June 18, 2015. Chicago. The city is pulsating thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks, who’ve just secured their third Stanley Cup in six years. On this particular day, the streets are littered with red jerseys and T-shirts, as bodies weave in and out of watering holes in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. It’s barely 2 p.m., and people are partying as if it’s 2 a.m. It’s parade day, and the city estimates nearly 2 million Hawks fans showed up downtown in support of the champs.

But in the midst of this West Loop madness sits a recording studio, where patrons are oblivious or indifferent to the ongoing parade spilling out onto the streets below. In fact, the only mention of said parade is when the studio owner, Peezy, proclaims he had to play Frogger with it in order to get into his workspace.

The scene is LPZ Studios, which serves as a sort of creative hub for many of Chicago’s brightest young talents. On any given day you could catch Rockie Fresh in the lab working on his MMG debut, or perhaps Chance the Rapper putting the finishing touches on Surf. In fact, the night before, Vic Mensa and Skrillex were working on some top secret new material in the A room, while Nick Cannon and Young Chop worked on the Chiraq soundtrack in the B room. On this day in particular, Peter Cottontale and Nate Fox of the Social Experiment casually mill around, while SaveMoney MC Joey Purp sits at a console hard at work on his long-awaited debut solo project. It’s bustling to say the least.

In the B room sits SaveMoney’s newest breakout star, Towkio, who made a splash earlier this year with his critically acclaimed breakthrough project, .Wav Theory (in fact, we placed it at No. 22 on our Best Albums of 2015 (So Far) list). Towkio sits quietly in a swivel chair, putting the finishing touches on his “show CD,” which is the collection of songs he’ll be performing as he goes on his first tour with Vic Mensa in a few days. When Towkio notices the presence of others, he immediately lights up the room. He oozes with charisma and has that “it” factor and star quality that so many aspiring musicians long for and lack. He’s unforgettable, and the genuine love he shows his guests makes it easy to forgive him for being an hour and change late for the interview.

The first thing one might notice about Towkio is that he looks more like a rock star than a traditional rapper. He has a unique demeanor and personality that makes guys want to hang out with him, and girls want to be with him. He’s as cool as a fan, and is excited at the thought of people on the road hearing .Wav Theory live “I just want the people to hear the music. They have to experience it to really get it. All I have to do is press play.”

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