Tommy Cash

Interview by Callum McLean
Photos by Dmitri Gerasimov shot in Tallinn, Estonia

Picture Aphex Twin, but with acid and Cornwall exchanged for hip hop and Estonia. Then throw in a little Ninja from Die Antwoord, turn the BPM down to a slo-mo crawl and you might be somewhere near the slimy intrigue of Tommy Cash. Straight outta Tallinn, this dancer, painter and fashionista-turned-rapper is taking the Internet by storm with his bizarro music videos, Baltic swag and penchant for horse-riding. His 2014 full-length Euroz Dollaz Yenniz saw Cash drawling rhymes about coital socks, smoking trees and, of course, $$$. And new video ‘Winalot’ paints new worlds of freak-fleek. We catch him towards the end of his biggest Euro tour yet to get a glimpse of the man behind the moustache.


Tell us more about growing up in the Tallinn hood.

I guess there is a sense of darkness to the world I am living in.

It’s special because it’s my home, there was the beginning. And we have the most bomb yoghurt in the world. I don’t know what they feed the cows. I never leave Estonia. I always take it with me.

You’ve also played a lot of shows over the border in Russia. How does it compare to home?

Russia is like a jungle compared to Europe. I’m proud that I have the privilege to tour there because it is not easy to get inside. A couple years from now when I will be doing Pitchfork festivals and playing at SXSW we will sit around a campfire with Kanye West, Kim-K and their kids and I will tell them about the crazy stuff that happened on the Russian tour.

There’s a definite horrorshow vibe to your darker beats, is it important for you to be scary af?

I guess just like a dancer reflects the song he is dancing to, I reflect the world I am living in. So I guess there is a sense of darkness to the world I am living in, but that is just the tiny part of this world.

Conjoined twins, toothless mouths and big bellies — why so many odd bodies in your videos?

We use odd bodies because we represent the weirdos, gays, nerds, self-made assholes and so on first of all. And we weird as fuck too! It is the world where Tommy is coming from. We create it and we live in it.

‘Why have abs when you can have kebabs?’ is possibly my favourite line of the year so far. Do you have any tips for the rest of us trying to maintain our strict junk food regime?

Just like a dancer reflect the song he is dancing to, I reflect the world I am living in.

Well, I’m actually trying to be healthy at this point in my life, but I guess it seems like it’s kind of a disease of our generation, we know what’s good for us, but we often don’t do it.

‘Post-Soviet Rap’ makes me wonder what Soviet Rap would be like — how would you have done things differently before Estonia got its independence in ’91?

Then I would be called an American Spy and sent to jail. I’m pretty sure they would have made me do propaganda rap with some communist swag…

Tommy Cash plays two Subbacultcha show on 14 January. Eurosonic Day Party, Groningen and De Nieuwe Anita, Amsterdam.