Having been on YouTube since 2010, Tosh Zhang, or Tosh Rock, can be considered one of the OGs of Singapore’s YouTube scene, using the platform to create content before it was even popular. Slowly but surely, he built himself a loyal online following and a strong presence on social media.
Perhaps one can consider Tosh’s big break to be his appearance on Jack Neo’s Ah Boys To Men franchise, where he played the fearsome Platoon Sergeant Ong. Putting his talents for acting, filmmaking, composing, writing, breakdancing, and rapping to the test, Tosh wrote, composed and performed the theme song of the movie—’Recruit’s Anthem’—which has garnered over 2.2 million views on YouTube.
Today, Tosh spends his time dabbling in a myriad of his passions, be it singing, acting, rapping, and writing, and is managed to by Fly Entertainment.
We sat down (virtually) with Tosh as he told us the five soundtracks that make up his life.
Tell us your name, and how you’d introduce yourself to someone whom you’re meeting for the first time.
My name is Tosh Zhang! If I had to introduce myself I’d probably be like “Hello I’m Tosh, nice to meet you” and shake the person’s hand. But right now no hand-shaking so I’ll air shake or air first bump.
What are the five tracks of your life?
1. Song Cry – Jay Z
2. 浪子回头 – EggPlantEgg
3. Aquemini – Outkast
4. Love Yourz – J Cole
5. Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F*ck Wit’ – Wu-Tang Clan
Why would you consider this playlist to be significant to you?
Every song in this playlist, I can relate to deeply and they were the soundtrack of a significant part of my life. For instance Jay Z’s Song Cry, brings me back to the days when I was a young boy who loved to party, always out there looking for love and attention in the wrong places when I had a girl who loved me dearly. But when I realised how wrong I was and turned back, it was too late.
Another example is Taiwanese rock band EggPlantEgg’s 浪子回头. It describes reminiscing about the early days of rebellious youth, when it always all about brotherhood and having fun with my boys with not a care in the world. Looking back I miss those moments—they were both sweet and bitter, and I do enjoy revisiting those memories to remind myself where I came from and how far I’ve come.
Music has a way of bringing us back to a certain place, a certain time, and it brings back deep feelings and emotions we felt at the time which we might have forgotten as time passes by.
Pick one track and tell me your fondest/most interesting memory of it.
I used to really love ‘You Gotta Have Soul’ by legendary rapper Rakim, who is the inspiration and idol of many rap heavyweights like Jay Z and 50 Cent. I used to be a hardcore B-boy (started dancing when I was 13) who practiced everyday and I would always join B-boy competitions and jams back in the day.
There was once I was at a B-boy competition at SMU during the period when I was really on fire and I came out to do my thing in a B-boy cypher and the DJ dropped the song ‘You Gotta Have Soul’. I knew every lyric and progression of the track because I always practiced to it and I rocked the beat so hard that the crowd went crazy.
I was in the moment and I felt like I was one with the music and that’s a feeling that words cannot adequately describe. Those were some really good times!
If I had asked you this question 10 years ago, what is the one track that your then-self would have picked as your favourite?
10 years ago… likely any track from Dr Dre’s iconic album ‘The Chronic 2001’. Every single song in there is a Hip-hop classic.
I remember visiting Los Angeles for the first time in 2009 with my family and listening to the album on the way to the hotel felt surreal. Looking at the environment and streets of LA and hearing Dre and the artists he featured describe the life they lived—that was a special moment for me as a young man in love with Hip-hop music and culture.
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