deathshouldrest, the alter ego and creative persona of Tochukwu Onwuzilike is constantly making statements. Like for many others like Tochukwu, art is a means of escaping reality. A reality for him, which has been saturated with themes of suffering and trauma, a self sabotage that stems from fear and comfort.and severe repression. Finding solace in the robustly-creative ‘alte’ community, deathshouldrest has come to stay.
Growing up in a household led by a military man, and ending up in a control-intensive institution like Covenant University in the heart of Ota, Ogun state (Where he eventually got expelled), Tochukwu has always had rules and conformity to contend with.
As told by the 6’5 alt-rock artist, it wasn’t until he got kicked out of university that he decided to stop running. Tochukwu says “I had already played the role everyone around me wanted, and it failed. So I might as well just live my truth whether my parents were comfortable with it or not”. And thus, deathshouldrest was born.
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
According to Tochukwu, ‘deathshouldrest’, which is a direct translation of ‘Onwuzulike’, Tochukwu’s family name is a spiritual phenomenon, quoting the bible in Acts ;’heavy makeup and clothing as eccentric garments. A spiritual phenomenon birthed from a place of deep pain and resentment further preceded by years of heading in an unnatural direction.
2022 was a year of planning and direction-mapping for Tochukwu and deathshouldrest. 2023 has served as a launchpad, a point of release, and beginning. 4 months into the year, deathshouldrest announces themselves to the world with a punk rock single titled ‘Ginny; Weasley?, a tirade of a song, bemoaning the same inhibition and censorship that created deathshouldrest in the first place.
He explains that the song is about feeling like an outcast and being misunderstood, but also about the importance of embracing one’s quirks and standing up for what you believe in. Tochukwu claims that his situation at the time, as well as his heightened sense of synesthesia are responsible for the inspiration for this record. The knowledge that there are thousands, and maybe millions out there in the same situation.
Along with deathshouldrest, Tochukwu hopes to inspire the repressed dreamers of the world – those who, like himself, have been told to play it safe and conform to societal norms. He wants to show them that there’s another way – that it’s possible to live authentically and embrace one’s individuality.