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On the same day that his breakthrough single reached one million streams online, Swedish house DJ/producer Tobtok received news that he was cancer free. After being diagnosed in late 2012, he fought the disease and entered remission, which gave him a newfound drive to focus on his musical dreams. Born Tobias Karlsson in Uppsala, Tobtok chose his stage moniker from a childhood nickname that roughly translates to "Crazy Tobias." He grew up idolizing Michael Jackson and Nile Rodgers of Chic, while also playing in black metal bands as a teen. Once he decided to pursue electronic music, he delved into French-inspired house and nu-disco in the vein of Daft Punk. His '80s-inspired, post-Discovery singles "Electric Horror" and "Reincarnation" b/w "Metaphysique" were released in 2011 and 2012. He remixed artists such as Icona Pop and Years & Years, while simultaneously dropping his own singles. His 2014 debut EP, Higher, featured Emil Héro on vocals. That same year, he released "Savanna" (Kitsuné) to celebrate a year of being cancer free. After releasing "Shelter" with Alex Mills in 2015, Tobtok's mainstream presence increased with his interpretation of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car," featuring U.K. singer River on vocals. Not to be confused with the 2016 Jonas Blue reworking of the same song, "Fast Car" was Tobtok's most successful single to date, going gold on Australia's ARIA charts.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo


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