Who is Toni? How would you describe yourself in a nutshell?
I'm a very caring person with a hot temper lol. I'm very passionate about anything I've ever put effort into. I would say I'm a hard-working, competitive and proud person.
Where are you originally from? Tell us about your hometown.
I was born in Chicago and grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago, about 25-45 minutes away from the city (depending on traffic). My hometown consisted of a lot of high school parties... That's all we did for fun.
Tell us the story on how music got started for you
I realized I liked the way my voice sounded when I was about 6. From then, I was the girl who could sing in my neighborhood. I was very shy at first but I soon broke out of my shell. I started making SoundCloud and YouTube covers, and eventually started writing my own songs.
Check out Toni's cover of Drake's "One Dance" here.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
Everything! My parents were older than the parents of other kids my age. My oldest sister is a lot older than me too, so I listened to a very wide range of music. My brother liked a lot of alternative and EDM. I looked up to my brother so I would listen to his music. My other sister was in a little dance clique so I listened to a lot of hip hop and R&B with her.
How would you describe your style of music?
Arrogant love songs. Dominant. Empowering.
Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
From pain and happiness. The pain and happiness that comes from the people I care about. Just life experiences.
What is your songwriting process? Does the music come first and then the lyrics?
It honestly just depends. I mainly just get in the booth and freestyle melodies and then write the words after.
What are you currently working on?
This Friday, July 21st I am putting out my new single “OPTIONS” followed by a music video. This fall I’m putting out my EP "TOMBOY.” I’ve been working really hard on this and excited for you all to hear it.
Check out the recent music video for her single "Trust In Me" release from "TOMBOY".
Do you have any favorite pre and/or post show rituals?
I definitely pray before my shows, whether it's with my team or in the bathroom. I always pray and just thank God that I get to do this for a living.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had at a live show?
When I opened for Mindless Behavior behavior 3 years ago. It was my first time performing since I left for college. I was so nervous but everyone knew the song and it blew my mind.
What is your proudest moment in your career so far?
Being independent and having as much success as I've had, I'm proud to know that I'm the person behind the writing, the melodies, and the concepts. I'm proud to be a woman in the industry and to stand for what I stand for. Being a role model to young girls while fully being myself is also something that I'm proud of.
What experience shaped you the most?
I grew up without my mother in my life, and my dad passed away in 2012. Those things changed me forever.
What keeps you busy aside from music?
Playing basketball. Watching "Chopped" and "Power." Hanging out with friends.
Working with Drake.
What are you reading?
Currently binge watching?
Nothing. But "Power" is my favorite show.
Any advice you can give to aspiring musicians out there?
Stay true to yourself. Believe in your vision. If you don't like something, say it.
If you will be given the chance and opportunity to help a specific charity, what would it be and why?
I just want to help homeless people in any way. People think that all homeless people are just "lazy bums" but don't realize that most homeless people are mentally ill and just need help.