Student Spotlight: Freshman Tryston Obevoen

By Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor, Video By Brittany Tankersley | Broadcast reporter

Houston freshman Tryston Obevoen has amassed quite a following on Spotify, with over 625,861 monthly listeners. Obevoen, who goes by the stage name Sinoda, said he gained his following mainly by luck.

Obevoen said he started releasing music his junior year of high school after a freestyle battle with his friend during lunch. His friend recorded the video and posted it on Snapchat, where it gained traction. A mutual friend suggested Obevoen start recording at a studio, which helped him gain more notoriety, and he started to take it more seriously.

“[My music] got a little bit of traction and people were like, ‘Oh this is actually not just like a regular Soundcloud high school rapper. This has potential,’” Obevoen said. “I did a little TikTok thing, just to see how it would go, and we offered 100 bucks to anyone who made a good TikTok — with my current biggest song — that blew up three different times. It got eight million streams during that fad, then the anime community picked it up and it blew up with that fad. Then a big TikToker named Poloboy did a trend with it, and that blew up tremendously. Now it’s at like 22 million streams on Spotify, and that’s all thanks to TikTok.”

Obevoen said he has always been into art and sports, but music is where his passion lies.

“The only thing that I have consistently done is music,” Obevoen said. “Since I was about five, I started playing guitar, then I taught myself how to play piano, drums, bass, a little violin and ukulele.”

Obevoen said he has been compared to Ski Mask the Slump God in regards to his voice and the music he makes. He said he considers him to be an inspiration with a couple of the songs he has made. Another major inspiration is A$AP Rocky.

“He does a lot more than just making music. He also is a very artistic person; whether it’s his team or him, the brand of A$AP Rocky is awesome,” Obevoen said. “More so than even wanting to be an artist, I’ve always wanted to model. He does runway fashion, he models, photoshoots, stuff like that. That is really cool to me.”

His biggest inspiration, Obevoen said, is Nirvana, more specifically Kurt Cobain.

“I was watching an interview once about how he makes music and then figures out the meaning behind the lyrics afterward, and I’ve done that for every single one of my songs,” Obevoen said. “I rarely ever have meaning behind the lyrics before I actually say them.”

Obevoen said his name Sinoda is the backward version of the Greek god of beauty and desire, Adonis.

“When I started out, I was [creating] more love songs, more R&B. I always thought the way people look at beauty and desire are backward. It’s very physical; people just stare at someone and is like, ‘Oh that’s a perfect person.’ So true beauty is Sinoda because it’s Adonis backward,” Obevoen said.

Obevoen, who is a finance major, said he has a backup plan just in case music doesn’t work out.

“If it isn’t successful, another goal I have is to open up my own record label,” Obevoen said. “Since I couldn’t become successful with [music], then I want to still be a part of the industry. Having a degree in finance is helpful for just about anything I decide to go into, music related or not.”

But Obevoen said his ultimate goal is “Drake-level stardom.”

“No matter where in the world I go, I could be recognized,” Obevoen said. “Being successful in music, the top dogs have so much influence on the world nowadays that they could pretty much ask for anything and could get it done. I could act, or model, or do anything in that sort of entertainment.”