felt like myself until I started dating, and was called somebody’s “girlfriend,” which felt fishy as hell. I later came to terms with my gender identity in the summer of 2016, three years after I came out the first time. I still haven’t begun testosterone treatment to prevent infertility–I one day wish to retrieve and preserve my eggs to start a family and relay my bloodline on, BEFORE hormone injections. I hope that one day I’ll work hard enough to be successful enough in my music to be able to afford these treatments, but it gets tough. I get dysphoric and impatient, and hopeless sometimes. That’s about as brief as I can be, haha.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I make hip hop music. I rap, I sing, I play talk box, and I invite different kinds of musical techniques into my style. I produce here and there for myself, play shows when I can, and write about pretty much anything until I can turn it into a song. My message is to just be you, and do what makes you happy. Life isn’t fun being trapped, whether be by something intangible, or whatever you have to wake up to and look in the mirror every day. There’s always a way to freedom. I also just want to prove that even in a predominately male/cisgender genre, you can prevail. It’s 2019 and people need to get over shit that may be scary or intimidating to them. Talent is talent, and people are people.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
As an artist, success is defined by how you exceed your own expectations. Starting off it can be tough, because just because YOU like something, doesn’t mean the masses will, and that stops a lot of talented people from shining if they really want to get out there. For me, success includes the money and what not but for a different purpose. I want to have a biological family and the way in which I desire to costs a lot of money. I want to enjoy the world, I want to take my shirt off. I want to rock my kids to sleep and of course, one day fall in love. I just love love. I love having fun. I love giving back and making people happy. I also want to trick out a gold el camino and build a skatepark in my backyard, I’d also think that’d be tight. Success comes from what you keep in the center and whether or not you’ve fulfilled that. Or even if you can just keep exceeding your expectations. Why not?

I believe that in order to be successful, you need to see it. You need to take initiative, and take yourself seriously, no matter how people see you. If you see yourself doing it, you can make it happen. Take the right steps, accept advice/constructive criticism and grow. It’s too important to keep a good head on your shoulders, to stay patient and open to expanding your horizons, and trying new or different things. Success is self-defined but the barebones are what they are.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I am on all major listening platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Tidal, SoundCloud, and YouTube as “Uncle Tino.” I plan on releasing 2-3 projects this year.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Steve Ngugi, Nicolette Tsokos, Paul Ramiez, Ambrose Alcoser

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