Tokischa, Rosalía’s Dominican friend, who upset her country with her explicit and sexual lyrics | Celebrities | S Fashion EL PAÍS

For most of the uninitiated in Latin music, Tokischa came from the hand of Rosalía. Last September premiered Beautiful, a collaboration between the two that resulted in a theme of dembow Accelerated that already accumulates more than 53 million views on YouTube. The single, which based a large part of its success on a funny letter that millions of people replicated on social networks and especially on TikTok, has left us phrases to remember with all the numbers to gain a foothold in the street language: “Today I’m on fire , toy chucky “or” We kiss ‘, but we are’ homie “.

But not everything that is sung in Beautiful everyone liked it. Lines such as “I spit in the face of time as if it were my whore” have annoyed some people, especially in the Dominican Republic, Tokischa’s native country, where there are still many taboos regarding sex and religion.

Who is Tokischa?

Tokischa is only 25 years old, but he started in the world of music in 2016. Five years later, he lives that sweet moment that precedes commercial success on this side of the Atlantic. It is no coincidence that Primavera Sound has announced just a few days ago a tour of our country that will visit six cities in April next year.

But despite her short career, the Dominican already has a huge list of scandals and difficulties in her history, marked by her irreverence and charisma; innate and difficult-to-find qualities that have made fundamental figures of urban music such as Ozuna, J Balvin or Bad Bunny want to collaborate with her or have flattered her publicly.

The case closest to us, due to geographical proximity, is that of Rosalía: the Catalan described Tokischa as a woman who speaks loud and clear, but who makes people feel uncomfortable. Also that he is “someone who does not fit into any canon, but who represents all of us in his search for freedom.” And that is perfectly evident in her video, in which the two seem to be really having fun, without thinking about what they will say and dedicating a great fuck off to the patriarchal system. In fact, that “Friends who kiss are the best company” has nothing erotic about it. At least, not if we understand that eroticism as something destined to satisfy the male gaze.

Rosalía and Tokischa.

How it all started?

Tokischa Altagracia Peralta spent her childhood and adolescence in the Los Frailes neighborhood, in Santo Domingo Este. As told in the program Excellent by Tony DandradesSince she was little, she noted that she had a lot of personality. “I have always been a very rebellious person, I have not been like children who understand that they must respect and silence everything that is told to them, no, I defend myself.”

Because as much as the biographies of the artist that circulate on the internet try to sweeten her story, Tokischa’s life was not exactly easy. According to her, she confessed in the Dominican radio program «Alofoke Sin Censura» by Santiago Matías, was born into an unstructured family: her father was in and out of jail all the time and her mother emigrated to the United States to seek a better life when she was still very young. And although they maintained contact, the fact that their parents were absent meant that they did not have a fixed home. Trying to survive, Tokischa alternated small stays in the houses of relatives and friends of his parents, people who did not always want or could give him the attention he needed.

At the age of 18, tired of not having a stable home, she moved with her brother to the capital and found work in a call center. But escaping the little control that adults had over her showed her the reality of the street without filters. It is at that moment when she had her first contact with the world of prostitution at the hands of a friend.

Thereafter and for a few years, the sugar daddies were his main source of income. An experience that she remembers as something terrible that plunged her into a vicious circle that could have ended her. Luckily, the music came: “Being with a person you don’t like or like is frustrating. After having sex with him, I would go into the bathroom to shower, crying, horrified. At first, I was spending my money on drugs; then in music, ” Tokischa revealed on the same radio show.

Because despite the constant difficulties, Tokischa always felt a clear inclination towards music and art, with which he came into contact through the scene underground from the Dominican capital. Precisely, in 2016, a friend of the time introduced him to Raymi Paulus, a Dominican photographer, filmmaker, creative director and producer, founder of the Paulus Music label, who was also one of the most active and irreverent cultural agitators on the island. The meeting with Paulus was crucial for the artist’s career. Together with him and his entire circle, Tokischa began to learn the secrets of the music business, and little by little he was giving shape to his style.

His first issue, released in 2018, was I call Chop it. A song that talks about the pleasure of smoking marijuana and that had a video clip that exudes an evident foundational character, a declaration of intentions full of psychedelic images, saturated colors, endless afternoons and little green men.

TO Chop it others follow singles What Long live, Bitches like you or Empatillada, all three inspired by his own life, still marked by the sugar daddies, the drugs and the endless party. The songs worked well, but like other celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, what really caused Tokischa’s fame to explode in her country were two monumental scandals.

On the one hand, after several of her publications were censored on Instagram, for going against the puritanical policies of this social network, the artist decided to try her luck on the OnlyFans platform, where she began to publish 100% explicit content. “In OnlyFans I saw a way to throw away everything I wanted without being held accountable and without censorship of any kind. I met a work team that showed me that I could get money out of that and taught me how to do it ”, declared to ABC. “I have always liked the explicit content, the sexuality, the sexy, the morbid. That brought me problems at home because they saw me taking sexy photos, ‘that you are a girl, what are you doing?’ “, He remembers. The event was widely commented, debated and criticized in the media of his country, but, despite this scandal, the success of his account allowed him to take a crucial step in his career and as a human being: first, stop depending on his sugar daddies and then focus on your music.

On the other hand, in October 2020, already in full confinement, Tokischa launched School contempt, a subject that allowed him to abandon the underground and attract more media attention mainstream. It was about a dembow poisonous that went to the marrow, and that, brand of the house, had an explosive letter with pills like “In that school, I fucked myself with the ‘maricone’ / They checked my backpack / They found a Gillette, even a knife” / A cigarette and how I say ‘forgive’ “. The explicitness of the lyrics scandalized a part of the population, platforms included, where the song will be censored for a few weeks.

Something similar happened again last October when, a week after the launch of Beautiful, Was published Bitch, the collaboration of the Dominican with J Balvin. The video of the song, destined to be a worldwide hit, was considered macho, misogynistic and accused of perpetuating a racism that is still very present in music, also in Latin music. The image that aroused the most criticism was that of Balvin walking two black women chained by the neck as if they were animals.

YouTube ended up censoring the video and the Colombian singer apologizing to his fans, his mother and black women through his Instagram account. Tokischa came to his defense and celebrated the accompanying video to the song, directed as always by his good friend Raymi Paulus. “I do not understand the attacks on him [por Balvin]”, affirmed to the Colombian magazine Week. “He respected my art, he collaborated with me, he came from abroad, to my country, to record this video with me, to support me. And she supported me as a woman, she got into my world and shared with me. It is obvious that he supports a woman, so I don’t understand why they call him macho ”.

The artist was taken by surprise by the aforementioned attacks on various social networks because she had always considered herself “explicit, open and erotic.” But she’s used to criticism by now. “I am only honest and express situations that exist (…). A ‘bitch’ woman is a free, empowered woman, a woman who doesn’t care. I felt very comfortable. It is something creative. Besides, the dog is man’s best friend ”, the Dominican woman settled with a certain amount of irony.

However, to ignore that her statements, beyond being offensive from a puritan point of view, may also be a cause for feminist debate, would be slightly naive. Reappropriating an insult is something that social minorities have been doing for decades and that has also been celebrated since feminism, but some theorists have warned for years about the importance of not falling into reductionism. One of them is the philosopher Ana de Miguel, who in her book Sexual neoliberalism (Cátedra) charges against “the myth of free choice” and warns about the problem that anything goes, although its main concern is that the feminist movement ends up being banalized.

“Today we have come to the foolishness of saying that everything that a woman decides freely or empowers her is already liberating, but that approach does not withstand the minimum intellectual analysis”, pointed out already in 2017, in an interview he gave to S Fashion. “A woman who is going to ring the New Year’s Eve chimes and dresses half naked and says that she has never dressed or felt so free, for example. Her to do, indeed, what she wants, but that is not an act that can be described as feminist, “he said at the time, at a time when artists were emerging who have made of their sexuality and the reappropriation of the words” whore. ” or “fox” one of its hallmarks, such as Bad Gyal or, especially, La Zowi.

The Granada-born singer has explained on countless occasions that what she is trying to use these terms is to make clear who is in control, and that men are dependent beings, subject to their interests.

Something similar is happening to Tokischa now. Be that as it may, and even taking into consideration the thinking of scholars like De Miguel, what is evident is that both Spanish artists and the Dominican Tokischa try to express themselves with all the tools at their disposal and thus are inspiring many other women. to balance the scales in society, always unequal. What is not little.

As to whether his artistic proposals are interesting or not, there will be as many opinions as people who enjoy them, but the question arises whether in the event that the person who sang these songs was a man, perhaps they would be analyzed in a different way. We wonder if her artistic decisions would be judged with the same harshness or if she would be asked the same level of responsibility as these artists.

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Tokischa, Rosalía’s Dominican friend, who upset her country with her explicit and sexual lyrics | Celebrities | S Fashion EL PAÍS