The name itself is unique. Wait ‘til you hear his music.
Bundick, also known as Toro Y Moi, is bringing his funky, relaxing and strangely incredible sound to Columbia’s Blue Note on Saturday, Oct. 17, and I recommend you be there.
Hailing from the other Columbia — the one in South Carolina — Bundick started getting into music in high school, forming the bands The Heist and The Accomplice.
“I got into skateboarding and that whole scene when I was 15 and that eventually led to going to shows,” Bundick says. “Then I pretty much just met up with other musicians and formed a band.”
Bundick went to the University of South Carolina, where he began to form his new style, and where he continued to go to concerts. His tendency to go to shows in his spare time is part of the reason why he loves playing college towns, like CoMo, so much.
“We usually play college towns because of the kids,” Bundick says. “That’s the main reason. I think that’s the only reason, actually. That’s who sees music is college kids. They tend to understand that live music is important to have in your life. I know when I was in college. I know when I was in college, that’s all I would do is go see shows every single weekend or something.”
The genre that Toro y Moi has embraced through his albums, “Causers of This,” “Underneath the Pine,” “Anything in Return” and, most recently, “What For? toro” is hard to pinpoint. It’s just different than most other artists’ music, and many people identify it as chillwave.
Whenever people ask him, though, Bundick just says it’s “rock and roll.” He doesn’t like his music to seem too complicated.
“One thing I’m a fan of myself is accessibility and (I) make sure I’m not writing music that’s too obscure for my audience,” he says. “I do like to challenge people, but I don’t like music that’s so far out that you don’t know what’s going on.”
Bundick has dabbled in tons of different genres. From his current style to electronic dance music under the name Les Sins, he’s all over the map.
But his creativity isn’t just limited to music. Just take a peek at his Instagram, and you’ll see all types of different pictures that, odd’s are, you won’t even understand.
“I’m always just trying to stay interested in art in general,” Bundick says. “I’ll just try to, I don’t know, find something I’ll be interested in aside from music. That’s pretty much it. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing — I’ll try to be creative.”
At some point during Bundick’s show, you can expect to hear the funkiest riffs that have ever graced your ears when he plays “Lilly,” which Bundick called his favorite “What For?” song to play live because of its “different dynamic.”
Bundick has played at his fair share of summer festivals in the past, including Lollapalooza, Hangout Fest, Coachella, FYF and more. For him, though, nothing compares to small crowds, like the one he’ll see at the Blue Note.
“It’s a big difference,” he says. “I almost prefer playing small shows just because that’s just our crowd. Those are people that see us, not just find out about us. It’s really nice to play small shows. They’re generally better and more intimate. But at festivals, it’s always, ‘Play the hits.’”
Last week, Bundick played a show in Charleston, which has been heavily impacted by floods responsible for 19 deaths in just South Carolina.
As showtime neared, he announced on Twitter that, “All the money from tonight’s show benefits Central Carolina Community Foundation for flood relief in SC.”
Although he now lives in Berkeley, California, and he didn’t directly know anyone affected by the floods, Bundick felt the need to help out.
“It was awesome,” he says the day after the show. “I thought it’d just be a nice thing to do, to donate our fee for the show last night to benefit relief, just because we know it’s tough to go out and see a concert when your city is underwater or you have family members whose houses are flooded.”
A creative, a good samaritan and an all-around cool person, it’s no wonder Bundick’s work has been blowing up lately.
His biggest inspirations?
“Just life in general.”
But as well-rounded as he is, the man can’t remember why he chose the unique stage name “Toro y Moi” when he was in high school.
“There’s not much behind it,” he says. “I just made it when I was 15 in high school and it just kind of stuck. I’m sure there’s something I was thinking that was kind of clever about it, but I don’t know. It’s kind of just a collection of words. I don’t know where I got it from.”
Stopping in St. Louis on Friday, Columbia the next day and Lawrence, Kansas, on Sunday, when Bundick comes around on Saturday, he’ll be pressed for time.
It’ll be his first time in our Columbia, and he’s not really sure what to expect.
“I’ll have to do some research,” Bundick says. “Maybe there’s some good museums there or something I can check out.”