Tony, How are you? Can you tell us how you got interested in music and when you decided to do this as a career?
I became interested in music in 1998 while when I was given a Christian Hip-Hop sample album in Los Angeles. That moment really changed my life. I started recording music on a cassette recorder. I started to take it more seriously after my best friend, Starreon Ruffin, built a home studio around 1999. We would record for hours and stay up late making music, skits, and even videos.
Does music run in your family? Who did you listen to growing up?
My mother was a singer growing up but she never pursued it professionally. She would encourage me to participate in all forms of art: music, acting, drawing, and poetry. She would play oldie records and even hip-hop in our household. My father also was a huge fan of pop, classic rock, salsa, and reggae. He would play all kinds of music including artists such as Sting & the Police, The Eagles, Journey, Foreigner, Prince, Simple Minds, El General, Nando Boom, and Celia Cruz, to name a few artists. I also grew up listening to underground hip-hop and pop music. My favorite artist growing up was Michael Jackson. I used to learn all his lyrics and dance moves and perform them wherever and whenever I could. I later studied the rhyme patterns and writing of artists such as Tupac, Eminem, and Bone Thugs N Harmony.
Whether it is music, acting, or immigration advocacy, everything I do is something I am very passionate about.
I see that you’re a hip-hop artist, poet, author, actor, filmmaker and an immigration advocate. How do you manage all that?
Whether it is music, acting, or immigration advocacy, everything I do is something I am very passionate about. My roots in these fields are very deep. I manage as much as I can. I am fortunate to have a team behind me. Shout to my wife, Madelin Vasquez Polanco, MMP Productions, and my producer Young Nova.
Where are you currently based? What do you think of the music scene in your town?
I am currently based in San Antonio, Texas. The music scene here is booming with authentic and young talent. DJ groups such as Bruk Out founded by Isaiah from Texas five years ago are really putting San Antonio on the map. Also, Matón Muzik is an independent music label making diverse music in San Antonio. These pioneers in the San Antonio scene are very influential to me.
I wanted to talk about your recent single “My Reason”. What was the inspiration behind it?
My reason was written when I first started college back in 2005. I was a struggling college study and music was very therapeutic to me. The song started an affirmation to keep me focused and hopeful through those trying times.
What’s your writing process like? Can you walk us through it?
My process is late night writing where I pour my feelings out. The song started as a one sentence affirmation. I turned this affirmation into poems and then I wrote the poem into a song. There were a lot of late Friday nights where I would write, re-write, and repeat the process.
What would you like to see yourself accomplishing in the next five years?
In five years, I want to create an extensive and authentic body of work that includes music albums, mixtapes, music videos, books, and movie roles. I also see myself getting involved in entertainment business law.
Are you working on a new project right now? Anything you can tell us?
All I can say is that there is a lot going on in the world, especially within the United States, and my next project will address these issues and problems.
If you could collaborate with one artist, who would you pick?
I would love to collaborate with Rashid from Brazil. Brazilian hip hop is going through their Golden era of hip hop and artists like Rashid are making very influential and conscious music. I would love to be a part of that.
What do you wanna say to other young up and coming artists that are trying to get a name in the industry? Any tips and advice?
Young & upcoming artists need to learn about the music business and remain independent. They also need to invest in themselves and make music that is true to who they are. The main investment that they should make is in their education.
They also need to realize that money is not a sufficient reason to pursue a career in music but must follow a deeper calling.
Anything you’d like to share with the fans? Any shout-outs?
Today, the video to “My Reason” was released and you can find it on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCEnCKf26l_6hd5cYOsshZg
Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a comment. I want to give a special thanks to my beautiful wife, Madelin Vasquez Polanco, my team at MMP Productions, Bruk Out, Matón Muzik, Oh Boi Entertainment, Brarlin and Jesus Matias, and my family across the globe.
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