Q&A: Meet Tampa soccer-fiend and synthwave producer ThrObak

His first EP is due later this summer.

Q&A: Meet Tampa soccer-fiend and synthwave producer ThrObak
Stephanie Ann Tavolaro

One of the most alluring things in music is, and has always been, when an artist shows a genuine sense of originality and love for his or her craft.

It's especially refreshing in today's music climate since it seems like every other day you have rappers dissing one another for 'biting' each other's flows or DJs calling out each other for copying their sound.

To find an artist who exemplifies these qualities we don't have to travel the globe or hit up a music festival; sometimes they're in our own backyard.

Representing the Tampa Bay area well is Andrew Rodrigues, who in his spare time likes to go by ThrObak

Like so many of us in the Bay area, ThrObak is a displaced northerner who moved to Florida in 2009, making the sunshine and sand his new brand of home. 

From a young age he found a fascination with creating, whether it was excitement on the soccer field (he almost tried out for Orlando City but couldn't due to injury) or making his own brand of synth-wave electronic music.  

When he's not working to support his family or playing soccer, ThrObak has been kickstarting his career as a producer and DJ. 

While he cites electronic pioneers Justice and Daft Punk as influences, ThrObak's music provides a refreshing new take on the French wave of electronic music he loves. As a child he was raised by a mother who played in an 80s rock band and also helped him develop a love for that 80s sound. Her musical influence helped him start producing music at young age. 

While he's been producing since high school, ThrObak has bided his time with his first EP release Abduct, which is set to come out this summer.

This new addition to the Tampa Bay electronic scene is sure to turn some heads, and we think you should be one of them. 

Find out more about this budding electronic prospect by reading the full Q&A below:

First, I’d love to hear more about yourself. Are you from the Tampa Bay area? If so, where did you grow up, go to school?

I'm actually from a small town in Virginia called Fredericksburg, I went to school up there too until I moved to Tampa in 2009. They're totally different, but i love both like home.

I hear you played a little soccer? Could you expand on that? Why’d you give it up?

I actually started playing kind of late, probably about 8th grade I started taking it more serious, before that I played football. I've always been involved in different sports even martial arts. Soccer is very important to me especially being Brazilian, it's one of my first loves really. It's in my blood. Me and my brother had a tryout with Orlando City ahead of their first season but I broke my collarbone practicing a few weeks before so I couldn't attend sadly. I still play today though, I can't imagine ever giving it up. I love it as much as i love music i would say.

What was your introduction to music? How’d you start creating/producing?

My mom actually got me into a lot of music early especially Disco and a lot of 80s records. She was actually a singer in a small rock band in the 80s which I think is kinda cool. Music has always been really important to my family. I started producing in high school, and fell in love with it immediately. The ability to create music or anything really has always interested me. It's always cool when you can call something your own you know.

I hear a lot of different sounds in your music, do you have any influences in particular? 

Justice and Daft Punk are my two biggest for sure. The whole French wave of electronic music especially from Paris is a stand out for me. Shout out to the whole Ed Banger Crew!

Do you draw influences from the Tampa Bay area? What are your thoughts on the Tampa electronic scene?

I think It's great! I love to see people get excited about electronic music. Sometimes I feel like we're outcasts, but I think electronic music is as important as any other type of music out there.

Lastly, is there anything Tampa Bay needs to know about ThrObak? Are you looking to perform in the area or do you have any live shows coming up?

I have a ton of new music in the works! My first EP Abduct is finished, Just waiting for the proper time to put out the full release. I put out the first single "Hearts in Sync" and people seem to really like it which is exciting. It was actually featured in the Weekend Getaway mixtape on the NewRetroWave Youtube Channel (begins at 19:43 of the video below). I've been a fan for years, since they started. If you love Synthwave music it's the best channel out there! No shows planned as of yet, it's still early days, but I have tons of ideas for a live set.

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About The Author

LJ Hilberath

Franz “LJ” Hilberath is a Clearwater-native who contributes to Creative Loafing's Music section. He previously served as an intern and is now a freelance contributor for all things music.LJ can be found in the field reviewing concerts and music festivals around the country, and also works interviews for both local...
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