Toy started She's So Rad as a hazy, shoegaze-inspired musical project in 2009. They released their debut album In Circles via Stinky Jim's Round Trip Mars label in August 2011. A vinyl release came out on Toy's own label, From The Crates Records.
Strongly reviewed, Undertheradar.co.nz called it "a sublime synthesis of the man’s tastes, influences, and loves", and other reviews also gushed. The album's tracks were all over student radio in the last part of 2011.
In 2012 In Circles was a finalist in the Taite Music Prize awards and tracks were featured on BBC Radio One in the UK and Triple J in Australia.
Toy got his start as a musician in high school in the late 90s, playing in Smokefree Rockquest bands, and then playing for touring and recording acts. He took in a range of music from rock, hip-hop and punk to folk, soul and funk, and developed his skills on samplers, drum machines, keyboards and studio recording gear.
Outside of his She's So Rad work, Toy has played in Martin, 5th Floor, So To Speak, Sommerset, the Anika Moa band, his soul/funk act Opensouls; and for Hollie Smith, The Rodger Fox Big Band and The Circling Sun with Opensouls' drummer Julien Dyne.
Working as a producer he has overseen recordings for Opensouls, Hollie Smith, Tim Guy, The Sami Sisters, Mel Parsons, Lips, and his own She's So Rad.
As a session musician, Toy has recorded with Randy Crawford, Maynard Ferguson, Anika Moa, Mark de Clive Lowe, Hugh Masakela, Solephonic, James Duncan, David Dallas, Liam Finn and Homebrew. Over the years Toy has also created numerous remixes for local and international producers, bands and solo artists under the alias OTA.
Since 2001 Toy has run his own recording studio Spare Room Studios. Originally operated out of his home, it is now based in a room at The Lab in Mt Eden.
In 2003 Toy was selected to attend the Red Bull Music Academy in Cape Town, South Africa.
A duo in the recording studio, live She's So Rad is a four-person band with Toy and Sami playing alongside John Parker (drums) and either Thomas Healy (bass) or Phil Hadfield (bass). Since formation they have performed around New Zealand, playing with Ghostwave, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and So So Modern.
In 2012 the band toured in the UK as the support act to Ladyhawke, also performing in Sydney at the MUM club night.
Toy has had an ongoing working relationship with Dave Cooley of Elysian Masters in Los Angeles, who has mastered everything Toy has released since 2003 including material by Opensouls and She's So Rad.
In late 2013, Toy is due to release a disco-influenced She's So Rad EP via Japanese label Wonderful Noise. The digital version was released in October. A digital EP of remixes followed.
The second She's So Rad album, Tango, was released to five star reviews in May 2015, accompanied by the single 'Confetti'.
From The Crate