For Charleston-raised musician Jeremy Hobbs, aka Tamaskin, inspiration comes from life experience. “I do my best when I’m creating music to either tell my story, or tell the stories of [other] people,” he said. “I like to be a vessel.”
Tamaskin was discovered in 2016 as a student at the College of Charleston, when he released a mixtape on Soundcloud that melded elements of R&B, hip-hop and rock. It attracted the attention of a record executive who invited him to come out to Los Angeles via Instagram.
“Monday through Thursday, I would be in class, and on Friday they would let me take my work with me to L.A., and I would be doing my work on the plane,” Tamaskin explained.
During his time on the West Coast, he acquired the name “Tamaskin.” It refers to his spirit animal, the wolf, and was bestowed upon him by a shaman when he visited a Navajo Nation reservation with Native American friends. “When I started putting out music, that’s the name that stuck with me,” he said.
In 2018, Tamaskin graduated, retired his position as lead singer of his college rock band, Tamaksin and the Wolf Pack, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a solo career full-time. Just before the pandemic, he wrapped up his first-ever tour.
His latest EP, Phantom of the Hills, was released in April but saw its beginnings in 2021, when Tamaksin achieved a major life goal: purchasing a home in Beverly Hills.
“I dreamt of one day being able to own a home in Beverly Hills and I was able to do that,” he said. “I’m extremely grateful and wanted to be able to share that with the world.”
The five-song project defies easy genre categorization. Layered bedroom pop drifts alongside ribbons of smooth R&B, all grounded by a steady beat.
“I like to describe music as feeling,” Tamaskin said. “I make night-driving music.” He crafted every aspect of the EP on his own, playing each sound as well as handling the engineering and production. He also paired Phantom of the Hills with a video project that captures life in Beverly Hills as it was at the time he created the songs.
Phantom of the Hills evokes a dreamy, ’80s-inspired mood, but with newer releases, the artist is looking to revisit his hip-hop sound. “What I want to do now is really find a balance between [the two sounds.]”
In addition to releasing singles, Tamaskin hopes to return to Charleston at some point this year to give back to the community. “There are a lot of really talented and incredible artists throughout the Charleston area,” he said. “I want to be able to build a platform for them.”
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