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Pandemic Artist Spotlight: Not A Toy

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“Not a Toy is not just a band; it’s a lifestyle of art and creation,” affirms Branson. “We’re not the first to combine different genres of music, but we’re also actually blending other artforms—from streetwear to art shows. We’re a snapshot of this generation’s tattooed youth and bedroom beatmakers. We’re just creating, and there are no rules to creation.”

The members of this collective initially met in high school and cut their teeth in various projects together before launching Not a Toy in 2020. Operating out of a shared house in Denver, the group’s synergy results from the sum of its parts. Classically trained and on the violin from a young age, TJ additionally plays a slew of other instruments, adding a variety of textures and production to the sound. Jeremy not only rips on guitar, but he also “makes trap beats so quickly it’s ridiculous.” Benji holds down the groove as the drummer and acts as an “overarching producer.” Meanwhile, Branson pens the majority of the lyrics and plays guitar and piano. Based on a background in graphic design and painting, he “brings the art to the project.”

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