tofusmell is a project from the bedroom of 22-year-old musician Rae Chen (he/they).
Inspired by 90s indie-folk music and Rae’s own 2012 emo phase, the artsy acoustic sounds of tofusmell originals speak to Rae’s life as a trans, queer individual.
Rae, who was a creative writing major in college, uses poetry influences in his emotive lyricism to comment on themes like gender, religion, and love.
Each stirring track is written, recorded, and produced in Rae’s Orlando bedroom solely by him— with a MacBook and a single microphone.
Rae began creating music by playing around with GarageBand in middle school and writing angsty lyrics in his head. In 2017, Rae uploaded their first song to the Internet, earning minor acclaim in groups of local high-schoolers.
In 2020, Rae began posting verses of their original songs on TikTok. Since then, Rae has amassed over 21k followers on the app, many of whom relate to his provoking lyrics and clever melodies.
In November of 2021, Rae released the EP Funnier in Theory; which features the self-pondering track “Space, Man” and brazen “Contagious.”
In 2022, he was asked to contribute a song to Hardly Art’s 15th Anniversary singles series and released “Shower Song” in June of that year.
Rae has become a mainstay in his buddy Leith Ross’ live band lending his talents by playing guitar and singing backup. They will be embarking on several European tours and a North American tour throughout the rest of 2023.
When not writing or playing music, Rae spends time illustrating doodles (one of which can be found on the cover of Funnier in Theory).