Two Brain Surgeries + A Loss Of Language & Music, Producer Tokimonsta Is Still Pushing Forward


“I never knew that you could listen to music and not feel anything from it.”Tokimonsta

Can you imagine not feeling anything from the music you create? For LA Producer Jennifer Lee a.k.a. Tokimonsta, that thought became a reality and she spoke with the LATimes about it.

Tokimonsta was diagnosed with Moyamoya, a brain disease that Mayo Clinic describes as:

“A rare, progressive blood vessel (vascular) disorder in which the carotid artery in the skull becomes blocked or narrowed, reducing blood flow to your brain. Tiny blood vessels then open up at the base of the brain in an attempt to supply the brain with blood. The word “moyamoya” means “puff of smoke” in Japanese, a term describing the appearance of this cluster of tiny blood vessels.”

Tokimonsta was among the first signings to Flying Lotus‘ label Brainfeeder and she is responsible for remixes with artists such as Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Tinashe and Lil Uzi Vert.

As a younger girl, Tokimonsta experienced migraines and a doctor suggested she may have Moyamoya, but it wasn’t until 2015, after losing the feeling in her one foot, she was diagnosed with Moyamoya in both sides of her brain. This resulted in twin surgeries.

After the surgeries, things were different, but expected, as doctors warned of some of the side effects. Words weren’t there, she had a high risk of stroke and there was no feeling for music.

Something that I loved, something that I treasured, that was my craft and my art. There was nothing that clicked. It was two hard blows. I couldn’t listen to music and I couldn’t make it,” Tokimonsta told the LA Times.

Things got more complicated, relationships were lost and the struggle was a long, hard road, but there was light at the end of the tunnel…

You can read the full interview and story over on LATimes.Com.