Watch Toronto's Famous Singing Longboarder Make His Studio Debut
Published Oct 02, 2023If you live in Toronto, then you've probably heard powerful, belted tones of "Oh yeaaaaaah!" ringing out across the city randomly, yet persistently, from a man on a longboard. Local artist and producer Tommy Riot certainly has, and he gave the mystery man the opportunity that those fiery pipes demand, and got him behind a mic at his studio in Kensington Market.
Riot first met the singing skateboarder, named Ayman, while performing with his band in Kensington Market. Ayman asked if he could sing with them, and every time after that, he would roll up to Riot and ask if his project could be his backing band. After telling him he was more focused on recording artists, he brought Ayman into his studio to record over a rock beat, though the longboarder was nervous to hear the results.
This brings us to his reggaeton-inspired track of the present: "I ran into him outside the studio and he asked if he could do another, this time I pulled up a reggae beat I made and the same thing happened again, he was so nervous, did only one take, and left without listening," Riot tells Exclaim! "He says he wants to work on that and next time not leave and be able to reflect on his work. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg of what he's actually capable of."
Riot posted the freestyle track to TikTok, where Ayman delivered plenty of his signature "Woah, yeah!" ad-libs, sandwiched by storytelling lyrics about a "buffalo soldier."
"No one bolder / He gets warmer when it gets colder / By the fire / I dance, I sing, I take it higher / Like a bird, I'm a real high flyer," he sings in the clip.
Ayman was also pretty adamant about his anti-technology stance, so if you want to reach out for a feature, you'll have to follow his "woah, yeahs" through the city: "He just wants to be alone / Hard as a bone / That's why I got no cellphone."
Regardless of how genuinely good he sounds, the best part of the video was watching him have the time of his life behind the mic as he dances, smiles and belts his heart out. (Ayman also apparently has a theatre background, and used to perform in St. Catharines, ON.)
Riot says that Ayman was inspired by one of the many men selling mangoes and singing songs during his childhood in Egypt. "One mango man stood out and had the best mango song and voice, he says he always wanted nothing more than to be like the mango man singing every day," he says.
At the end of the video, Riot teases an album, and the comments clamoured for him to make it happen. "Deffffff need an album!!! This dude is awesome," wrote one. Riot says that multiple people have contacted him asking to produce Ayman's album. He says if the funding becomes available, he'd be down.
Until then, watch Ayman swap his longboard for a mic in his studio debut below.
@tommyriotmusic We brought Amon, #torontos #singingskateboarder #singingskater live in the #studio ♬ original sound - Thomas Thurley